Ending this weird year with some dyeing

Ending this weird year with some dyeing

So, who’s ready for 2020 to go away? I sure am (although I’m not expecting things to be much different in the first half of 2021… thank goodness for crafting!)

On my last post, I wrote about dyeing a cardigan after knitting it. This time I decided to do the same with a triangular shawl.
It’s a simple pattern, one I use mostly when I feel like doing some very mindless knitting and still end up with something useful to wear.

For the past few months, I’ve been craving the colour green. For those who know me and my 95% black-and-gray wardrobe, this is definitely a weird and unusual occurrence, which I’m blaming on Pandemic Brain. I don’t own a single piece of green clothing, so this shawl seemed like a good way to remedy that.

The wool I had bought for this a project so many months (years?) ago was, no surprise there, gray. The lighter areas are almost white and I felt this would make the colour absorption more interesting.

I chose a mixture of two dyes, one green and the other one more teal blue. I find the two colours together gave me the right amount of hue depth.
Pro tip: sometimes dyes look “flat” on the fibre if used alone; for added depth, add around 25% of a lighter hue (so your dye stock is 75/25) and you should see it “pop” a bit more.

I know the photo shows it as more blue than green, but that’s just my camera.

This dye bath wasn’t very acidic, to allow the fibre more time to absorb the pigment. I also added the dye to the pan before the shawl, and made sure to start with cool water that I then heated slowly (this wool wasn’t superwash treated, so I had to be extra careful).

Once the water was warm enough and the dye had enough time to penetrate the fibre, I added more citric acid and let the whole thing simmer for 15 more minutes, until the water was clear.

As usual, I let the water cool down completely before removing the shawl. Can you see how the darker base colour of the fibre allowed for variegation of the project? I really like that.

And here is the somewhat finished shawl (I haven’t woven in the ends yet). Do we like?

Allow me to finish this year’s last blog post with a little furry homage. Here is Squish, my first ever pet, who lived to be 19. He passed away this March after leading a very full and spoiled life, and I’m very happy I had him in my life! Wasn’t he the most handsome boy?

Happy holidays, whatever/if you celebrate, and let’s all hope 2021 is less weird! Wishing you all creativity, love, and joy. See you next year πŸ™‚

23 thoughts on “Ending this weird year with some dyeing

    1. You’re welcome! This tip has really changed my dyeing, I had some colours I found were “meh,” but once I added a brighter touch it really changed πŸ˜€
      Glad to find another lover of green ^_^

  1. Firstly, sorry to hear Squish has passed away. I don’t know the first thing about cats but I’m guessing that was a good old age he lived to.
    Once again your dyeing was a big success! I was surprised to see such a vibrant colour as the original yarn was quite grey. Thanks for the tip about mixing in a lighter hue, I’m jotting all your tips down for when I eventually do some dyeing myself.
    Happy new year and stay safe.

    1. Thanks, Karen. Squish lived to a very good old age indeed πŸ™‚ He was losing his eyesight, had gone deaf and was always demanding my mum go to sleep at a specific time at night – what a grumpy elderly kitty πŸ˜€

      I’m glad you liked the end result! That green looks very nice under sunshine, can’t wait to take the shawl outside soon.
      If you’ve any questions regarding dyeing I’m happy to help! Happy new year ^_^

  2. Squish looks lovely, and I’m sure he’s sorely missed.
    I too love the colours that have resulted from your dyeing efforts. Great work.

    1. Thanks. Ann. He is missed, but it warms my heart to know he had a very nice and full life. We can’t ask for more! As an aside, I had that very photo turned into a puzzle to gift my mum for Christmas. It was a success πŸ™‚

  3. Oh, we do like the shawl – it’s fabulous!
    (Good pro-tip about dyeing.)

    Losing a pet is hard – we’re glad that you’re able to celebrate the joy that Squish gave you.

    We wish you a healthy 2021!

  4. Gorgeous colour(s), Leonor. I love your dying experiments. Looks like that will be great to wear and, of course, a complete one-off. Sorry to hear about Squish. As you say, though, he lived a full and happy life and was obviously cherished which is everything a happy cat could wish for. Best wishes for a very happy & creative new year.

    1. I’m glad to hear my dyeing is appreciated, I’ve got a few more items to work on πŸ˜€

      Squish was a very spoilt boy and I loved him to bits. I’m sorry he’s gone but I’m happy I got to know him πŸ™‚

      Happy, creative, healthy new year to you too, Lindsay!

  5. Hear, hear on seeing the end of 2020. I’m leaving the doors and windows wide open to see the last of this year for sure. Your shawl is gorgeous. I love how the varieties of value allowed the variations in dyeing. Squish looks like he was a lovely cat and I’m sorry for your loss. I’m glad he had a good long life and giving your mom the puzzle with his photo is a great idea. I will have to remember that idea for future gift ideas.

    1. Yes, 2020 be gone! Let’s hope we don’t end up wishing the same on 2021…

      Thanks, I’m pretty happy with that shawl. This whole dyeing-after-it’s-knitted thing is proving interesting.

      Every furry friend we share our life with is a character, isn’t it? They all leave their mark. Squish was my “gateway drug” into a lifelong love of cats πŸ˜€ The puzzle idea came to me in a flash, it’s a fun idea that I’m sure I’ll use again!

  6. The gift of the photo puzzle will have been much appreciated & will continue to bring entertaining memories flooding back for a long time….so definitely a great homage.

    Colour….cough, splutter!
    Red was unusual before (waistcoat, BTW is it finished yet?) but now green? Me thinks you might have a Covid pandemic side effect!

    Anyhoo it looks fab & I can imagine you wearing it….Zoom maybe!?!

    Your 75/25 tip has been logged but a question – do you just swirl the 25% in gently as if marbling, or is it ‘mixed’ in?

    1. My mum’s already plotting to have the end result framed! Very unlike her, so it was definitely a success πŸ™‚

      Waistcoat is not finished, and I suspect it’ll never be… Turns out the pattern I bought is truly awful. I’ve made some mods to it but it’s still not perfect and I’ve no idea how to tweak it further… maybe the gods will provide some inspiration this year?
      I’ve got the Pandemic side effect big time!

      Yes, Zoom! Let me know when πŸ˜€

      I mix both colours together as a dye stock – you’ll need the brighter colour to go “everywhere” to get rid of the flatness of the darker colour… you can also mix it in the pot!

  7. What a transformation on the colour front. I love it! This year’s resolution is to start experimenting with dye. I have accumulated all I need except the confidence 😢

    Really sorry to hear about Squish. Never easy saying goodbye to our fur babies.

    1. Glad you like it πŸ™‚ Don’t worry about the confidence, that comes with practice! And remember, sheep will continue to grow wool, and anything you hate can be overdyed to make it more interesting. Happy experimenting!

      Thanks. Squish was a lovely cat and I can’t believe it’s almost a year since he’s gone. Time flies…

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