Tuesday, 24 November 2015

How to mix dye stock

When I started out dyeing yarn 8 years ago one of the challenges I came across was finding out the very basic first steps like mixing my dye stock solution. I keep it very simple and I'm going to share with you how I mix my dye stock.

I use acid dyes from Dharma, Jacquard and Prochem. 

You will need a 2 cup measuring cup, a spoon for stirring, measuring spoons, gloves and a mask. Make sure these items are designated for dyeing because they will no longer be food safe. 

Put on your mask and gloves and scoop out 1 tsp of dye powder. Make sure not to have any fans on or windows open to minimize the dye powder getting into the air. I didn't do it for the photos but I usually wet my paper towel to help collect any dye particles that get into the air. 

Put the dye powder into your measuring cup first and then add 2 cups of hot water. The hot water will help dissolve the dye, some colors are more stubborn to dissolve. Alternatively you can start by adding a tablespoon of hot water and create a paste before adding the rest of the water. I'm too impatient so I skip making the paste. I use 1 tsp of dye powder to 2 cups of water. You can use more powder but some colors clump up into a gel if they are too concentrated so I found this ratio works well for me.  

Stir, stir, stir until all the dye is dissolved. 

Pour your stock solution into a bottle. I like to recycle water bottles and give them new life as dye stock bottles. Shake them well, label the color and you're done! That's how you mix stock solution. If you're a hobby dyer you can always mix a smaller amount because the solution won't last forever. It will deteriorate over time and need to be rinsed out and a new mix made.

Friday, 8 May 2015

I haven't posted in a long time, still getting the hang of blogging and making time for it. Life is busy around here. We are getting the house ready to sell so we can move into something bigger and hopefully have a studio space for my yarn dyeing. Right now I dye in my kitchen which works for now but I'm really limited to how much yarn I can produce in a day. Especially since I have 2 kids that I need to be making food for so the whole thing gets thoroughly cleaned in between yarn dyeing and food prepping. I'm really looking forward to a new house and hoping we can better accommodate my growing yarn business. :)

In the meantime I have fallen in love with speckle dyed yarn and made that my new thing this spring. It's been a learning process but so much fun and I'm loving the results! Now it's time for the fun part, pictures!!

Thursday, 30 October 2014

Self Striping Sock Yarn

Today I decided to dye some self striping sock yarn! I don't have a warping board so I do it the old fashioned way, winding a huge skein around some chairs :) Since my house isn't that big I can only get my skeins large enough to make a 2 color stripe. I only was able to do 2 of these today because I got dizzy going around and around in circles winding, lol. Here's a pic of the process:

And this is what they will look like when finished. I haven't decided what colors to do yet though. I'm thinking a red and white to make some awesome candy cane socks and not sure what else yet. I don't usually plan ahead, I like to try color combos as I go. :)

Thursday, 16 October 2014

Fiber pics!

It was Thanksgiving weekend here in Canada so we were very busy with family and friends :) We also had a water leak so we spent a day with the water shut off so hubby could fix it. So all in all, I didn't get any dyeing done for several days. The good news is all my fiber that I dyed is dry. Fiber takes longer to dry than yarn and as we're moving into Fall with cooler weather and less sun it's been taking even longer. They all turned out gorgeous though!! If no one snags them from my etsy I may be tempted to keep a braid or two for myself. I am still getting used to my new spinning wheel though so I'm practicing on some older fiber from my stash first. Ok, I know you just want to see the pics, here are the pretties ;) Vivid Yarn Studio





Wednesday, 8 October 2014

All caught up! Time for Fiber :)

I'm all caught up on my customs list and yarn store dying, woohoo! Since I bought my spinning wheel a couple weeks ago I've been itching to dye some fiber. So while I have a little time to dye whatever I want for the shop, you're going to see some of my beautiful colorways on fiber :D So while you wait, here is "Madeline" and "Sundrop" cooking. www.vividyarnstudio.com

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Yarn Store Order! Going to Norway!

So the last month I've been working on an order for a yarn store in Norway Garnbutikken Fortuna 

I'm so excited! I'm part Norwegian so Norway holds a special place in my heart. I hope to visit one day but for now my beautiful yarn gets to make the trip :)

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Colorway swatches! Finally!

I've been dyeing yarn for 6 years now. I have a TON of colorways. I think I have dyeing ADD to go with my knitting ADD. I just have so many ideas I'm constantly dyeing new things. My gallery is stuffed full, you can see all my colorways there https://www.flickr.com/photos/shyviolet/sets/ and I'm constantly adding new stuff. 

So one of my goals has been to add swatches of all my colorways knit up. I finally had an idea and started putting a bit of scrap yarn in with my yarn as I'm dyeing. Then when I'm done I have a perfect little sample of each colorway to knit up! Why didn't I think of this sooner? 



 Dancing Butterflies

Te Amo (I Love You)


Unicorn Meadow