Here at Simply Crochet HQ you may have noticed that we’re just a little bit obsessed with yarn! When we’re not busy bringing you your monthly magazine, we’re fulfilling our fibre fascination! We work hard, and we play hard! So when it came to planning a team day out (along with the teams from The Knitter and Simply Knitting magazines), a yarn dyeing workshop was the perfect activity.
We were invited by the lovely Jeni and Lottie from Fyberspates to come and try our hand at dyeing! You may find it surprising to learn that although we’re all certified yarn-a-holics, we’ve only dabbled in dyeing before. Jeni welcomed us and let us settle in while Lottie prepped the work area. Then we all put on our best messy clothes and rubber gloves, and got ready to splash some colour around.
We were told a little about the science behind it (but not too much, after all, we’re crafters, not chemists), which helped explain the strong smell of vinegar, as it’s used to fix the dye to the wool. We each had a skein of Chester Wool laid in front of us, and with the valuable advice of “there’s no such thing as wrong”, we got painting!
Each of us selected our colour powders, mixed it with water and vinegar, then tentatively added dye to wool. Before we knew it, dye was splashing around everywhere. It was so much fun experimenting with colour and seeing the way the dyes bleed and react with each other.
We also got the chance to try our hand at creating a speckled effect, which is achieved by gently sprinkling tiny amounts of dye onto the wool while it sits in a heated vat. The results can vary wildly, and what you see in the vat comes out looking completely different once it’s dried – what initially looks like a bit of a mess can come out in beautiful gradients!
Everyone came away with skeins of wool that they loved, with our personalities and tastes reflected in the colours and combinations that we chose.
It was such a fun activity and a brilliant day out! One of the great things about dyeing yarn is that it encourages you to use your favourite colours but also how the colours will work with what you want to crochet with it. It’s definitely something we would recommend every crocheter/knitter try at least once!