Category Archives: Dyeing

Binding Off never felt so good…

Whippoorwill

… and never took so long! Oh goodness, over 560 stitches took me ages! But now I’m finally done! All blocked, all dry –  and oh how I love the shawl. I like how the colours came together, altho I had estimated that I’d only get a pink strip and some more grey at the edge. But it needed less yarn and so I got the nice pink edge. I needed in total about 150grams of 2-ply sport weight merino yarn from Yarnundyed.co.uk, knitted on 4.5mm needles, ovendyed a while ago for this project.

Whippoorwill is a great pattern, very easy to follow. Instructions for three different sizes, all with the correct stitch numbers, lacy pattern in written instructions as well as in charts.

It would be quite interesting to have a total stitch count. I only know that they were enough stitches to wipe out the little numbers that tell you the needlesize!

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Back to the wool and more dyeing

I want to make the Whippoorwill Wrap-Shawl for me, and it took me ages to find some colours. Finally I decided to go for some grey and pink. The pattern asks for some really nice but expensive sock-yarn or fingering weightish yarn, but they are all so dead expensive, so I had to dye my own. I ordered some organic merino 2-ply sport yarn (they happened to be out of the 4-ply I think) from Yarnundyed, it feels so lovely soft. I wanted to get one gradient from grey to pink into the wool and also get semisolid colours to make the shawl a bit happier. To get one gradient I could not dye the skeins as they were, I wanted one end grey and then pink and the end grey again. So I wrapped 2 undyed skeins of each 100g/375m over my elbow into 6 skeins each. I presoaked them in warm water, squeezed out excess water and then layered them into my pyrex dish. The grey skeins to the left side, then a few pink skeins to the right side, and the last two skeins to be grey again back to the left side. I had quite dilute dyes in squeeze bottles, soaked the wool with grey and pink, splashed a bit pink into the grey, squeezed them all with my fingers to make sure that the dye is fairly good distributed and all the way to the bottom of the dish. Then i covered it with aluminium foil, popped the dish into the oven and baked it for about 40mins. After I had taken it out I left it to cool, the colour has been completely absorbed by the wool, i gave it a rinse and hung the skeins up to dry.

I love how they came out:

skeins of pink-and grey oven dyed wool

and wound into balls

FO Another Thorpe

Thorpe hat for MC

Oh I loved my Thorpe hat so much, I made another one, this time for my flute teacher. She said she really liked mine, so I made this one for her. I am slightly nervous. It is the first time that I knit something for somebody else apart from my family, and that would be pretty much my mum only anyway. Oh, and my little 5-year-old nephew for whom I made this really cool norwegian jumper with pirate-like skull and crossbones instead of the stars last christmas, but his mother put it in the very bottom of his dresser so tells me my mum, so no more handknitted stuff for that part of the family, but that is another story. So, I am slightly nervous, I hope she’ll like it. I used the BFL that I had dyed with acid dyes and spun on my wheel earlier. It was 100g of my default worsted-weightish, and I ran out! well, not too bad actually, the earflaps are both maybe 5-6 rows shorter, but it does not matter too much. I looove the colours and how it came out. My teacher wears a lot of purple, so I think that might suit her. Gotta wait another two weeks until it is close enough to Christmas so i can give it to her.

FO hanspun BFL green plums

handspun handdyed green plums

Thsi time I was quite fast spinning up the BFL that I had dyed with Acid dyes previously. I do tent to get my default yarn, which is about worsted weight, perfect for another Thorpe hat for my flute teacher. it is nice and bouncy, I’m happy with the outcome. I still cannot spin the singles even enough. It looks ok, but I do for exaple split the roving in exactly two parts and i start from the same ends, but I still don’t get the different coloured spaces together. I’ll have to practice more.

Handdyed BFL “green plums”

I oven-dyed some BFL roving with Acid Dyes – my first try with Acid Dyes 🙂

I mixed red from yellow and magenta, purple from magenta and midblue, and green from yellow and turquoise. The green turned into yellow unfortunately because the turquoise washed off completely. I Put the presoaked roving into the glass dish, mixed the colours first in a smaller volume of water containing mordant and then diluted it some more in water with mordant. I’m using Kenanthrol Acid Milling dye and Ammonium Sulfate as mordant (3g/L). Then in the oven, covered with tinfoil, 30 mins @ 180°C, i could see it boiling in the oven. After taking it out I left it to cool, then rinsed it in warm water (that was when nearly all the green came washed out, altho all the other colours were nicely fixed, the turquoise seemed to have issues).

I’m very happy with the results, apart from the nearly totally disappeared green. I’d love to use it for another Thorpe hat as a Christmas present for my flute teacher, so I better get going 🙂

The dyed roving coming out of the oven

dried and rolled up

and braided

Handspun onion wool

2-ply BFL dyed with onion Skin

I finally spun the nice BFL I had kettle-dyed with the onion skins a while ago. I was quite surprised how nice the colour came out, and now that it is spun into a nice and lofty 2-ply about worsted-weight yarn I like it even more. the BFL of course is beautifully soft and the whole yarn has a slight shine to it. I have no idea yet, what I’m gonna do with it tho.

Dyeing roving with onion skins

I soooo loved the  craftster post about dyeing roving with onion skin, the golden/yellow/peachy brown is a lovely colour. So I gave it a go yesterday! I had been collecting onion skins for the last two weeks, I ended up with about 50g. When I did some research i found that most people suggest to use as much onion skins as you have wool, so 100g wool need 100g skins. I just did not want to wait so long (going on holiday tomorrow for ten days – yay!), so i just went on and used 50g onion skin for 100g nice BFL roving. To avoid onion skin bit sticking to my roving I sewed a little bag out of muslin, it was easy to store the skins in it beforehand and I just threw the whole thing in a bit stainless steel pot, my dyeing pot. I covered it with about 2.5-3L cold water, added a gulp of white vinegar and boiled everything up briefly. Whilst I let it sit to cool down again, i soaked the roving in lukewarm water.

It seems that onion skin is one of the few dyes you don’t need a mordant for because the yellowish colour from the skin attaches to the fibre without any help. But you can use one and it seems that most people do. Note that different mordants seem to change the tone of the colour you get from dyeing with onion skin. I just used a dash of white vinegar. There is a whole thread on ravelry about dyeing with onion skins and outcomes and colour variations.

Back to my roving. When my onion broth had cooled down to lukewarm, and it was very very deep brown by that time, I added the wet roving to it. I left the onion bag in the pot as well. I just dipped the wool under, did not stir much to avoid felting, put the heat on and brought the pot to a boil again. As soon as bubbles came up i switched it off, put a lid on and let everything sit overnight. I did not weigh the fibre down, hoping to get a bit colour variation in it.

The next morning i took the fibre out of the pot, rinsed it once in a big bowl of clear fresh water and hung it up to dry.

It dried quite quickly overnight and the colours came out looooovely. Nice variations of some light yellow and bits of deep peachy brown.
I’m not too sure yet what i’m gonna do with it spin-wise. I’ll see how a single looks like and if I want to ply it with itself or with something else or just use it as a single.