Tuesday, August 18, 2015

New Technique Tuesday

Hello All,

I'm gonna try something new.  Something that will hopefully help me post to the blog more.  I have a lovely friend Cassie, who is helping us to increase our social media presence.  As those of you who have purchased our stuff know, our yarns ROCK!  Well it seams that the whole world does not know that (yet) and in order for the whole world to know we need to Tweet, FB, Instagram, Blog, Ravelry yadda yadda yadda more.  

Each Tuesday I will  I'm gonna post some pics about what I've learned that past week.  

This week I've tried to copy Malabrigo, not the colors exactly but the way the skeins look.
I'm using a technique that I found on You Tube.  Light Brown Hare was able to give me some insight into the unlimited ways to dye yarn and get different results.  
Check out her video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dAPn2WT4lJg

This is the way Ziggy Stardust (skeins on the bottom) is born.

 Lovely mottling and lots and lots of color interaction.  This is actually a glazing technique with the added surprise of wrapping up the yarns as a resist.  Pretty huh?  The picture can't capture all of the blends.

OK we start with 3 skeins of 400 yards.  For this photo montage I've used my Saunderstown base.  Superwash Merino, Cashmere and nylon, super soft and take the dyes very well.  I've begun to heat the roaster with water and a half tablespoon of citric acid.  The base of Ziggy, like any good baby, is pink.  Not any pink but Pink Orchid. 1 Tablespoon of dye and let the UNWRAPPED skeins swim.  I didn't mix or play with the yarns, I wanted a very mottled base, some lighter and some darker areas.  

This is how they looked loosely wrapped up and ready for the next dyebath.  If I don't want much migration or seepage of the dye I would give the skeins a much tighter twisting.

First bath is Electric Violet.  I let them swim wrapped up and mabie half way thru will roll them around a bit.  Just before the dye has complete exhausted, I gently open the ends up a bit.  I do not open the skein all the way, just try to release any extra tension.

You can tell that the dye mixture will break blue, sucking up the pinky purples first.  The base of the mix is an electric blue and it lends a pale hue to the newly opened skeins. 

You can see after the first bath the pink base, where the purple struck and then the paler blues that happened after opening the skeins up to the un-exhausted dye.

Skeins are drained (and cooled a bit so I can handle them)  then re-skeined loosely, getting ready for the next bath.  Next layer of color is a bright yellow.   The exposed purples begin to turn brown, the blues turn a great green,  and the pinks go orange.  Any yarn that was very pale pink or white are not a bright yellow.  Opened toward the end of the dye, again to get those lighter hues and paler mixes going on.

Even now its a cool looking skein of yarn.  Time to drain, cool, re-skein and get ready for the next bath.

Oooo better picture you can start to see a lot of interaction in the layers of color.

Yum!  If I stopped right now I'd call it "Monet's Water Garden".

Off to our next bath which is PURPLE!  A deep rich royal purple and lots of it.  I wanted this layer dark. To add to the color drama.  So far the colors applied had been in the same tonal family.  I do not open this color as it exhausts, don't ask me why but I didn't and I'm happy about it.

Deep browns and greens, dark eggplant. the greens that were here from the last bath are now beginning to muddy and look earthy.

Last bath is Copper.  A heavy bright orange and chestnut mix.   Sounds a wee bit odd I know but I really wanted the colors to lean darker, dirtyer, earthyer.  My colors tend to be bright and clean and I wanted to work outside of my comfort zone.  

And it worked!  Viola!  Ziggy Stardust is born.

Deep rich multi-layered coloring for a killer variegated skein!  If I do say so myself.  ;)

This is a quick picture of the other skeins in their last bath.  African Safari is not as complex as Ziggy Stardust.  It is just a three color twist dye.  Black, Brown and Gold Ocher.  Opening before the dye exhausts on each color.  

Hope you enjoyed my newest technique, I sure do!  Keep an eye out in the shop, these babies will be going in as a Limited Edition and will not be around for long.  If you would like some of your own Ziggy Stardusts all you have to do is ask.  I LOVE custom orders.

Happy Dyeing,


  1. Wow! I didn't realize that much work went into it! I love the Ziggy!

  2. Crazy amount of time go into dyeing. Some more (Ziggy) than others ;) Wait till you see NEXT Tuesday.!