Not a Natural Yarn Dyer!

A Beginner’s Yarn Dyeing Overview

I was recently sent a naked, undyed skein of King Cole merino yarn. (Disclosure: I am a King Cole ambassador; I got the yarn for free but this is not a sponsored post). Receiving the yarn was all the persuasion I needed to have a brief dalliance with yarn dyeing. And I do mean brief. My first time was dyeing with avocado skins a few weeks ago, which I found interesting but getting the right colour was tricky. The second time was with little pots of powdery acid dyes (thanks Sherrie of Ollie & Bella for recommending the dyes). Acid dyeing yarn is a messy affair and I don’t suggest you try it unless you’re willing to destroy your kitchen, clothes, and anything else within a fifteen foot radius. My kitchen is old and tatty, therefore I don’t care about the fact that it now has a rainbow of colours forever tainting my work tops. Bit dodgy for food prep though.

What I’ve done is put together a couple of videos for YouTube. The first was published a couple of weeks ago. You can watch it HERE. It’s the dyeing yarn with avocado video, not “dying”, which is what I’ve accidentally titled the episode. It’s actually a relatively safe process. I pretended it was homeschooling science and got the kids involved. Well, the youngest one helped, the eldest just came into the kitchen in search of the Flap Jacks that were being baked in the oven whilst we did the dyeing. Apart from using high temperatures in the dyeing process, it’s a pretty good project for getting the kids involved.

Recently uploaded is the acid dyeing vid, HERE. It’s a bit longer as the first section of the video is a “show and tell” of the yarn colours that were created. Then the shoddy demo of my attempts follows after. This one is not be so great for the kids (although one of mine watched from a reasonable distance).

The colours that you can achieve with the acid dyes are far more intense. I have a distinct lack of knowledge about the chemistry of colour work and it shows. I didn’t try to experiment with mixing or diluting, just jumped straight into bright primary-ish shades. The results aren’t too bad. They’re not exactly “my” colours but that’s OK. The dye is Landscapes Dyes from Wingham Wool Work, a great recommendation from Sherrie. I wasn’t scared of using it but hard core professionals use loads of safety gear during dye sessions. Gloves and breathing apparatus are strongly recommended. Please do be careful! The particles of the powders can get inside your lungs and the powders also contain other elements that you don’t want to end up in your dinner.

After a quick shout out for advice on my crochet podcast, Becca from Totnes Yarns got in touch and offered some invaluable advice, thank you so much Becca! She Recommended using an old pot for dyeing the yarn, don’t use your best pans. Some of the acid dyes contain chemicals you don’t want to consume. But also, Becca pointed me in the direction of ChemKnits on YouTube. This is a rabbit hole I do not want to go down. This is just a quick fling, not a new hobby!! But if you did want to commit, check it out.

Research was a quick glance at Google, finding blog posts about avocado experiments. For more information about dyeing with avocado I found Woods and Wool to be really thorough. And also Thoresby Cottage. Deffo worth a look. I didn’t google much about acid dyes, I had the advice from Becca, and the Landscapes dyes came with a leaflet full of excellent instructions for both simmering on the hob or blasting in a microwave. You can download guidance on safety from Wingham Wool Work too.

Michelle from Dora Explored also has a blog post about dyeing with every day household stuff. Lots of helpful explanations about processes in that blog post, including info on why you might need to give your wool a bath in vinegar before you dye, and what a mordant is. But I confess to only skim reading certain bits so missed where it said to heat the yarn again after I added speckles onto the already dyed yarn. Might be why I didn’t end up with as many speckles as I hoped. I do realize that the heat is how the yarn fixes the colour, it was just a brief moment of stupidity. The fact that I have no patience is also a reason why the speckles washed out, which you’ll see from the finished results.

Avocado blush

Wool yarn will take on dyes really well. Different fibres react in different ways, which is worth bearing in mind. As well as having the King Cole merino dk to play with, I decided to purchase a few skeins of Regia 4ply merino, another yarn specifically for hand dyeing. It worked a treat with the microwave acid dyeing. I also went digging through my own stash and came up with a mystery mini skein of a sheepy wool, and two silky looking skeins of Teeswater/Wensleydale yarn that were purchased on a holiday in Lancashire a few years ago. Please do read the blog post about that, it’s HERE. It was really quite a treat for a fan of yarn. On a personal level, reading about that holiday demonstrates that I know much more about yarn now than I did then. But judging by my tinkerings with the dyes, I’ve got a long way to go! Still very much an amateur…

Anyway, that’s it really. It’s a vast subject and this experience is barely a toe dipped in avocado blush waters. So much to explore. Have you tried yarn dyeing? What do you think? I bet you’re better at it than me!

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The blue is my favourite. Followed by the red and then the brown. Don’t like the others though!

Z&R Crochet Podcast 60! Bravely Soldiering On

Hello, how are you?! I’m fine. Just squeezing it all and getting in a flap as usual. Episode 60! Sixty episodes of my daft crochet podcast! Who would have thought it?! I am still loving every minute of it though and I hope you enjoy it too! Thank you so much for hanging out with me.

All my vids (both podcasts and tutorials) are HERE on YouTube. Links and pics to things I chat about in this episode are below.

Links:

My designs in Ravelry

Your support on Patreon would be awesome. The link is HERE.

Make some crochet owls with my tutorial on YouTube and the written pattern HERE.

The Mya shawl by Helda Panagary

Must. Make. The. Betty. Boyfriend. Sweater!! It is right up my street! Find the pattern by Talia’s Crochet Creations HERE.

Stitchfest Southwest. A Totnes yarn festival

The Encanto wrap by Crochet Luna

My spider tute is HERE

The Kinesis Sweater by We Are Knitters is coming along nicely!

The Lorax scarf is now only on Ravelry and Lovecrafts. I will work out the Etsy fail soon.

Thanks to  The Secret Yarnery for the Saturday shoutout! x

Don’t forget to find me on Insta

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Mya by Helda Panagary

Owl decorations

Blocking Mya

Knitting!

Encanto by Crochet Luna

Betty Boyfriend sweater by Talia’s Crochet Creations

Sad because of FOMO

x

Z&R Crochet Podcast 59. Le Gasp!

Hello! I hope you’re well!? I really enjoyed putting this episode together, I hope you enjoy watching 😀

As usual, click on the image above to go to Episode 59 of the latest crochet chat, or if you fancy going back to previous episodes or checking out some crochet tutorials, go HERE to my YouTube channel. Ta very much!

In this episode I reveal the name of last episode’s Giveaway and there’s a new Giveaway too!!

If you would like to support me further then ways you can do that are: spreading the word (tell others I’m here!), buying a pattern/s for one of my designs or, if you’re hardcore, signing up to Patreon!

Links and pictures for all things Episode 59 are below…

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Links:

The Claudia Cowl is my latest design release for sale on Ravelry (and soon Lovecrafts and Etsy – keep your eyes peeled). For YouTube viewers, the pattern is free with the code I reveal in the episode. The code is valid until the end of October. I used a skein of 4ply yarn from Doulton Border Leicester, gifted to me by the lovely Claudia of CrochetLuna.

Speaking of Claudia, I have the Encanto wrap to make! Yarn is chosen and ready to go!!

The Sewing Room, Ottery St Mary.

I am working on the Mya shawl by Helda Panagary. I love it!! I’m using yarn from Rusty Ferret and Beehive Yarns.

The Star Cluster Tee. I used the recommended yarn from Hobbii.

The Forest Valley Shawl by Christina Hadderingh

I am knitting the Kinesis Sweater by We are Knitters. I am in love with it but it might be too small….

I have rewritten my old owl pattern because it’s terribly done. I’ll write a blog post for the new version soon but I’ll be keeping the old one available HERE. Go forth and be embarrassed on my behalf!

Anything I’ve missed? Give me a shout. Cheers. x

Claudia Cowl

Owls. Video tutorial coming soon.

The Star Cluster Tee

Kinesis Sweater from We Are Knitters

Forest Valley Shawl

x

Z&R Crochet Podcast 58. Crochet Crime

Episode 58 of my crochet podcast is here! I hope you enjoy it… Don’t forget to enter the Giveaway too…!

Please click on the pic above to go directly to the episode or find the whole YouTube channel Here.

Links:

The Lorax Scarf on Ravelry is HERE. There is a 20% discount until the 15th September. You can read a bit more about it HERE.

If you fancy it, you can support me on Patreon HERE. Ta very much.

HERE is my review of the Dear Ewe products. I forgot to mention in the episode that until next Sunday the 8th September you can get a discount. The code is in the blog post.

The blanket join is from the Redagape casual granny blanket. It’s HERE.

The Kinesis Sweater. Wish me luck!

Yippee Yarn Yay’s Star Cluster Tee.

See below for some pictures of what is in the episode!!

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x

 

 

Z&R Crochet Podcast 57. Jiggery Pokery

Long time no see! How’s it going? I hope you’ve been doing lots of crochet… Lots to talk about in this latest crochet podcast. Please click on the picture above to go to the episode or go to my YouTube Channel HERE. Don’t forget to leave a comment and Like and Subscribe!! Cheers! x

Links and pics below:

For the Granny Cowl featured on the front cover of Mollie Makes, you can now buy it on Ravelry (where there is currently a 20% discount). I have also added it to Etsy HERE and Love Crochet HERE (or is it called Love Crafts now?). No discounts on those platforms though, soz.

There is a 10% discount on Kirk&Roger hooks. Pop over to our Etsy shop HERE.

The Everyday bag by Wool and The Gang.

Star Cluster Tee by Yippee Yarn Yay.

Mayflower Cotton 2 by Hobbii.

Crochet Now Magazine issue 45.

Your Crochet and Knitting magazine is featuring a CAL for my baby blanket.

As you know I often provide free patterns and tutorials as well as the regular podcast. If you would like to support my work further then you can do so by signing up to Patreon. Even a couple of quid would mean the world. Thank you. x

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Issue 103 of Mollie Makes

Crochet Now magazine. issue 45. Bottom left blanket pic is mine!!

Star Cluster Tee. Yippee Yarn Yay.

handmade crochet hooks waiting to be finished off

 

xxx

 

Z&R Crochet Podcast 56. Bag Lady

This one does not bode well. If I can almost fall asleep whilst editing then I really ought to be worried about your ability to keep your eyes open when you watch. Must buck my ideas up for next time!

As always, please click on the pic above to go directly to the episode or go HERE to my YouTube channel. Cheers!

Links:

The blog post about handmade crochet hooks is HERE.

The info, links and videos for the Granny Bag etc is HERE.

Fancy having a read of of a fun interview? Please pop over to Heather’s blog HERE.

My Ravelry store. Or Etsy and Love Crochet, if you prefer.

Supporting me on Patreon is another perfect way of helping with my crochet ventures.

WATG. Wool and the Gang. Or, at the moment, Wool and Le Gang.

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Z&R Crochet Podcast 55. Tidy Tidy Tidy

Welcome to Episode 55!  I’m pleased to say that I’ve been enjoying my crochet over the last couple of weeks.  I do hope you like the episode. As well as WIPs and FOs, I talk about Ravelry and their new policy. Cripes, it was tricky to talk about without getting passionate! I hope I was careful with my words; it really isn’t my area of expertise. I believe it’s important that it’s discussed though, so there was no way I was going to ignore the current issues.

Please go HERE to YouTube for all my videos or click on the pic above to go directly to the episode.

Links:

Knitcraft In the Zone

Free Market bag crochet pattern

Ravelry

RPG.net

Pitch up & Stitch up camping/crochet weekends. Check out Eleonora’s (Coastal Crochet) blog post about the weekend.

Asymmetric Granny Cowl free crochet pattern

Patreon. Your support means everything. I promise free patterns, I promise laughs, but I can’t promise them every other day. xxx

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xxx

Zeens & Roger Crochet Podcast. Episode 53. Ice Queen

It has been such chaos this week but I really wanted to stop by to say hello.  It’s a shorty and I feel like a stuck record but I hope you enjoy it nevertheless. Click on the image above to go directly to the episode or to my YouTube channel HERE. Cheers. x

Not many links this time…

If you would like to support me via Patreon (HERE) then I will love you forever. No tiers or no rewards at the moment because I don’t want to break promises I can’t keep. After I get the current commissions out of the way I can focus more on other patterns and YouTube tutorials for you.

Off I go the the Crochet Sanctuary next week. I plan on reporting back so watch this space!

I’m slowly making progress on Hannah’s Frost shawl. I love it so much. Wish I hadn’t made mistakes on it but I love it regardless.

And I talk a bit about The Fibre Co.  In a few months I’ll be able to show you what I make!

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Thanks so much. See you again in a couple of weeks. xxx

 

Z&R Crochet Podcast. Episode 51. A Local Shop….

Hi! How’s it going? This is a bit of a funny episode in that I don’t show any wips or finished objects! But it’s proof that I can talk for half an hour about crochet related things without showing you anything at all…

As always, click on the pic above to go to the episode or go to YouTube HERE for all the vids.

Links and Pics:

Crochet hooks on Etsy I love every single one!

Zeens & Roger Patreon Now that I’m concentrating less on commissions, I’ll have more time for tutorials! Your support would be amazing! Thank you.

The Crochet Sancturary I’m so excited!!!

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  xxx

Z&R Crochet Podcast 51. Cutting it Fine

Oh my goodness, what a busy few weeks it has been! But I’m back and busting to tell you what I’ve been up to. I hope you can have a catch up with me! 😀  Click on the picture above to go directly to Episode 51 or go HERE to find all my videos. Links and pics below. Thanks ever so much! x

Please go to my Ravelry shop HERE (only if you want to, of course!).  The coupon code for the Ravelry 20% off discount is MAY40 you can use it once, up until the 14th of May.

Links:

Kirk & Roger crochet hooks.

Hinterland

Release the Hounds

Cold Harbour Mill

Folkestone Harbour Yarn

Doulton Border Leicester Yarn

WestWool

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  xxx