Posts Tagged ‘dyeing’

Remember this fibre that Gorgeous Girl, her friend and I dyed?

Kool Aid fibre5

It became this yarn.


I love the subtle hints of orange, it reminds me of a PNG sunset.


Not the look I was aiming for, but I’m happy with it.


Photos taken pre-washing, so I’ve yet to weigh and measure.

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Recently I broke out the Kool Aid and a local equivalent and dyed some fibre. I got Gorgeous Girl and one of her little friends to help with the colour application. I’m pleased with how it turned out. Here it is unwound. You can see the colour in all its glory. It reminds me of a sunset.

Kool aid fibre1

Closeup. I’d have liked more orange patches but there were two problems. I didn’t have much and Gorgeous Girl was a little enthusiastic in her application of the pink. I wet the fibre and then the girls sprinkled the Kool Aid directly on.

Kool Aid fibre2

Braided up for storage.

Kool aid fibre3

Gratuitous close-up.

Kool aid fibre4

To be honest this only sat in the stash for about a week. It has been spun and plying is finished. It just needs to be wound off the wheel, skeined, soaked and photographed for all to enjoy.

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Last year Gorgeous Girl asked if I would make the birthday present for her best friend. We looked through Ravelry together and decided on the following patttern: Tiny Long-legged Cat.

I used yarn that Gorgeous Girl and I had dyed earlier in the year. This yarn was found in an opshop (thrift store) and was truly horrible to work with. Very rough and scratchy, at the completion of the project Gorgeous Girl was given the remaining yarn to play use as she saw fit (this has resulted in yarn mazes around the house and yard).

cat 2

According to Gorgeous Girl this cat with attitude was a big hit at the party.

cat 1

Gorgeous Girl’s friend has now relocated back to Australia, but the girls are keeping up with each other through weekly skype video calls. I’m so thankful for technology that allows the tyranny of distance to be defeated.




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Dyeing yarn

Gorgeous Girl loves all things science and recently we bought her a chemistry set. She’s been having a great time doing the experiments and creating her own. I came home from work about a week ago to discover that she had filled my two big dyeing jars with colour. Further discussion revealed that one jar was food colouring and the other was purple Kool Aid. She can play with as much food colouring as she wants because it is easy to get here, but the Kool Aid requires either a trip to the USA or the kindness of friends, so we didn’t want to waste it.

I dug into some yarn that my mother had sent me a while ago. She had found it in and op shop (thrift store) and thought we might be able to dye it. It was a pretty funny cream colour. The yarn came wound in a ball and so we dropped it straight into the jar and then put the jar in the sun. There’s lots of sunshine in Papua New Guinea and so we decided to give solar dyeing a whirl. After a few days in the sun the water had turned clear and it was time to take out the yarn.


The dye hadn’t penetrated very far into the ball. So I asked Gorgeous Girl to choose another colour to add from the Kool Aid stash. She picked strawberry lemonade. We put the yarn in a pot with a very small amount of water and vinegar and sprinkled the strawberry lemonade Kool Aid straight onto the yarn. There were still a few white patches so she went back and choose orange. This time we didn’t need to use the whole packet, just sprinkled a little bit here and there directly onto the yarn. We heat set it on the stove and this is the end result.


Really happy with how this turned out.



It reminds me of self-striping sock yarn. Gorgeous Girl has said she is choosing the pattern for this one. I’m hoping it might inspire her to knit as well.

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A little while ago my mother sent me some reclaimed creamy yellow yarn that she found in an op shop (thrift store). She thought Gorgeous Girl and I might be able to dye it.

When we were moving house I came across some large pickle jars that I had saved to use in dyeing yarn and this was the push I needed to break out the food colouring. Since I am trying to reduce my stash and I also know that mum has started knitting for charity I decided that it would be a good idea to dye up the yarn and post it back to her.

redandblue dye1

I really like how it has turned out.

redandblue dye2

The second photo is the most accurate for colour. It’s going to be hard to part with this. There is still more of the yarn left that she sent. I’m thinking a pink and purple for the second batch…

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I’ve been busy formatting and rereading the thesis. Just the conclusion left to write and it will be ready for submission in January. Kind of both exciting and terrifying.

In between that I’ve been working on some knitting, a lot of this has been done in the car (when Gorgeous Man has been driving of course). This is Wurm made from some handspun that I dyed the fibre for. Here’s the yarn.


I asked Gorgeous Girl to model. She was not impressed and said she didn’t want to wear that “silly looking hat.”


She didn’t stay grumpy though.


Gratuitous shot of the top of the hat.


Gorgeous Girl asked for a crochet sun hat so I’m working on that at the moment and will put it under the tree for her. Also on the hook is a Christmas gift for Gorgeous Man.

It’s been really hot here which has made scrapbooking unpleasant. I’m taking my art journal to Australia and hope to find some time to have a few sessions with my talented SIL.

We leave for Australia next week and even though I’ve made a few gifts it’s going to be a mad rush to get the rest of the gifts and  wrapping paper bought, plus a photo with Santa (if Gorgeous Girl will cooperate) and all those other Christmassy things done.

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This yarn’s been off the wheel for a few days quietly languishing waiting for a wash. It’s the result of two evenings of spinning.

I’m calling it sea glass because the soft gentle green reminds me of the glass you can occasionally find washed up on the beach. The colour is really hard to capture, this is the best I could manage.


It’s superfine South African merino that I dyed myself a few several years ago. 19 wraps per inch and 310 metres.

It’s not plied as tightly or as evenly as I would like, but the spinning wheel needs a new drive band. I’ve ordered one and had it sent to a friend’s place in the USA, they will be attending the same conference as me in Hong Kong and I’ll pick it up off them then. Hopefully that will make a difference, right now my ladybug doesn’t like going counter-clockwise to ply.

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Many years ago I dyed some roving. Some of it worked really well and some got felted. The spinning below was from one of the more felted rovings, so a lot of it was unspinnable.

felted roving

I ended up with 101 metres from 57 grams and it’s sport weight, about 12 wraps per inch.

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On Sunday Gorgeous Girl wanted to do all the crafts. We started off by putting some dye in the dye pots. She then went and played outside while they simmered away.

We were pretty pleased with the result. All dyeing was done with food colouring.

dyed yarn group

The pink was done by pouring cochineal on one side of the pot and rose pink on the other. The red and yellow yarn was dyed in the cake. We squirted yellow into the centre of the cake and then filled the pot with water and red food colouring. The green was an attempt to do the same thing with yellow and blue, but some of the yellow spilled and we got this lovely green instead. The tiny bit of green and white was thrown in with the green as a ball of yarn to absorb some of the excess dye in the pot.

After that I got ready to cut more fabric so I could keep working on my quilt, but Gorgeous Girl asked if she could sew instead. We decided to call this top finished.

quilt top 2

Pieced and designed by Gorgeous Girl. My job is to piece together a batting and baste it together with a backing so that she can quilt it. I’m not sure how she’ll go. I’m going to put the walking foot on the machine and let her do the straight line quilting that is very trendy at the moment. I figure if I don’t tell her it’s supposed to be hard she won’t be intimidated. After I took this picture Gorgeous Girl borrowed my camera and did this:

quilt top

Craft blogger in the making? It was then time to start a new quilt top. Gorgeous Girl diligently ironed the fabric so that I could cut it for her (I’m not about to let a 6 year old loose with my rotary cutter).


She then gave me very strict instructions about what length and width to cut. It will be interesting to see where her design goes. Hopefully it won’t be another three months before the urge to sew grabs her.

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Dyeing yarn again

On the weekend Gorgeous Girl asked if we could dye some more yarn. I fished around in the stash (starting to run out of white dyeable yarn) and found this wool/acrylic blend in cream.

We did two batches. First a blue and deep purple.

blue and black yarn

I have to confess that Gorgeous Girl had planned this to be a blue and dark pink. When the pink wasn’t dark enough for her liking I went to add a drop of black food colouring and too much came out. Time to invest in an eyedropper I think.

blue and black yarn 2

Still, I think it works. The purple sections are a bit darker than the photo, almost black.

Next up we dyed some pink and purple yarn. The grape KoolAid turned out a bit darker than we expected, so we over-dyed it with some pink food colouring. I’m calling this Dusky Rose.

dusky rose yarn

Another shot.

dusky rose yarn 2

I think I need to try and find more white or cream wool yarn when I’m in Australia over Christmas so we can continue to play with the dye pots. Perhaps I’ll get lucky and find some unloved yarn in some Op Shops (thrift stores).

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