Adventures in Dying

Hi everyone - and despite the title I am doing ok!

Following my last rather inner facing post, I have been trying to get over yet more medical setbacks and insurance woes - but you know life has to go on and whilst I would rather not jump over the seemingly endless set of hurdles I get put in front of me - I am able to still jump over them!  Might take me two or three attempts but I still have the energy to make the leap - so I must be ok!

Anyway...... I am really keen at the moment to take the time I have now to learn some more skills - and learning new skills is good for the brain (more about that in my next post!).

So..... I have been spending time on You Tube learning to dye yarn!  Its something I have wanted to do for a very long time and have either not had the time or had no clue where to start.

A little while ago I had made a feeble attempt to dye some lace weight yarn with Koolaid and to be honest the colour was a little 'washed out' so I had thrown the two skeins to the back of the cupboard and declared them a failure!

A few trips to Spinneys (our version of Waitrose) for some Wiltons food colouring and another trip to Daiso (fabulous Japanese store where honestly you did not know you needed the things they have - or even that they existed, but you need them so badly...) where everything is 7AED (that used to be £1 - but the £ has fallen so much against the AED now that its technically a 'Pound and a Bit' store now!) to stock up on utensils - and I was set!

Lots of goodies in my kit now!


So my first foray into Hand Dying was going to be using the microwave and I set about following the instructions to the letter:

1.  Prepare work surface with plenty of cling wrap!

Its all in the Prep!


2.  Lay insipid pink yarn on the cling wrap! This had been soaked in citric acid first rather than vinegar as there is no smell - over here in the Middle East its called Lemon Salt!

Fresh from the Acid bath - this insipid colour had to go!


3.  Have fun with the colours!  I mixed up a few different shades of pink and blue - but of course I was putting that onto already pink yarn so the colours took on a life of their own - and you know I loved that - just like playing with colours as a kid - you never know what you are going to get!

Think I've got it all covered here!


4.  I wrapped up the yarn like a huge German sausage and set about putting it into the microwave

Lunch anyone?


5.  once the yarn was 'cooked' I carefully got it out and so happy that I had created a colour way which was perfect for our family Football Team - West Ham United!



6.  Even happier when I wound the skein into a ball that the colours had come out beautifully and I have named the colour way 'Farewell Boleyn' - which I don't expect you to understand unless you are a 'Hammer', but the club is moving away from its original stadium in Boleyn Road to be housed in what was the Olympic Stadium for London 2012 - and its kind of a big deal!




A couple of days later I attacked the other skein and this time I used some of the Acid Dyes I got from Knit Picks and tried to do a little bit of speckling, but I had a bit of a heavy hand and it was more 'blobby' than 'speckle'.  But again the yarn wound into some pretty cakes, and this is going to end up being my first crochet shawl and my holiday project when we are off to Singapore and Malaysia later in the summer!

Just call me Mr Blobby




I'm not sure I am the next big thing in Indie Dying but I loved this process and will definitely dye up some more.
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