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Dyeing to show you!

I don't pretend to be an expert on dyeing, well I'm clearly not, this is only my second go at it. I just wanted to show you what I did and maybe you will have a go.
Honestly it's ridiculously good fun and soooo easy.
I did a bit of research on the interweb and found loads of useful information particularly 
here and here
And after the success of my Southsea Rock yarn I couldn't wait to have another try.
 You must do it, it's like magic, one of those things that makes you feel elated and contented!
Give it a go, grab your food colourings from the cupboard a bit of vinegar and hey hey, 
you're good to dye!
Oh, you'll also need:
cling film
something to cover the table ( I used bin liners)
a large pot
a trivet or something to rest your yarn on when you steam it
an old towel

First I soaked my roving in lukewarm water for 30 minutes you can leave it for longer it just seems to need a jolly good soak.
My roving weighed 4ozs so I added about 1/4 pint of vinegar to the water, the vinegar makes the dye bind to the fibres and makes it permanent.

Whilst the roving was soaking I mixed up some colours.
Some of my food pastes were dried up but I just added hot water and gave the bottle a shake till the colour came out. I didn't measure how much paste I put in each glass I just dabbed a bit on a piece of kitchen towel to see if I liked the tone! I also added a teaspoon of vinegar to each glass.

It's getting very exciting now isn't it! My Lovely Assistant stuck the bin liners to the table.

After that I lifted the roving out of the water and onto the towel. I gently rolled it up and pressed down to get as much water out as possible.

Then we laid out the cling film, this is definitely a two man job, very tricky to handle that cling film!

Here am I laying the damp roving on the cling film.

Here it is ready for the dye.

No not a drink just me pondering where to start.

I bottled it and used a spoon to spread it onto the top of the roving.

It poured off quite alot.

Anyway we went at it with our different coloured glasses of gorgeousness. At this stage I thought there wasn't enough dye on it.

It looked really patchy and there was lots of white showing.
I have to say I didn't think the results were going to be very good.

Anyway I rolled it up in the cling film and kind of squeezed it around a bit before 
I rolled the whole thing up.
This was done by folding over the short ends first and then rolling it long ways.

Then to the pot, I had a trivet in the bottom of the pot and I rested the roving roll in another trivet.
The water didn't touch the cling film.
I brought the water to a simmering heat.

I simmered for 30 minutes ish. It was very spectacular the cling film puffed right up rather alarmingly i was worried it might all pop and I'd end up with green wool all over the kitchen ceiling!
then I turned the pot off and waited and waited and waited until it was lukewarm.
This took ages and it was so hard to wait, I could see lovely things had happened.
Let me tell you I did a little jig round the kitchen!

Anyhow after what seemed like forever I was able to take it to the sink for the 

That cling film was tight.
I'd already run some water into the bowl, lukewarm again.

Very carefully I wrestled it out of the package.

Ta Dah!
Will you look at that
How gorgeous. 

I couldn't believe my eyes. Lovely Man and I stood gazing at our creation for ages.
It reminded us of a beautiful rockpool, I'm naming it Summer Rockpool
So many pretty colour combinations and not too much white after all.

And not much colour leached out in the rinsing water. I filled the bowl up with lukewarm water again and gently squeezed it out. I did this a few times just to make sure all the excess dye was out.
Then I put it back in the towel rolled it up and pressed the water out of it.
Next I hung it on the line to dry 

Doesn't it look pretty.

It took a day to dry completely,
 such a long time to wait.

It spun up like a dream

And once plyed, well amazing!

So the rest of the week has been spent crocheting my first garment.
Ta dah, Ta dah!

My Summer Rockpool scarf

D'you like?
I wound the ball so that each end of the scarf would be the same shade, clever huh!

I adore the variations of shades and and the fringing just finishes it off nicely.

I can't wait for the weather to turn colder I've been prancing around the house wearing my creation at every opportunity. From fleece to garment by my own hand.
I love my new hobby
love, love, love
spinning and dyeing and creating lovely things.
Makes my heart very happy.
Right I'm spinning some merino yarn now, what colour shall I dye it? What shall I make it into?
Oooooo just don't know.
happy happy me!
Lots of love


  1. Beautiful! Great job!!

  2. Wow, you don't hang about do you Sue? Beautiful work! :) xxx

  3. Hi Sue, amazing post about home dyeing!
    I was wondering if you'd like to be in a piece I'm writing about crocheters selling their lovely creations? It's for Craftseller magazine and I'd only need a minute or two of your time. Please email me on if you'd be interested - no worries if not! Best wishes

  4. Wonderful!
    This is the first time I see how the process goes! Thanks a lot.

  5. I love what you did. Could you tell me what you used to make the colours, and how?

    1. Hi Veronica thanks for your kind comments. Well in answer to your question, the food colours are a make called Sugarflair, they are paste colours and have a good strength to them. I buy them at my local cake decorating shop here in UK. I just used the colours I had, they come in loads of different shades. The magic happened when they mixed themselves in the dyepot! That's all I can say really it was mainly luck how the colours turned out. I'm still a beginner at all this spinning malarky and am conatantly surprised how things turn out LOL!


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Thank you so much for taking the time to read my ramblings and comment on them! I love to read all your thoughts and messages, they really inspire me and encourage me to continue my crafting adventures!

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