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Three Skeins of Yarn November 18, 2006

Posted by lunarawe in dyeing, knitting, knitting socks, yarn.

Just today I had the pleasure of attending Dagmar Klos’ Socks to Dye For class at the Fine Line Creative Arts Center. Dagmar is the author of The Dyer’s Companion, and an absolute delight to work with. You may remember my excitement about this class when I registered, and I am proud to say that not only did I come home with interesting yarn, but my fingernails are still their normal color.

After a fabulous three hours of soaking, painting, wrapping, and steaming yarn I came home with three sodden bundles which had to return to room temperature before I could do anything else with them. I have to admit that I was worried.


My carefully painted “forest floor” colorway (the one on the bottom right) looked like it had run all over itself forming a nice uniform color after I had spent all that time mixing four different shades of green and staggering them with browns.

Finally after about three or four hours the bundles were cool and ready for washing. I took a deep breath, screeched in horror at the nightmare that was our laundry room sink, washed it, then settled down for the next steps in this brand new (to me) process.

An interesting part of my day was working with two different kinds of fibers. All three skeins were Knit Picks bare fingering weight yarn, but two skeins were 75% superwash wool, 25% nylon and the other was 100% merino. I have to admit that my witchy self prefers all natural fibers, but I discovered some interesting things about dyeing wool today.

The wool/nylon blend held color incredibly well. In fact, the yarn seemed to drink all the color up, leaving little to bleed out in the wash water.

The 100% merino however, had a different kind of offering for its washwater.

Its colors also blended together a lot more during the steaming process. You will notice that this colorway is much less bright, and more subtle in general. Part of that has to do with it containing mainly dark greens and browns as opposed to the tones in the first two, but part of it is definitely the yarn.

After the first wash I was pretty pleased to see that the three skeins were pretty distinct. My goal today was to not replicate any color combinations already in The Stash. I think I did pretty well.

Next came the cucumber melon experience. This was strange. I did not really have any great wool wash in my house, and Dagmar suggested I use shampoo since it is less harsh than other detergents. Since I did this in the laundry room downstairs, I borrowed some of my housemate’s shampoo (thank you!).


Note the lovely suds. This at least got rid of some of the less-than-floral dye smell. As you might imagine, there was much rinsing to get rid of all the cucumber melon-ness. I am pretty pleased overall.


I came home saying that I had fun in class but was not sure I needed to be dyeing my own yarn. That said, I fell in love once the soggy bundles came undone and I could actually see the colors.

So now we wait for the drying to be complete. I will post pictures of wound skeins once the yarn is dry enough to put on the swift. In the meantime there is little room left for laundry in the house.

Thanks, Dagmar. Today was fabulous.



1. Anni - November 19, 2006

It Dyeing is so much fun, and your colorways looks great. Thanks for sharing all these pics.

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