Return to the Perennials Forum | Post a Follow-Up

Dyed-in-the-Wool (1)

Posted by gardenbug Canada zone 5 (My Page) on
Sat, Nov 11, 06 at 15:42

I want to knit a jacket for my daughter, so went to my neighbour's to buy the wool. Donna raises goats, operates a mill too. So I chose a pattern, bought a skein of wool I liked, and knit a swatch to test the tension of my work. It turned out perfectly.

Donna did not have a sufficient quantity of wool on hand of the same dye lot, so she said she'd brew up a batch for me. I need 10 skeins. She said I could come watch too.

So today I whipped over to her place with camera in hand:

Donna had mixed the dyes before I arrived. They come in a powdered form and are 'weak acid dyes'.

Here you see the dye containers. Squeezing the container fills the measure you see at the top of each jar. It is a dripless system. There are 2 containers of each of three colours, because of the quantity of wool I need. Each container is used once, just in case there is a slight variance in colour.

Saran wrap is spread on a flat surface, a moist skein placed on top of it. Working in thirds, each colour is applied once.
The first third:

The second third done...

Almost finished now!

The wool is then covered in the plastic wrap:

Next, leaving the ends open, the wool is pressed flat from right to left until no raw wool is showing.

Donna then rolls it up, jelly roll style, tucking the last end under a bit:

Following this, the completed bundles are placed in a hot steam bath for 45 minutes.

Donna will be at the Agricultural Winter Fair tomorrow, so next week she will dry and make the wool into skeins again. Then I'll buy needles (mine are too short for this project), rustic wood buttons and get a move on! Christmas is coming!

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Dyed-in-the-Wool (1)


But I want to know why you never bothered to take a picture of "Igor"? all those bottles, all that mixing... there has to be an Igor she keeps hidden who helps her out...


The wool is still encased in the plastic wrap for the steam bath?

RE: Dyed-in-the-Wool (1)

This is very interesting. Thank you 'bug and Donna for allowing us to see portions of how it is done.

RE: Dyed-in-the-Wool (1)

Very very neat! Love the colors. I wish I knitted. I'd love a sweater in those colors.

RE: Dyed-in-the-Wool (1)

Well Chelone, no Igor there! Her husband is an enthusiastic team member though. You can find out more about this mill on their website:
I believe there is a photo of the sheep or goats there.
Yes, the wrap is kept on the wool during the steaming process. The wool is on a low shelf so does not come in direct contact with the water.

Deanne, you could make yourself a scarf, a good way to start. But I wonder if it wouldn't drive a creative lady like you crazy! It is quite repetitive, especially when you are learning. Did you know that sailors used to knit? It was men's work then. Maybe Doug would enjoy it!

RE: Dyed-in-the-Wool (1)

What an interesting process. It looks like quite the place. I've never learned to knit but crocheted quite a lot a number of years ago. There's so much to learn here on the Idylls.

RE: Dyed-in-the-Wool (1)

Thank you! I've often drooled over threads and yarns dyed in such a manor, but I've never seen such a wonderful photo illustration of the process.

'bug, your photography skills are a treasure!


RE: Dyed-in-the-Wool (1)

Thank you all! The garment has been started as of today. Too bad I won't have time to work on it steadily, but I'll try to hurry along!

 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!

Return to the Perennials Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Please review our Rules of Play before posting.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.

Learn more about in-text links on this page here