Sunday, 16 March 2014

Sun came out and so did the dye pots

After the miserable weather of the last two months March is definitely not coming in as a ram, rather more of a lamb! The sun and a gentle breeze encouraged me to get the dyes and pots for session replenishing my yarn stash.

For this I have been concentrating on repeatable colours - the single skeins are all very well but I have loads of one skein colourways, but not enough for a sweater/cardi type project - and there are lots and lots of super patterns on Ravelry.  I need sweater quantities not sock skeins - hence the need for repeatable colours.

Sanquinea, Grasshopper and Damson Jam
These three are just that

Blue Dungarees
And this

But for a sweater I should really dye all the skeins at the same time, that is going to require a larger container!

I have calculated that one skein needs between 3 and 4 litres of water so to dye 5 skeins I am going to need a container that holds at least 20 litres to allow for free movement of the yarn.  What I need is a Baby Burco like the one I had years ago and no longer have!  Why did I get rid of such a useful item - this is where hindsight is a wonderful thing - if I had known all those years ago that I would be dyeing yarn in quantities I would have kept it!

I was looking at tea urns - they come in a variety of sizes, have a simmer feature and seem to be cheaper than the Baby Burco, but will they stand up to dyeing yarn! Need to look into the various options....

Then there were the pinks

Lampre, Sweet Dogwood and Almandine
The one on the right was supposed to be more a raspberry jam colour, but turned out more red than pink - need to adjust the quantities in that one, but other two were just what I expected and wanted!

And this one in a sparkle yarn

Any Old Iron?
Recently I went along to the Gwent Guild's Solar Dyeing Workshop - not to take part (too late for that) but just to sit in!  There I bought some Birch Bark - which according to my books should give a pink colour - really disappointed over this one - not a hint of pink, more a honey colour!

Birch Bark

Mr S says I should stick to what I do best, but I am forever the optimist, one day I will get the colour it says in the book, I will..............


  1. I too have been wondering if I should invest in a larger dye vat especially when using natural dyes as you need such a volume of water. I don't think the tea urns would be big enough? Have looked longingly at those huge catering pots you sometimes see on cooking programmes where they are doing huge amounts of curries or soups. But then they may be too big for my camping gas stove? Oh the worries of a dyer!!! Love the colours you've done too. Happy dyeing.

  2. What we need is one of those huge pots that cannibals used to cook people in! I am lucky that I have solar panels so free electric when the sun shines - so a Baby Burco seems the way to go!


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