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Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Yup. It was the weekend and even though there were a million things to do,
only one was the surefire cure for boredom: bring out the DyePot.

A couple of ideas were spinning around my head and only one had the fiber to begin. After a mind boggling stash dive that left no box, bag or shelf unturned, the only real candidate was no candidate at all.

It was boring. It was dirty. It was old.

No my friends, we are not talking about moi, we are talking about some eBay yarn I got last year (?), delivered in, of all things, a liquor carton for Chivas Regal. [Now, these types of boxes have been the Moving Boxes of Choice for years at Chez Chic, so I figured I was in for a treat.] Inside, 14 skeins of worsted weight English Wool – with a simple Union Jack label.


Anybody ever see this Brand before?

The color I was craving was an ashy purple – a little lighter than what I’d done on a Ribby Cardi before – less brown, more subtle. This is the result of a Yellow Gold + Royal Blue + Magenta Lanaset dye mix:



The original Purple seen in this Ribby Cardi used Turquoise instead of Royal Blue. That little bit-o-yellow in the turquoise made the end result browner. Royal Blue brought it back up to a clearer tone – although because of the depth of dye used & the orginal slightly taupey color of the yarn base, it is subtle – smokey – sophisticated…

You can also see that the Ribby Purple has light and dark areas in the yarn itself. When I dyed that yarn, I only let it soak in a sinkful of water long enough to wet it.

These days, I fill the sink with hot water (for wool), add a couple of small squirts of Dawn dish soap, swish, add and SOAK for about an hour before the dyeing begins. This really cleans the yarn (I will use two passes if the yarn is really dirty like this Union Jack stuff) and opens its scales to accept the dye. I also have been using a kitchen timer to remind myself to stir the pot every 5 minutes or so…


End Result: clear color, clean yarn. :)

read more Adventures in Dyeing HERE

21 responses to “Tuesday, October 10, 2006”

  1. Robin says:

    The purple color looks great! You are a better woman than I for dealing with that whole process – looks like a lot of work! Wet dirty wool, the whole nine yards!

  2. Diane D. says:

    It’s beautiful! You’ve really got the process down on how to get the color you want.

  3. Nanc says:

    Beautiful color! You are amazing with your color accuracy. I wonder, really, how long it takes you to ID the color that you want (in your mind’s eye). I bow down to your mastery and skillz.

    So what will become of this newly dyed wool?

  4. meg says:

    Wow, that’s fantastic! I love that smokey purple. Where did you learn so much about dyeing, the Dyer’s Handbook? I’ve got poundage of fleece I’m sloooowly working my way through & am beginning to get interested in *real* dye – not just the kool-aid :o).

  5. Tracey says:

    Great color, it is the perfect shade of purple.

  6. Chris says:

    That color is GORGEOUS!! I’ve been using FiberMaster to clean up yarn before dyeing it.

  7. Karen B. says:

    What everyone said. Gorgeous, smokey, perfect purple! Any hints on what it will become?

  8. Wanda says:

    Chickie, you are a dyeing goddess! What a beautiful shade of purple!

  9. Gina says:

    Gorgeous color! I’m always awed by your dying creations.

  10. Karen says:

    Beautiful! Ditto here on wondering what it will become.

  11. Becky says:

    As always, I am truly in awe of your dyeing powers. Here dwells, my dear knitters, a woman who seriously knows her colors. (Next time I’m mixing gouache I’ll try to channel la Bonne Marie.)

  12. Holly says:

    Your Dye Pot creations are inspiring. I’ve recently started dying yarn myself and have been unable to locate a good resouce with guidelines for mixing colors. Do you have any recommendations? I’ve started looking at art books (painting, etc.).

  13. scoutj says:

    See, now what do you need ME for! ;) So pretty!

  14. Jennifer says:

    Gorgeous! Much better than before.

  15. Bonne Marie says:

    Thanks so much!

    The book I’ve really learned to love as a reference is “Colorworks” by Deb Menz – she also has one called “Color in Spinning” that I want to find that includes many formulas for color combos…

    Here’s a whole bunch of exciting titles:

  16. Michele says:

    Hey, I’m heading off to Northern Lower Michigan myself tomorrow – and can’t wait to see if it snows! Email if you want to get together for coffee….

  17. amisha says:

    mmm… delicious! what a rich shade.

  18. Delica says:

    I think I’ve seen the “Color in Spinning” book at The Yarn Tree in Brooklyn, NY – maybe you can order from them?

  19. Jessica says:

    Haven’t ventured into the dyepot for my wool yet, but you’re inspiring me! I ~did~ dye DD’s hair yesterday with KoolAid, a beautiful combination of Black Cherry, Cherry and Fruit punch… she smells like Carmen Miranda.

  20. Iris says:

    Love that color. Purples are my favorites.

  21. laughingrat says:

    Nice work! I’ve been working with a new worsted yarn that seems very reluctant to take dye…I should try your method!

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