Hand Dyed Yarn for Newbies: Solids

Hello and welcome to my new blog series entitled ‘Hand Dyed Yarn for Newbies’!

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Three different types of hand dyed yarn: semi-solid, variegated and tonal. Yarns pictured are from MyMuddlings Yarns: ‘Be Still My Beating Heart’, ‘Winterfell’ and ‘Wisteria Arbour’

Now, this series has nothing specific about how to dye yarn. I will touch on how things are done but it’s more about helping you initially to know what each type of hand dyed yarn is and then to select patterns that go with various types of hand dyed yarn. This series will be helpful for newbie yarn crafters but also established crafters who have never used hand dyed yarns before.

Every dyer has their own style, the way they use colour and of course their favourite colours, but the base types of dye method usually stay the same, and they can be combined to give different effects. Today’s post is about solids.

Solids

Now this is the most simple of all the dye methods. It can be done with just one dye colour, or a combination to get a new colour but basically it gives a single all over colour. The fantastic Nicole over at Hue Loco has an amazing collection called ‘Fly’ that are a range of solid colours and they’re beautiful:

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Hue Loco Fly Collection ‘Drift’

The way to achieve this ‘solid’ all over colour is to use a high water level immersion method where you’ve already added your premixed dye to the pot to create your dye bath. (The reason I use the apostrophes around the word solid is because hand dyed yarn will never truly be totally solid. You can get pretty close but due to the nature of the process, i.e. human hands are doing the work, you will likely get a small amount of variation in your skein.) The point at which you add your acid can change the overall evenness of the colour and sometimes salt is used to slow the uptake of the dye and that will affect it too. Personally, if I’m dyeing a solid, I prefer to have the yarn circulating in the dye bath for a few minutes so the dye can touch all parts of the skein before it is locked to the yarn with the acid (and heat). The reason for the high water level is so there’s plenty of space for the yarn to float about, and you’re more likely to get an even, all over colour.

For me, I don’t really dye many (if any) solids, or purchase hand dyed solids because I think most times you can find a cheaper, commercial alternative. Of course the exception to this would be if you’re using a semi-solid, tonal or variegated yarn from a hand dyer but want a coordinating solid skein to match. This is why Nicole of Hue Loco has made her Fly Collection. The are a range of specially curated colours to coordinate with her other yarns and they work brilliantly.

So, I hope you’ve enjoyed this first instalment in my Hand Dyed Yarn for Newbies series. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions. 🙂 Do you like working with hand dyed solids? Let me know in the comments.

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