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.

I call it, my ‘Drunken Cushion Cover’!

So a while back I saw this awesome wine bottle fabric online. Being a bit of a lush it was love at first sight. It was called Cream Bottles, designed by the Victoria and Albert made by David Textiles for their The Grand Tour range:

263So many bottles of wine on the wall! (photo from Fifi’s Fabricology)

It was on sale. I put it in my cart, procrastinated, decided I shouldn’t spend the money and moved on. Over the next little while I kept thinking about that fabric. About how much I would like to make cushion covers for my sofa from it. I finally decided I wanted it and went back to buy it but NO! It had sold out in the meantime. I was resigned to giving up my dream of wine covered cushions…

Until I was scoping out the sale range on my new favourite quilting fabric website Fifi’s Fabricology. What did I see but my Cream Bottles!!! 🙂 The fabric was sold in 25cm units so I snapped up 4 units to make a couple cushion covers. Here is the result:

Drunken Cushion Cover

Fifi’s also has Pink Bottles, same fabric, pink background. Also check out the Pink Birds fabric also by Victoria and Albert – Love! Bought some of that too, but I digress… 😉

I followed a tutorial by Lauren from Guthrie & Ghani. Can you tell I’m a bit obsessed with her tutorials??? 😉 It has an envelope back that I made from the leftovers of the flowery blue and green fabric I used for my Mother’s Day Gifts (post here). It was very straight forward to make and I’m thrilled with the result. My dream of wine bottled cushions has come true. I have cut fabric for a second cushion cover which will feature the plaid blue and green fabric from Mother’s Day as it’s back. I will whip that one up in the next couple days. Then I’ll have to get cushions to fill them with. The cushion in the above pic is actually the green and brown embroidered one I thrifted on my honeymoon inside the cover. 🙂

For now I’m happy to keep it there as seeing all those bottles makes me happy! I can’t stop looking at it! Yay! Wine bottles!