Thursday, September 10, 2009

Explorations in Hand Dyeing

I'm sure others have experienced the same frustration I am feeling now. I believe this is the reason there are so many hand-dyers out there already. I get ideas in my head of what the yarn should look like and which fiber(s) it should be made of for a specific project, but I cannot find what I am looking for anywhere! I am too finnicky to give up and settle for something close, so I want to at least try to accomplish getting the exact colors I want in the fibers I want.

I fell instantaneously in love with this shawl:

It's such a beautifully feminine shawl, and I loved that someone used Noro Silk Garden yarn to make the modules for the shawl so that they turned out like this:

Isn't that pretty?

In my search for a Noro Silk Garden color scheme that I liked I came across something that at first seemed the perfect fit for this yarn. The outside of the skein had a really pretty light green with a hint of pink starting to show toward the inner of the skein. I thought it perfect for my project; there seemed something victorian and feminine about it. However, upon seeing the same skein on another website it was actually hunter green with red. What a bummer!

So I set off again, looking for a yarn with pretty pinks, greens and cream that had long repeats of the colors instead of short repeats which is common in a lot of sock yarns. Plus I really wanted the yarn to have some silk in it, since silk lends a nice drape and warmth. This yarn has so far proved impossible to find, so I have decided to embark on my own path to dyeing the perfect skein of yarn.

I didn't want to waste a lot of money in buying an expensive mound of bare yarn and screw up the coloring process, so I went to my Hobby Lobby and picked up some cheap versions of common fibers I would use. Here they are:

I Love This Wool - 93% Wool, 7% Polyamide
Patons Silk Bamboo - 70% Bamboo, 30% Silk
Bernat Alpaca - 70% Acrylic, 30% Alpaca

And here are the dyes I picked up:

Sorry, I forgot to take the price tags off before taking the picture!
Kelly Green, Teal, Leaf Green
Creamy Peach, Golden Yellow, Rose Petal

I can't wait to get started!

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