Monthly Archives: April 2009


Happy birthday to me! Today I am 32. 32 = 2^5 (I’m afraid I haven’t worked out how to do general superscripts yet), and powers of 2 are always nice numbers. I think this will be a good year 🙂

Dyeing workshop

There has been lots of dyeing going on round here lately, although not all of it by me. At the March meeting of the Ash knitting group we had a dyeing workshop. Janine led the demonstration of dyeing with Kool Aid, Lisa on dyeing with food colouring (she uses icing dyes) and I did acid dyes.

We set up three big tables in the hall, one for each type of dyeing and Janine made up lots of mini skeins of Wensleydale wool. People started off at the table of their choice, then after finishing one skein, moved around to one of the other tables to try the other sorts of dyeing. I think everyone got a chance to try out each of the types of dyeing if they wanted to, and several people managed multiple skeins.

Here is everyone hard at work. We are very fortunate with the Victoria Halls in Ash since it is a nice big room with plenty of space to get between the tables, and the lighting isn’t bad.


And here is my table of acid dyers. I mixed up all the solutions before the workshop to simplify things a bit. Plastic milk bottles make great containers for dye solutions and you can write on them with marker pen so you don’t forget what is inside 🙂


I loved seeing everyone’s different colour choices and methods of application. What a lot of fantastically creative people we are lucky to have come to the group. Here are some of the skeins drying.


I am looking forward to seeing what everyone makes with their yarns, and hopefully we have given people a little taster of different types of dyeing.

Dyeing fibre

About a month ago I had my first proper go at dyeing fibre. I had dyed a small amount last summer at a workshop, and I managed to accidentally felt a bit so this time I decided it would be safer to try some superwash fibre.


My plan was to dye fibre that I planned to spin into yarn for socks. I started off with superwash Bluefaced Leicester tops. It is nice and soft and I find it not too difficult to spin. I thought the superwash treatment would make for good easy care socks, and also minimise the likelihood of me accidentally felting it while dyeing 🙂

I dyed up 150g of fibre to be on the safe side, especially since my spinning is not that fine yet and so it would probably come out as quite thick sock yarn. I planned to spin a 3 ply yarn, so first split my tops in half, one for each sock. Then split each of these into three, one for each ply. I lined them all up together, then dyed them in sections from one end to the other.

I have started the spinning and have completed the first skein and am part way through spinning the singles for the second. Unfortnately I got a bit tired and impatient with the first skein and made a bit of a pigs ear of the plying, but over all its not bad for an idiot 🙂


It is thicker than a commercial 4ply but thinner than DK and is fairly uniform (oh the wonders of 3ply). I am hoping that the second skein will be better without being too different to the first so that my finished socks will at least look related. This is all so much fun!


Baby surprise jacket

I actually finished the knitting for this back at Christmas, but it has taken ages for me to find buttons I liked. Finally Mummy found some good ones so here is the finished jacket.


I love it, and hope that the new parents-to-be will too, and that it will fit ok. There is still another month to go, but I will be seeing them this week so will ask them whether they would like it now or after the kiddie is born.

As a recap the yarn is 4ply weight, 80% superwash merino, 20% bamboo, dyed by me with Jacquard acid dyes.

I love this pattern so much I have already started doing tension swatches for an adult-sized one for me.