You go home and you cry and you want to dye

Apologies but I think every post about dyeing from now on will involve some appalling Smiths pun. In Jamaica I bought a load of kool-aid, a disgusting substance which can be used to make a drink. No right minded person actually drinks this stuff do they? Kool-aid can be used to dye yarn and that's why I wanted it. There are lots of great tutorials about how to dye with kool-aid so I won't repeat them. It's fun, cheap and easy. The colours are limited so it's not really a solution if you want to do lots of dyeing but it's fun if you want to give dyeing a try without spending lots. I dyed a small skein of alpaca yarn I spun, some blue faced leicester fibre and some silk hankies. I used pretty much the same dye on each of them but they all turned out a bit different due to the different fibres.

Here's how the BFL fibre and the alpaca yarn turned out. They didn't felt and the colours came out well so that's good I suppose. The only problem is I don't really like the colour so much. It reminds me of a Wibbly Wobbly Wonder Ice Cream. Maybe in spring I'll get an attack of the pastels and make something from them but usually I'm not a pastels person. The alpaca might make a cute crochet flower though so maybe it will get used. I'm really pleased with my new photography set-up though. The colours of the yarn come out really well with it.
When I first started spinning I bought 100g of silk hankies. I didn't get round to spinning them as I didn't have a light spindle and I always had half a notion that I'd dye them so they wouldn't be so boring to spin. I find spinning something that is all one color harder work than spinning something coloured. I dyed some of the silk hankies as part of my kool-aid experiment and they turned out well as silk takes up dye really well. As it turns out spinning silk hankies is really easy. You draft them out before you spin them.

The very pretty spindle you see there is part of my christmas present. It's a stone whorl spindle from Zebisis Designs, it's small and light weighing only 23g. The stone is beautiful Botswana agate. It spins really quickly and so it's perfect for spinning silk which likes lots of twist. The silk hankies are really easy to spin, the yarn comes out soft and shiny.

I ordered two spindles from Zebisis but when I opened my package there were three spindles inside. I thought there was a mistake for a minute but it turns out the third was a bonus christmas present. So thanks a million to Zebisis for that. The first one pictured below is Amazonite and weighs 36g. The second one is orange turquoise and weighs 33g. The stone whorls are really pretty and match well with the carved wooden shafts. Very pretty.
The fibre that the spindles are reclining on are batts from Laura Hogan's Etsy shop. These beauties made up the rest of my christmas present. I think batts are my very favourite type of fibre, they're lovely to look at, have great colours and blends of fibre and spin up really well. Laura Hogan is an Irish etsy seller and her order arrived at light speed. Her batts are fabulous, she obviously has a great eye for colour. The one is the first picture is a halloween themed batt called trick or treat, I love the fun colours in this. The one in the second photo is Betsy Doodles a gorgeous blue/grey mix of merino and shetland wool.  


It never ceases to amaze me how great the members of Ravelry are and as if to prove my point many of the groups there are fund raising for the people of Haiti. Lots of designers have also decided to donate a portion of their profits from pattern sales (Rav Link) to charities helping in Haiti. I bought some patterns I'd been meaning to buy, it's a win win, I get a pattern I wanted and money goes to Haiti. Irish designers (that I know of) donating include Aoibhe of Thread Bear and Carol Feller of Stolen Stitches. I got Centrique from Stolen Stitches and Rasta Kitty and Oxidise from Thread Bear. I also got Whimsical little knits 2 and Ishbel by Ysolda, both of which I had been meaning to get for ages. I hope people don't think I'm being preachy here or anything. You don't have to donate or anything, I just thought I'd mention it as it's a very good cause.

6 Responses to "You go home and you cry and you want to dye" (Leave A Comment)

julie says
January 24, 2010 at 6:18 AM

Must resist urge to try spinning... the stuff is just so pretty though! And your photos look great too :)

Leigh says
January 24, 2010 at 7:46 AM

Congrats, laura - you've won my 'best title for a post this year' award! Wonderful punning (and anything involving The Smiths gets my vote!!)

Unknown says
January 24, 2010 at 9:13 AM

I really enjoyed this- you are quite talented! I love the colors and wish that I could buy the end product...a pretty scarf perhaps?

Sinéad says
January 24, 2010 at 9:22 AM

One thing I like about dyeing with Kool Aid is that the yarn smells really frutiy afterwards!

Iamreddave says
January 25, 2010 at 1:22 AM

I think those pictures a brilliant. The new studio thing really makes the yarn look even better.

Bionic Laura says
January 28, 2010 at 2:07 PM

Thanks everyone for the comments. And Leigh yes it's a terrible pun but it's the Smiths so that makes it ok.

@julie High praise about the photos indeed! Thanks. I'm trying to get better at photographing this stuff.