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!

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

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

Z&R Crochet Podcast 83. Vertigo

Somehow it is November already! I honestly don’t understand. Do you think you’ve managed to get more or less crochet done this year?! To be honest, I haven’t got a clue what’s been going on over the last few months. If you fancy doing some crochet with your feet up, please may I join you? All you have to do is pop over to my YouTube channel and we can have a catch up! If you want you can hit the pic about which is linked to the episode. Cheers!

Before you explore all the fabulous links, don’t forget to enter all the crazy GIVEAWAYS on this episode! I will be drawing winners on the 6th of December so you need to watch before then to be in with a chance. The early bird n all that…

Links:

Keep you eyes peeled for Moorit magazine. At the moment you can follow @mooritmag over on Instagram. This is the brain child of Alyson Chu of the KCACY podcast.

Read more about my Dreckly mittens. I wrote a biiiiiiig blog post all about them. Sharing lots of pics and a silly story too!

Havana Nights has had an update. It now includes a downloadable chart for a baby version.

Wool on the Exe is my LYS. I will share more about a charity project they have worked on very soon.

Check out a conversation between Heather and I about designing crochet for the magazine HERE.

Lulu Loves’ Emma Escott has released a beautiful new book. It’s called Romantic Crochet.

The Color Pop Sweater is a totally innovative design. I have made it very difficult for myself with all the colour changes!

The Crochet Book is available from Amazon. I am in it!

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

These are the original Dreckly mitts
Dreckly

Z&R Crochet Podcast 81. Inspired for Autumn

Hello and welcome to Episode 81 of the Zeens and Roger Crochet Vlogcast! How are you? I hope you enjoy the episode… Not much to link today but I will share some pics so you can get a quick idea of what I talk about.

To watch this crochet extravaganza, please do click on the picture above. This will take you directly to the episode on YouTube. Oorrrr, the whole channel is HERE.

Thank you xxx

Links:

I am enjoying working with John Arbon Textiles Yarnadelic at the moment. I’ll share the project when I’m done!

I have extra good stuff on Patreon if you fancy giving a monthly subscription a try. So far Patrons have received at least one free pattern per month and usually there’s an extra, more focused video too. Not to mention opportunities to name designs and get involved in other ways….

Or, if that’s a bit much, you can buy me a coffee HERE (it’d be tea actually but you know, it’s Ko-fi not Ko-tea)

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Ruffled Feathers appears in issue 128 of Inside Crochet magazine
My Ticking Mitts appear in issue 128 of Inside Crochet
Don’t ask, I just don’t know….

Z&R Crochet Podcast 79. Place Your Bets

Halllooooo! Episode 79 of my crochet podcast is here at last! I’m sure you were desperately waiting! Please see below for pics and links to projects discussed and other related things. To go directly to the episode, please hit the pic above to take you to the episode or go HERE to my YouTube channel. Ta very much. x

Links:

The recent granny market bag blog post is HERE. I talk about the alterations I made to the original pattern, which is linked in the post or you can find it in the Free Patterns page.

Days of Summer is out NOW and there is 20% off until the 31st of August on Ravelry and Etsy. It is also available from LoveCrafts. Read the story about it and its team mates HERE.

Join the Patreon gang! Please pop over and have a look HERE.

Failing that, feel free to buy me a coffee on KO-Fi (although it actually won’t be a coffee cos I don’t like it! – I’m saving up for a new camera so I can record a better quality podcast).

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Thank you xxx

Pattern coming soon. x

xxx

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…

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

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!!

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

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

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

 

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

 

Granny Square Bag. Free Crochet Pattern & Video Tutorial

Only two weeks after the last crochet tutorial (an asymmetric cowl), here are two more! I know, bonkers!  But sorry, I’m flooding you with grannies at the moment, I swear I do have other ideas.

My YouTube channel is HERE.

This tutorial is based on a granny square bag I made a couple of years ago. The original blog post can be found HERE.  There are lots of details in that post that will be super useful. However, it is a slightly different  version. I’ve made this new one a bit less fussy.

There are two videos. The one above is how to put the bag together. The one below is how to make the Join As You Go Grannies. I start by making a granny square and then at the time stamp of 5.25 I begin to join them together.

Please see below for some accompanying pictures…

If you fancy supporting my crochet adventures, I would be utterly and completely full of gratitude. You can do this by supporting me on Patreon. I understand that you can make one off payments as well as signing up monthly, whatever floats your boat. Thanks ever so much!

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

xxx

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

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

xxx

Asymmetric Granny Cowl. Free Crochet Pattern and Tutorial.

It has taken an age but I finally found time to record a new crochet tutorial! Hurray! Thank you for being so patient with me. Video tutorials take a lot of time to put together so it’s very easy to drop it lower on the list when something else pops up. Please click on the picture above to go to the tutorial or HERE to my YouTube channel. Don’t forget my Free Patterns page too, that’s HERE.

If you would like to support my crochet adventures, which would surely melt my ice cold heart, please do so over on Patreon. Fanx!!! xxx

Materials & Notes:

  • One colour: 2x 100g (135m) balls of chunky yarn. I used Stylecraft Alpaca Tweed
  • Stripey version: 3x 100g (135m) balls of chunky yarn
  • 8mm hook
  • Written in UK terms (converting is dead easy, a UK tr is a US dc, that’s it!)
  • 3ch counts as a stitch (st/s)
  • I have a loose tension, go up a hook size if you don’t!
  • Scroll down for a “chart” showing colour changes and a it more info.

Pattern:

Chain 28

Row 1: 1tr in 4th ch from hook, miss 2 sts, *3tr, miss 2 sts; rep from * to the last st, 2tr in last st, turn.

Row 2: 3ch, 3tr in each sp along to end, 1tr in last st, turn.

Row 3: 3ch, 1tr in same st, 3tr in each space along to end, finishing with 2tr in last st, turn.

Row 4 – 24: Rep Rows 2&3 ten times and Row 2 once more.

Row 25 (increase row): 3ch, 2tr in same sp, cont as Row 2 to end.

Row 26: Rep Row 3.

Row 27: Rep Row 2.

Row 28 (increase row): Begin as Row 3, end with 3tr in last st, turn.

Row 29: Rep Row 2.

Row 30:  Rep Row 3.

Row 31 – 45: Alternately rep Rows 25- 27 and Rows 28 – 30.

Row 46 (edging): 3ch, 3tr in each sp along, (3tr, 2ch, 3tr) in corner sp, 3tr in each sp to end. Fasten off leaving a long tail for sewing.

Sew the short piece to the other end of the straight side (see chart below). Add tassels if desired! Voila, one seriously speedy granny cowl.

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Cheers! x