I just received my catalog from Halcyon Yarn. Actually it’s two catalogs. One has yarns and fibers and one contains equipment. Halcyon has been in business for forty years in Maine. They are dedicated to using environmentally friendly products including yarns that are dyed using ecologically safe dyes. As well as carrying well-known brands of yarn, they carry their own dyes and dyeing equipment. They have their own set of tutorial videos that can be accessed from their website. They also carry fiber for spinning and felting.
The second catalog is full of equipment for knitting, crocheting, spinning, felt making, weaving and other fiber crafts. The catalogs are well done and even if you don’t buy anything they are fun to read. The catalog’s were free. Check them out.
This is the second yarn from the July Phat Fiber sample box. The yarn is “Fairy Princess” by Hello Purl. It is a hand dyed and spun, super wash merino wool plied with a synthetic yarn that gives a shimmer of color to the yarn. I don’t usually like yarns that are thick and thin but I actually like the fabric that this yarn creates. It feels very substantial and I can see myself using it to make a bag of some sort. Perhaps a clutch bag or zippered pouch. They have some really nice bracelets on their Etsy webpage and I can see making them with this beautiful yarn. The yarn looked completely different when it was in the hank than it did when I knit it up. For this swatch I used a garter stitch. I think this highlights the different hues that make up this yarn. If you would like to buy some go to their Etsy webpage. Let me know what you think.
So after dyeing my first skein of yarn (I posted pictures earlier) I knew that I was hooked. Well yesterday my Kool Aid order came from an eBay merchant. I can’t wait to mix them up and see the different colors. Now I have to decide which yarn to use next. Weight, color, fiber, maybe something new. First I’ll plan out a project (my favorite activity) then I will pick out my dye colors and jump in.
I now know that I will infuse my own creations into my repertoire when I can and I will always be looking at ways to improve my dye jobs. Certainly this will add a challenge and some fun to my future projects! How many knitters and crocheters out there dye their own yarn? Have you thought about it?
So after I succumbed to the forces beyond my control, I dyed my fist skein of yarn. I talked about it a few days ago. I used Kool Aid, turmeric, and boiled onion skin liquid. Anyway I think this is an interesting first try and of course since my local supermarket only had the usual cherry, lemonade, fruit punch, grape and orange, I have ordered the more exotic flavors of Kool Aid on eBay and am looking forward to the added colors! Definitely more dyeing to follow.
After some deliberation I dyed my first skein of yarn today. I used Cascade Ecological Wool which is 100% undyed Peruvian highland wool which I purchased from my LYS KnitKnack in Maplewood, N.J. The hank is 250 grams/ 478 yards and worsted weight. The wool is an ecru color as opposed to a true white. I will be posting pictures as soon as the yarn dries.
I used lemonade and orange Kool Aid, boiled onion skins and turmeric as my dyes. I blended one bottle with the onion skin liquid and one with onion skin liquid and powdered turmeric, in the next the lemonade (two packets) and in the last, two packets of orange. I did not measure the amount of water that I put into each mixture. It was rather hit or miss. I purchased plastic bottles that are used to put hair dye on that have squeeze tips.
I tied the yarn in four spots so that it would not become tangled. I soaked the yarn in lukewarm water for about 1/2 hour and then gently pressed out as much of the water as I could. I then lay the yarn on a large piece of plastic and squirted the different dyes over sections of the yarn. I then put the yarn in the oven set at 200 degrees for 20 minutes. I removed the yarn and let it cool. When it was cool I rinsed it with cool water until the water was clear. I then pressed the water out, wrapped the yarn in a towel and then hung it to dry. We will see how it comes out.
First lessons learned. It is very difficult to get the dye through large quantities of yarn with the squeeze method. I didn’t have a lot of onion skin and didn’t boil it very long before turning the flame off. The resulting liquid was like weak tea. It barely stained the yarn. In the future I need to measure the liquid and know how much water is necessary to get the colors that I want. You will see the results in a day or two.