My first time knitting with my own hand-dyed hand-spun yarn! This is the kind of thing that makes me feel very self-satisfied 🙂

hand-dyed handspun yarn

BFL wool dyed with Kool aid and food colouring drops, spun on my drop spindle, knit on 10mm needles.

It came from this spinning fiber, dyed once with cherry kool aid, then over-dyed with a tiny bit of blue and yellow food colouring:

dyed bfl wool

This is another over-dyed BFL wool top, originally cherry and orange kool aid, then immersed in a dye bath with blue food colouring:

dyed bfl wool

Both of those started as something similar to this one but with more separated and splotchy colours:

dyed bfl wool

I have many of these pink/red bundles of fiber. And to be honest, I feel really ambiguous about a lot of them. Lesson learned: when trying out dyes for the first time, limit myself to small test batches of fiber! A lot of the blue over-dyeing I did recently still hasn’t turned out “dark enough” for me. I keep drying the wool, seeing how much it lightens compared to when it is wet and wanting it to be darker! How many times can I dye this stuff before felting it, I wonder? 😛 I still haven’t tried Wilton’s icing dyes which I have read give a really nice saturated dye. I also want to try applying the dye when the fiber is hotter (like in a crockpot) so that the wool accepts the dye faster and the colours come out more distinct and less muddled.

geranium in a pot

Have a great weekend!

Cool colours of dyed wool, used lemon-lime kool aid and yellow and blue food colouring with vinegar.

kool aid dyed wool

Warm colours of dyed wool (the purple does not show up so well in this photo), used cherry, grape, and orange kool aid.

kool aid dyed wool

Well, I got that basic spectrum of colour down and am now busy playing with the subtleties of the colours. The results of yesterday’s dyeing session were disappointing – a lot of greyish purple and medium pink and orange. This afternoon, I over-dyed pretty much everything with blue and that seems to be the magic solution! Everything is now in the process of becoming teal and blue and green and purple – yay! I will post before and after pics when those are dry.

Last night, I spun up some of the pink BFL wool I had accumulated so much of –

kool aid dyed wool on drop spindle

I have very confused feelings about this shade of pink. I love a really subtle, super-light blush of pink. I also like really vibrant magenta. But, in between is something I’m not sure of. Bubblegum and pepto bismol come to mind. And internal organs!

Speaking of magenta, here is the fleece artist hand-dyed kid mohair single from last post plyed using my drop spindle. It is so soft and shiny and really fun to spin.

kid mohair handspun

On a walk through my neighbourhood this morning I came across this beautiful tulip. I love flowers that have more than one colour on them, especially if they are split down this middle like this one:

half pink tulip

I had a lot of fun with my kool-aid dyeing yesterday, even though I had that limited palette. Most of the yarns I dyed yesterday are still wet, and I think I may re-dye them. SO, here are some of the spinning fibers I dyed.

Milk protein fiber takes the dye really well, it is splotchy here because I didn’t pre-soak the fiber. I used lemon-lime and tropical punch for these:

kool-aid dyed milk fiber

I also dyed BFL roving, and ended up with a lot of this shade of pink. This is BFL wool dyed with cherry and grape:

bfl wool dyed with kool aid

I read a lot about how hard grape Kool Aid is to dye with and it’s true – I got very splotchy results with it. Next time I want purple I think I will dye red and then over-dye blue.

As much fun as the kool-aid was, I needed BLUE. So, I purchased some food-colouring drops. They contain no acid, so to dye with them, you need to add vinegar or citric acid. It was my hope that I could use the leftover K.A. dye water if it had enough acid left in it for these other dyes. In the end, I did have to add vinegar to the blue dye.

Dye Baths of wool with Kool Aid and Food-colouring:

dye baths

That generally worked pretty well. I find blue a very difficult colour to exhaust from the dye baths. The red K.A. also has trouble completely exhausting.

A combination of Kool Aid and food-colouring on wool:

I finally took the fleece artist hand-dyed kid mohair out of my stash and started spinning it on my drop spindle (super shiny!!):

drop spindle kid mohair

For more information on food-safe dyeing knitty.com has some great articles and ravelry.com (ravelry ID required) has a whole group dedicated to Kool-Aid – What a kool way to dye, as well as some groups for dyeing in general – Colour by hand, and Love to dye.

I’m looking forward to sharing the fibers I dyed this afternoon very soon!

Well, I finally dyed some yarn and spinning fiber and I love it!

I could only find these colours of Kool Aid at my supermarket so obviously I had a limited pallette to work with, no yellow or blue. Cherry, orange, lemon-lime, tropical punch, grape.

The tropical punch is not blue at all as the package would suggest, but a dark orange-red.

I used two methods to dye: double-boiling mason jars in a canning pot, and cooking pans of water and yarn in the oven. These are the yarns I am most proud of so far, they were dyed once and then over-dyed with more pink and red:

kool-aid dyed yarn

That pale pink is the best! I just added yarn to a jar of red dye that wouldn’t exhaust and re-heated it. The only trouble is that I can’t yet re-create that shade, I have tried and the yarn didn’t accept the dye for some reason. Oh well, I will try again.

Solar dyeing is something I played around with and it did work to exhaust some of the dyes. More research is definitely needed (and a solar oven!)

I have also spun some tiny sample skeins of the wool-mohair fiber from the last post.

Crab Apple blossoms outside my apartment:

Pictures of dry yarn and fiber tomorrow!

As I said in the last post, I was super-excited to meet a fellow spinner at the Ladyfest craft fair – Kristyn from Pleasurecraft.

I made my big purchase of the day at her booth – braids of her hand-dyed wool mohair blend spinning fiber.

I had never spun a blended spinning fiber before and am enjoying it as I spin some samples of this beautiful stuff with my drop spindle.

I have heard that mohair blends are good for sock yarns, does anyone have thoughts or experiences with this?

I love this wool and am looking forward to experimenting with it.

I’m back from the Ottawa Ladyfest craft fair – Tarts N’ Crafts. It takes place twice annually in fall and spring, so if there are any local readers out there who missed today, keep your eye out for this fair in the fall.

I arrived early in the hopes of finding some spinning fiber and I did! I’ll show photos of the beautifully hand-dyed wool/mohair blend roving I bought in the next post.

I forgot to charge my camera, but managed to take a few pictures of some of the high-lights of the fair before the battery ran out.

The first person I met was Kristyn who is the spinner behind Pleasurecraft on Etsy. What a great name for a craft shop, I love it! She was really sweet and I loved her colourful yarn and spinning fiber, they were super soft and squishy.

Next, I saw a familiar face from high school – Haley. She sells her handmade goods through her Etsy shop, Swing Low Studio.

Her stuffed animal designs are adorable and are made with really beautiful printed fabrics.

Another seller of cute plushies (among other things) was Adrienne from fabricawakuwaku stuffed animal collective. Her work has a great variety of textures and bright colours and she uses a lot of recycled and vintage fabrics.

A big thank you to my buddy Jayda who escorted me to the fair today! Lots of chocolate was consumed and we had a wonderful time 🙂

Yesterday I decided to indulge in some retail therapy at one of my local yarn shops. They carry merino wool sliver hand-dyed by Fleece Artist. I love spinning with this wool, it is so soft and the colours are really vibrant.

spinning fiber

This morning, I admired my new wool and thought about what I am becoming – a small business owner. Yay! I think yarn spun from these braids would be great first items to list on the Etsy shop that I plan to open 🙂

spinning fiber

Fleece Artist does an amazing job with their labels, check out a few from my collection:

fleece artist labels

I love how even though there is no picture of yarn or fiber on the tags the feel of the company comes through because of the great use of colour and the ram logo.