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Friday, October 21, 2011

Experimenting with Color

After visiting New Hampshire this summer and picking up a braid of incredibly beautifully dyed BFL and Silk, I decided I had to try it (dyeing) myself.

What is a girl to do though if she only has one white sheep (that this year was combined with 40% angora -YUM), and no wool left to dye?

Da ta ta ta!!!  I visited (electronically) Paradise Fibers and bought a pound of BFL (Blue-Faced Leicester) blended with 20% Tussah silk (that's the wild stuff).  I also purchased a few different colors of Country Classics dye to play with.  Now I chose two of the colors because I needed them to dye mohair for Waldorf dolls, and the two blues particularly for this project.

What I had in mind was a blend of light blue, a vibrant turquoise blue and a warm brown.  I mixed up the dyes and was a little on the wimpy timid side and mixed them a little light.  So, my light blue became a very pale winter sky blue and the brown ended up being a taupey gray color.  The brown also wasn't the shade I was looking for- I wanted something a wee bit warmer, but it is the perfect color for a brunette doll when mixed to full strength.

I didn't take any photos of the handpainting the roving process because I had on rubber gloves and well, I was making a mess frankly.  But here is what it looked like after it dried...

The bump in the middle front is what it looks like after drying, the other two I drafted slightly.  Note the incredibly beautful luster/sheen the silk gives the roving.

That darker brown was what I was going for, but when I drafted the roving a bit it diluted.

Closeup of its shiney-ness.

Singles on the bobbin.  This spun up like a dream....smooth and, well, silky.

Here is how it turned out as a two-ply yarn.  Not bad! 

The brown definitely looks grey.

But I think I like it anyway.

I found out that I really enjoy playing with color and already was coming up with more color combinations.  Will have to slowly invest in some dyes to satisfy that craving!  I will be much bolder with the amount of dye I put into the stock solution also.  But, I did get the process down and learned a bunch.

The BFL & Silk combination is incredible.  The roving took dye well, it didn't felt after being soaked, steamed and rinsed, and spun up ever so nice.  It can't ever replace Shetland but I really appreciate its versatility for dyeing.  It is really, really soft too...


  1. It is totally gorgeous!! I love it.

  2. I like it. Subtle color, spun softly. Will be fun yarn to use :-).

  3. Love that yarn - so pretty - great job on the dyeing!

  4. So shiny!Really pretty!
    I`m starting to dye my own wool & mohair now,it`s always fun to see the colors,but I should be measuring & taking notes when I get a color I like,but for now,I`m just happy dumping colors in the pot & seeing what I come up with,phyllis

  5. Lovely colours. Don't mind me commenting on old posts, I'm reading throught the archive.