I spent yesterday watching the Inauguration, crying happy tears, and dyeing up some yarn. Why not? Inspiration was there and you have to grab it where you can! A couple days ago I posted some pictures of a newly dyed multi-colored Prineville base yarn and an Instagram friend asked what technique I had used. The blog seemed a great place to show the technique as I dyed up some of our freshly spun Shetland yarn yesterday. I learned this technique from watching a video with Sarah Eyre. It is so interesting watching, listening and learning from to other dyers.
I am using natural yarn (untreated with the superwash process) which adds an extra challenge to dyeing as it doesn't take up the dye as immediately or saturate as easily as treated wools do. I have noticed that with our well water, heat is a crucial factor in dyeing up my wools. The best saturation seems to take place at higher temperature points. So for this technique I placed the yarn in a citric acid/water mixture and brought the temperature up right away, then lowered it a bit for the dyeing process. A high level of citric acid in the water allows the yarn to take up the dye quickly which is necessary for this technique. Time for dye! I like to start with the color I really want to make sure stays in tact which for this yarn was the blue. I sporadically placed it about the 2 skeins of yarn and let it soak in for a minute.
I brought the heat back up and once it appeared most of the dye exhausted (meaning the yarn has pick up the dye so the water is clear) I individually pulled the skeins out of the water for a moment to examine and see if there were spots I'd like to fix. Once I'm happy I let the yarn heat for a few more minutes before turning off the heat.
Last step is to let the water cool completely before pulling the yarn out. Generally I leave it overnight.
So there you have it! These lovelies will be up in our shop on Friday! The multi-colored is called "Almost Eve" on our Shetland base yarn. The solid blue pictured up top is also on the Shetland base and is called "Moment of Silence."
Thank you as always for reading and supporting Ewethful!!! Please stay safe, wear a mask and take care of your fellow humans!
1/21/2021 02:01:28 pm
This is a really interesting technique, and I love your explanation with citric acid, well water, higher temperature, etc. Very very interesting. I like using citric acid more than vinegar because of the smell, but it does take up color more slowly--not necessarily a bad thing.
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I am Kim Biegler, the owner and operator of Ewethful Fiber Farm & Mill, along with my husband Mitch - my steadfast supporter, enabler, grass seed farmer, maintenance guy and all around love of my life! Visit the Mill's website for more about us and well, to shop for fiber of course! ewethfulfiberfarm.com