As you may remember a few blog posts back I shared with you some scrummy Welsh wool that I had bought on etsy from the lovely Charlies Angel Fibres.
Well, here is my first attempt at dying a skein. I was actually planning to try dying with Kool Aide, which I had purchased back in October, but when I got down to business, I couldnt find them for the life of me, so I decided to try one of my other planned methods instead. Natural dying, using Turmeric.
First of all, you need to soak the yarn. As it was wool, I had to be careful not to agitate it too much. I dont want it to felt after all!
Then its time to make the dye bath. As I was dying a chunky 200g skein, I made up a larger dyebath, using 6 tbsp of turmeric, a good glug of white vinegar and 6 pints of water. You could probably half that if you were only dying a 50g or 100g skein.
First I placed the turmeric and vinegar in a pan. The amount of vinegar used should be enough to form a soft paste with the turmeric.
Then I mixed in the water and brought to a boil. After that I dropped the temperature and let it simmer for around half an hour.
At the end of the half hour I turned the hob off, allowed it to cool just a little so it was no longer bubbling, then placed the yarn in the pan. If it was a cotton yarn, I would suggest leaving the hob on when you put the yarn in, and continuing to simmer for a half hour before you turn the hob off, but as my yarn is 100% wool, the movement of the simmering bubbles would agitate the yarn too much amd felt it.so for wool, you need to wait until the liquid is still.
After you have placed the yarn into the dye bath you should just leave it until the liquid is cool. A couple of hours is great.
Now it is time to rinse. Again, as I was using wool I had to be quite gentle at this stage. Rinse it until the water runs clear. Then squeeze it to release and evess water. To get the most water out, you can lay it down on a towel and roll it up then press it or stand on it.
Finally hang to dry!
Now it is time to admire my newly made yarn! I dont know what I want to do with it but its beautiful.
Pros: Being food safe is a big pro! I love that it is just natural ingredients, because it means I am not putting agressive chemicals into the water supply. I also love it because it is a very cheap and easy option.
Cons: The smell. It has dissipated but it hasnt gone away. Plus its dusty – by which I mean you have to let it dry then shake the life out of it – I shook it in the kitchen and in minutes my kitchen floor was yellow! Also, it kinda dyed my fingernails yellow, so I looked like a chronic smoker for a few days!