Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Dyeing the yarn for Shetland Wool Week 1

I knitted a sample hat to work out how much yarn to dye and tried to remember to note the length of each colour used! I tried to use colours something like I was aiming to use.

All dyeing was carried out on well scoured yarn which was mordanted with alum and cream of tartar.

Following the picture (post of August 19th)
The left hand side DEEP PINK
This will be the centre area of the crown (as in the sample hat) and is the most striking part of the hat. It was one of the most straightforward to dye. It was dyed with 10% cochineal, starting with crushing the beetles!

Second from the left GREY
Getting grey was difficult. For many of the colours I did several trial runs. I had a supply of 10g skeins of commercial yarn already mordanted, I knew these would give me a reasonable, although not entirely accurate, match. However everything I tried was way out on grey. I had got all the other colours complete and my options were running out on getting grey when I remembered that I had a solution in my store in the garage. This was left over from making a part of a fancy yarn a few years ago for an exhibition entry. So I tried this on one of my trial yarns and it was perfect. My only regret is that it was not labelled that well - it just said 'logwood, elder and tin, 2011' but I have no-one to blame only myself. I do like to know exactly how I get a colour but in this instance it does not matter. In the unlikely event that I need some more I do have plenty left. Natural dyeing is not an exact science but I can make sure that my labelling is more meaningful in future than just giving me names!

The next post will follow along, although the next skein is the natural washed fleece – just for comparison – so lovely on its own. I decided it was too stark on its own and did dye it 'beach' colour!

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