As all knitters know, it's very important to be able to squeeze the yarn, some of you may want to smell it. Although I know you probably don't admit that to many people. So I'm really pleased to have the wool out for people to see it.
What we all love is a feast for the eyes and inspiration and there's plenty of that at cedar farm, including Vintage Fair, Farmers market, artists and crafts people, and a coffee roastery for all your caffeine needs. And then there's my wool if you're passing and fancy a squeeze.
|The Food Shop|
|The Potting Shed|
|Ruth at Wickerfish, where Wickerwool is based|
I thought I would post some info about dyeing with acid dyes. Lots of people ask me about it, and there are very easy ways to begin without having to go to huge expense.
Start of with a steel pan. The pans that I used I got from car boot sales. I didn't find them hard to come across and were relatively cheap at £5. If you can't find a second hand one, George Weil offer a 12 litre stainless steel pot for £45
For quick and easy dyeing, acid dyes are a great way to get started. These dyes are fixed with vinegar so you'll probably be able to get going by just visiting your kitchen cupboard. A small pot of acid dye will cost you around £5, George Weil is a good supplier, as is Art Van go,
For your first attempt, you need to remember to be careful because you are dealing with chemicals, so use your common sense. Put down newspaper, wear gloves to protect your fingers from the dye. Don't use any implements that you would use to cook with and don't cook your tea at the same time as you dye!
Choose your colours, pick just one to start with if you like. You can go into a lot of measuring/ weighing and worrying but we want stress free dyeing for our first attempt so I suggest fill your pot with enough water to cover your yarn, drop in a big glug of vinegar and put your yarn or fibre in. Sprinkle a little dye over your fibre, not too much because you only want enough dye to colour your fibre, not have tons left over in the pot.
Your pot may look like this
Let your dye pot cool and then hang the fibres over the line, you might use a chopstick or two to help you lift it out. When it's dry you can start to spin or felt with it, it really is that easy.
If you have dye left in your pot, don't worry at all, there will probably be enough vinegar left in to fix the dye, so put some more fibres in and give it another go. This leftover dye water is called the exhaust. This second dye will be must paler and totally different than the one you started with.
You really want to throw the dye water away when all the dye is out of the water, then in reduces the impact on the environment. You must throw the dye water into a drain, don't put it down your sink. Although it's a fun thing to do, remember to use your common sense all the way through the process.
At this stage, it's very much suck it and see, so just give it a try and enjoy it. I'm sure you'll love it once you get going and then you can try different ways of dyeing, mixing different colours, etc. This is just to get you going, and I'm sure once you get started you'll be completely addicted. If you have a go, let me see your images and inspire others in the process.