23 January 2018

Time for Me to Dye

I'd hoped to be able to snow dye during our storm last week. I had the day off, and I didn't have a bunch of quilts to finish by a specific time, so I began winding my white crochet thread into hanks and dipping the hanks into boiling water with soda ash to prepare for the marvelous snow for which I hoped.

The snow was shy... less than an inch. I decided it's been too long since I dyed and went to heaven, snow or not, I'm dyeing!

When Lizard came home from work that day, he asked what I was going to make with all the newly dyed thread. I'm sure he wondered why I was dyeing again when I still have quite a bit of thread from my last dyeing day.

Although I still have many unused balls of hand-dyed thread, I'm running out of pink. Again. So pink was one of the focus colors this session.

When I first began dyeing with commercial products, I mixed my own colors using primaries. For the last two or three years, I've picked up a few eye-catching colors, particularly hues being phased out and discontinued. Last year, I started buying a few new colors as they are introduced, such as cornflower, one of my favorite real world colors. I'd yet to try my new cornflower dye or the new kingfisher dye, the latter which would come in pretty handy when I try to crochet a hummingbird. Yes, I've been asked to crochet a hummingbird.

I still have trouble sometimes trying to get dark or intense colors to stick, but that's one of the things that makes dyeing fun... the unexpected.

Typically when I dye with commercial dyes (except for snow-dyeing), I dye in spring, summer or fall, and I use solar heat. Can't do that in winter, so I have to use the microwave and the stove top.

Last time I microwaved cotton thread in winter to set the colors, the cheap black acrylic yarn I used to tie the hanks melted and then even set one hank aflame. So this time, I used cotton thread to tie the cotton yarn hank and cotton yarn to tie the cotton thread hanks. This left me with a bunch of colorful cotton yarn scraps, for which I have a special project in mind!

Last time I solar-dyed, the colors settled to the bottom of the jars as they basked in the warmth of the sun, and the threads came out beautifully gradient. This time, I attempted one hank of gradient yarn and one hank of gradient thread, and all the rest I tried to dye in gradients of the same shades.

After all the threads were dried and ready to wind into balls, I still didn't get some of the darker colors, and two of the hues don't look anything like they should, but I'm happy with the final product. I'm going to have fun crocheting with these new colors! The hummingbird won't be true emerald green - this time - but that just means I'll have to dye again another day.


  1. Sure got quite the new stash indeed. The unexpected can be fun, as you never know what shall show. So many colors and shades and everything out there for one to experiment with.

    1. I haven’t used up all the thread yet, Pat, but I’m ready to dye again!!!

  2. "Dye again another day" - isn't that the title of a James Bond movie? (If not, it should be!)

    I'm glad you got your dyeing wish fulfilled, even without snow. ;)

    1. Ha ha ha!!! Sue, you took the words right out of my mouth!!! Dye again another day!!! PERFECT!!! Dyeing wish... oh, man, that was great!!!


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