Oops! I returned to blogging just to disappear over the weekend! Bad, bad blogger! Well it really wasn't from a lack of trying, that's for sure. The weekend was gorgeous and so a lot of time was spent outside, Brett and the Munchkin participated in the Times Colonist 10k Marathon, and when I wasn't working I was dead tired. Oh, and the best time of the weekend? The yarn dyeing workshop that I took with Ursa from Gaia's Colours! So much fun!
Lately I've been super interested in learning how to dye yarn, especially of the self-striping variety, but don't have the space to do so. That, and I'm sure Brett will go nuts if I take up another hobby! I learned how to do some dyeing in my Textiles Science class in fashion school, but it wasn't extensive enough to really peak my interest. Mind you, back then I wasn't a knitter and the thought of dyeing my own yarn wasn't even a thought.
So when Ursa announced that she was holding another Dye Day you better believe that I jumped at the chance to partake! We got to select amongst her bases which yarns we would like to dye up. I chose 2 sock/fingering weight bases, an MCN blend (merino/cashmere/nylon) and a merino/cashmere/silk blend. I went into the workshop with no idea what I wanted to do colour-wise other than something pink. I didn't even know what dyeing techniques I wanted to try out!
My first attempt, which I lovingly call "Derby":
This was the merino/cashmere/silk blend. I was trying to get a few different shades of pink here with a black, so when it knit up there would be varying pinks with a squiggle of black throughout. I had squirt the dyes on the damp yarn for this round and then did the black last as Ursa had suggested. Sadly the different pinks bled into each other a bit and I didn't dilute the lighter pink enough. I also don't think I "cooked" the dyes in long enough (I got really impatient and I think I was the last person to dye up their first skein). You can kinda see 2 of the different pinks in the photo above.
All skeined up:
I can't wait to knit this up! Too bad I have a million projects on the go...
Next up is a colourway that I started to call "Royal". Only because I was watching and became obsessed with all the news stories about it, the Royal Wedding.
This was actually inspired by Andi, who was inspired by a Wollmeise colourway. This time I put the yarn in a water bath and then had squirt the dye on. I originally had a huge chunk of pink in there but as Ursa had said the turquoise will just take over. Which it did. But I kinda like what I got from the turquoise mixing with the pink. This time I made sure the water was clear before rinsing the yarn. I absolutely love the results!
I think next time (if Ursa does another workshop) I should be more prepared in my colour choices so that I'm not just standing there staring at the jars of dye like a deer in the headlights (then again, it was my first time and I really didn't know what to expect). I think a game plan would be most helpful and I would love to try pre-mixing some of the colours for more customized colours. My goal for this summer is to find some second-hand pots and maybe I can try dyeing up a few skeins while the weather is warm enough to open all the windows and doors and I can dry my yarn outside without worrying that it'll rain!