28 September 2012

Dyeing Experiments - A Chance With A Spinning Wheel: Part IV

In this week's spinning class we experimented with rainbow dyeing, in a nutshell it's just cooking the yarn/fibre in a frying pan with just enough water. I say cooking in a loose term, simmering would be more actuate. Of course you need to add dye to the yarn or fibre, we used Landscape Dyes that come in powder form and just sprinkled whatever colours we fancied on top of the yarn/fibre, then you just stand back and watch the transformation take place.
The colours I used were Cyclamin (purple), Citrus (orange) and Sandstone (deep yellow). I had no idea how it would come out, the colours in the pan were quite deep and I was having doubts while watching but once rinsed and dried the colours just took on a new life, it's amazing!

In my excitement I forgot to take photos of the process, I might write a separate post for Rainbow Dyeing at another time with instructions.

I also tried a little KoolAid dyeing in my slow cooker: 
A valuable lesson learnt from this exercise was that do not tie the skein too tightly unless the tie-dyed effect is a desired outcome ... you can see where the tie had been the colour is much lighter, there are actually uncoloured spots if you peel back the top layer. But I'll call it a designer feature, like my thick and think yarn ;)

After last week's lesson I was eager to experiment with mixing different fibres, the skein above is plied with 1 strand of merino and 1 strand of merino/tussah silk blend (first carding by myself). The merino silk blend was so easy to spin, the long staple from the silk makes it easy to spin very think yarn and I just love the luster from the silk. Another experiment I did was combining a silk hankie and a corriedale top, I'm not sure if the little bumps are part and parcel with silk hankies or if I was doing something wrong, but there were quite a few of these in the otherwise very smooth and almost cobweb like strand. Thankfully once plied the little bumps are not very visible.
It's the school holidays here and our teacher is away so there will be no class next week, but that won't stop me from spinning - just as soon as my finger feels better, burnt my right middle finger last night, it's not serious just a bit sore. I might stick to knitting for a few days :)

Thanks for dropping by, there is more fibre arts fun at Wisdom Begins in Wonder. Indulge your creative side and join the party!


  1. The yarns turned out great! Don't worry about where you tied the yarn too tight (we've all done that) because it actually looks really nice knit up.

  2. I remember when I first learned to spin that all of a sudden I felt that a whole new world opened up for me. I can only imagine that dying is the same sort of thing.

  3. Fabulous colours, particularly love the denim blue
    thanks for sharing

  4. I'd love to see the instructions on rainbow dyeing, and I might just try it myself. I have some food coloring hiding in the back of the cabinet.

  5. Your spinning is getting very good-love the colors you used for dying-what color and how much Kool Aid did you use to get such a dark color. Also would like to know how to do the frying pan method of dyeing. Great job!

  6. I'm with Vivian - if you supply the instructions, I might try that dyeing technique too. Love, love, love that last skein!

  7. The last is my fave. Looks like faded denim. Nice job with the spinning. I've heard that silk hankies are a bit difficult.

  8. Hi Cat! Catching up on my reading this morning and I can see I've missed a lot! First, I liked the list of 'things I learned' in last weeks post. I didn't know any of those things either!!
    The dyeing this week looks like so much fun! I've never tried, but it's on my list [for a Year of Projects]! I too would love to see a more detailed rainbow post. The blues came out great! I've never seen Kool-Aid produce such a dark shade. I'd love to hear your tips and tricks on that one too.
    Hope your burn is better soon! We need you in tip-top shape so you can pass on the lessons from your next class!

  9. That's a good point about tying too tightly, I did that when I was dyeing cotton yarn and ended up with a lot of white where it shouldn't have been!
    You've dyed some gorgeous colours there, I'm really loving the last photo of the blue skein.