Yarn dyeing with Vikki

A couple of months ago, I got a new job and the amount of leave I carried over from last year, plus accrued leave, meant I had a couple of weeks between finishing at one university and starting at another.  So I invited myself up to one of my favourite English cities to stay at Vikki's.

Her son taught me all about Robot Wars and dinosaurs (although I'm not sure I understand the former very much at all) and her daughter offered to make me a pizza (or was it a cake? I can't remember!) that would be ready 'in two hours' although as far as I know it's still cooking in her play kitchen (or was when I last asked, about a fortnight after I left).  We had a wander round the Botanic Gardens and went for lunch with Elise.

We also did some yarn dyeing.  I've wanted to do this for ages, but don't have any of the equipment or indeed the knowledge required to do such a thing.  Vikki, however, does (or did once she'd done an early morning trip to get a few last minute things!). 

Yarn dyeing is not a quick activity.  It took us pretty much all day, as things need soaking and simmering and drying.

Step 1: soak.  Can't remember what was in this bowl with the yarn.  See, this is why I needed to do it with Vikki!

Step 2: always wear safety equipment.  These masks may have been a tad OTT, but we definitely didn't breathe in anything dangerous wearing these!  A particularly good look.

Step 3: decide how you're putting the yarn and the dye together.  The dye colours were mixed according to the instructions and then I went for the approach of 'put dye on spoon and drop on to the yarn'.  Vikki went for the approach of filling a saucepan and then putting the yarn in that.  I am sure there were other ingredients in the saucepan, but I can't remember.  The liquid was very pretty, anyway.

This was on the same day as #photoanhour and our IG accounts mirrored each other for several hours that day!

Step 4: Dry.  Once I was happy that I'd finished dyeing the yarn blank was rinsed and squashed in a towel before being hung up in the kitchen to dry.  There was eventually quite a lot of yarn hanging on various handles and hooks in Vikki's kitchen!

So we had dyed a sock blank each and had a few mini skeins to go.  Well, they were mini skeins once Vikki had wound and reskeined a much longer skein!  We went for a different technique this time, putting yarn in the dye and then adding extra speckly bits.  I am sure that's the technical term.

Step 5: admire!  I was heading home the next day, so I left the yarn behind to finish drying before being caked and posted down to me. 

I am so happy with how it all came out - I wasn't aiming for anything in particular, other than colours I like, and so I wasn't really going to be disappointed!  It was a fun day (although long) and now I just need to decide what I'm going to turn this yarn into.  The mini skeins are going to be sock heels, toes and cuffs and the sock blank is probably going to be a shawl.  Then when people see it, and ask if I made it, I can say yes, and I dyed it too!

Thank you, Vikki, for having me and playing with me!  And can you ask your daughter if my pizza/cake is ready yet?  I'm getting hungry!


  1. That looks great fun, I love the colours you chose!

  2. I love the colours of these! I also particularly enjoyed your super stylish look whilst dying the yarn :)

    1. Super stylish is the look I aim for every day, but I only achieve it on rare occasions such as these!

    2. Hello! Thanks for coming to visit, I had a great time, and it forced me to actually dye the yarn I had... I've just checked and your cake still isn't ready. I'm not going to trust J to bake anything proper in the near future...


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