Dyeing to Spin!

~Fun, colorful times at spinning class! I’ve been doing quite a bit of dying since learning last March; however, I’ve never microwave dyed wool which we did yesterday. Margaret stressed that you should have a dye microwave and not use your food one. You don’t want any poisonous dye contamination.

We started out with the regular dying in a pot. After the water was added, a dollop of vinegar was added. We used Jacquard Acid Dyes in colors Aztec Gold, Kelly Green, Periwinkle, Fushia, and Spruce. Super yum colors together. The pot was heated until just before the liquid boiled.

The best was the microwave dying since I haven’t tried that. It’s so easy! This works well for bits of fiber you’re going to spin.


Jacquard Acid Dyes – make solutions
Glass jars – we used Mason jars
Stick – for pushing down wool

Step 1: Add a bit of fiber to the bottom of a Mason jar. Pour water and then dye solution over the fluff.

Step 2: Pour a bit of vinegar on top.

Step 3:  Use a stick to poke the fiber down into the mixture.

Step 4: Repeat Steps 1 – 3 until jar is almost full. We created layers using different colored dyes.

Step 5: Place in microwave, we left the top uncovered. Heat is needed to set the dye, so the microwave was used as a heat source. To keep the yarn from “exploding” when steam tries to escape, the warming was done in tiny increments:

  • Microwave on medium for 1 minute
  • Cool for one minute, leaving jars in microwave with door shut
  • Repeat about 5 times

Remove jars and allow to cool before removing fiber. Different dyes adhere better at different temperatures.

Step 6: Remove fiber and place on paper towels to drain. Using cold water, rinse the fibers until the water runs clear. Lay out the fiber to dry. Spin! Save and dry the paper towels to use in a paper craft activity.





Finally Finished!

~Finished! The Knitpicks Bare fingerling yarns have been dyed and are ready for my Color Affection shawl. I refuse to purchase another circular needle for this project so I have to finish a WIP.  Unfortunately, the pictures don’t show that both the yellow-orange and red-orange skeins are subtle variegations. I used Jacquard Acid Dyes. The yarn were put into the dye bath dry and twisted, which allowed some areas to soak up more dye than others. Colors used left to right: 1. Sunny Yellow with a smidge of Golden Yellow, 2. Golden Yellow, 3. Golden Yellow with 1/2 the amount of Fire Red.

Life imitates art! After dying my yarn, I picked up this bit of fluff to practice with in class. Look how closely they match. Amazing! You can see the variegation in my yellow-orange yarn better in this picture.

Photo class field trip to Seaport Village, San Diego today! Barb is coming along! Will share pics tomorrow.