Steel {DIY | Hand Dying}

Friday, 17 May 2013

Making the most of my stash... This is something I have been thinking about a lot lately - I need to de-stash 1) my future sewing room is going to be small, so I need to clear space and 2) I will then be able to buy more suited material. There was a time when I was buying quite a lot of yarn, fabric or whatever for projects that never materialised in the end. And bits were part of big projects - some elements got used and some did not. This is the case of this white yarn. I used some of it already for my vintage crochet cushion, but I still have a fair amount left. 

With a baby, white is not exactly practical... and then I saw that Libby managed to hand dye her yarn for Outfit 4 - FINALLY someone told me how I could do it and where to get the dye in the UK! I was ready to go.  


* Don't forget to enter my knitting pattern giveaway here*



First I had to make the ball into a skein and tie it so it would not knot. I think I could have made the skein larger to be honest, it would have been a bit easier. However as you will see later I made the ties too tight - don't! 



Then the dying process... I bought the dye from Tall Yarns 'n Tales. On the basis of Libby's colour, I wanted something a bit darker, so I bought two dye kits: Autumn Sky and Charcoal. I did test it on a very small portion of yarn - the proportions were around 3/4 blue and 1/4 charcoal and it was too light. As I have only one skein, I decided that was enough of a test (I thought I was very good to test it in the first place), and went for it: 2/3 blue and 1/3 charcoal - and hoped for the best... There was blue, there was charcoal, it could not go wrong! 



I had 140g of yarn left, I put 4.5l of water (you will see some guidelines in Libby's post) and quite a bit of dye - it is a bit like my cooking style, a bit of this, a bit of that... As you can imagine I don't have any notes on how much dye I actually used... Sorry. I used a stainless steel pot - that I don't use for cooking. And off we went. I kept the temperature under 80 °C. I bought a cooking thermometer to make sure of it.  



Et voila! I present my first (only) skein of Steel in merino silk! And I love the colour, so I am slightly annoyed I was not more precise, but to be honest I needed a more precise scale for small amounts and I did not have one handy. It is worth having! 



The white skein has been in my stash for a couple of years, Steel is already being used! You can see the white speck showing - that is where I tied the yarn too tightly - it is going to look handmade.. Well that is the look I am going for, isn't it!

13 comments:

  1. That is a gorgeous colour! Well done on your first try. I get the feeling we'll be seeing more dying posts,

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  2. Such a pretty blue! What a great success! Happy dyeing !

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  3. That is a beautiful color. I also have a skein of white yarn that I've had forever - maybe I should try this and then I'll actually use it.

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  4. This has turned out a lovely colour and I quite like the white specks :)

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  5. The white will not mar the look, it just gives it dimension. Love that color!!!

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  6. Oh the white flecks make it pop - I love it!

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  7. it's a lovely colour, and I like the white bits too. Makes it look hand dyed. Which it is. So that's good ;-)

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  8. Nat, this is a beautiful color! Funny enough I am signed up for a yarn dyeing workshop in July! I can't wait!

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  9. So scrummy what a great use of that skein :)

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  10. It looks so scrumptious! In fact, it looks so bouncy I have the urge to pinch its cheeks. :D Don't sweat the flecks of white, though. I think it actually looks rather becoming in this colour.

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  11. How lovely. I would love to experiment with dyeing yarns and fabrics someday.

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  12. The color is lovely and I actually like the little white specks. It will have that high-end homemade look. I've never dyed yarn, but if I could get results like yours I might. :)

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  13. An excellent, success job here!

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