Dyeing part 1

I purchased 2 pounds of ecru merino roving for a very nice price. If you haven’t seen 2 pounds of roving all at once, without being braided, you have NO IDEA how much that actually is. I had to use the niddy noddy to measure it all off. I have 5 4oz. braids and 4 3oz. braids. The 3 oz. braids are each being dyed with koolaid to knit the neckline of the bohus style sweater.

I started with yellow.

Looked like this in the pot:


and 3oz. of roving being soaked in hot water awaiting the dye pot


I put the roving in the dye pot:


And WOOSH, the roving first put in the water sucked up all the dye. There was none left for the rest of the roving!

Soaking in a hot water bath after the dye pot:


So you can see how unevenly dyed it was. I used 5 packages koolaid for the first run. I think it would have been OK if I had more water in the dye pot. But I figured spun up it may take on a different hue, and ecru combined with yellow is ok when the base color of the sweater is medium gray with some brown tones. If I don’t like how it spins up, I can over dye it with more yellow after I spin it.

So that brings us to roving #2, which I wanted to make blue.

I decide to use 10 packages koolaid and more water, so that I don’t run into the problem I have with yellow. I pour the packages of blue in the water, and realize that half of them were really a red color. Guess I don’t get blue!


You can see in the second picture that after a bit of simmering, the roving has taken in all the dye and leaves the water a milky cloudy color.

Here it is rinsing in the sink:


Final product before spinning and after drying overnight.   I am VERY happy with the red color, it will spin up very nicely, have some variation in color but it will be subtle and appropriate for colorwork.  I suspect I will have to overdye the yellow once it is spun.


Strangest moment of the experience?  When I was letting the first pot cool I did something completely out of habit borne of making yogurt every week, I stuck my finger in the dye pot to see if it was cool enough and then without thinking about it stuck  my finger in my mouth.  Duh!  Cracked my mom up though.

5 thoughts on “Dyeing part 1

  1. So uh, what flavour was it? 😛 Chica, they completely rock, especially the red! I can’t wait to see them all spun up and to try dyeing myself!

  2. Very nice explanation. I’ve done koolaid dyes with my angora in the microwave.
    Just did my first acid dyes.
    Did you use vinegar with your kooaid?

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