Friday, May 30, 2014

Not the Sharpest Knife on the Christmas Tree ~

I don't dye wool.  I want to, but the only thing I've ever done is tone down a bit of wool with a black walnut dye that I made.  I have all the supplies - books, some Cushing & Pro Chem dyes, spoons, pots, etc.  Last night I thought I'd give it a try to create some of Saundra's "dirty muddy".  Saundra blogged about it here
I chose these wools.

Since I didn't have all the dye colors she used, I thought just using the khaki drab would be a good choice.  I mixed 1/2 tsp of dye to one cup of boiling water, figuring I'd add about 5-6 tablespoons to the dye pot.  I even made the label for my jar so I'd know what dye was mixed.  I then proceeded to walk over to the stove and dump the entire cup of dye in the pot of water.  It took a few minutes for me to realize what I had done.  Crap!  Even as I was dumping about about 3/4 of the dye mix, I'm thinking I should save it but continued to dispose of it.  I then added more water to the pot.  I also broke what I believe is another cardinal rule of dyeing.  I failed to use rubber gloves and now have a couple of brown cuticles.  
So here is my dye pot in progress.

When the water was almost clear I added a glug of vinegar and let it simmer about 15 minutes more.  By this time, it was past bedtime, so I removed the pot from the burner and let it cool down overnight.
This morning I threw the wool in the washer.  The results are definitely not dirty muddy, but a really wonderful green that all blend well together, nothing like is showing in this picture.  It is much closer to the color in the dye pot.  I guess I can call it a happy mistake.

A couple things I've learned about dyeing ~ don't try to dye when you don't have much time and THINK BEFORE YOU DUMP :)

Thanks so much for stopping by.
Pug hugs :)


  1. Hello Lauren, I love how the wool turned out, great colors, BlessingsvFrancine.

  2. It is a pretty light green. The nice thing is that it is very light and if you don't really need that much of it you can still over dye with something else.
    Dying is changeable until you get to black!

  3. Dyeing is always a bit of an adventure and it has it's rewards. Your wool turned a lovely green, although a bit lighter than you wanted but like Pat said you can still over dye with something else.

    It matters how much wool you have in the pot, the more wool you have in the dye pot, the lighter the wool will be.
    If it's any consolation to you, I learn best by making mistakes and I have made lots.

    Keep at it and you will love dyeing. It feels like opening gifts on Christmas. It's always a surprise to see what comes out of the dye pot.

  4. They came out nicely, most of my dye jobs are in a hurry and I add what I have and experiment, sometimes you get some wonderful colors that way, the bad thing is, you can't reproduce them, lol.


  5. Sometimes some of the best results happen at the "last minute". Good job ! Love your choice of wools.

  6. Beautiful colors, Lauren...I haven't dyed any wool in years or even toned any down. I'm lazy I guess!

  7. Lauren I've never heard that saying in your blog title...LOL! Quite interesting... it has me pondering! I love Khaki Drab and use it a lot. I've found that very same thing that I need to concentrate when dyeing wool... very hard to do around here..LOL! But one good thing with dyeing wool almost everything can still be used to hook with! It seems there is never a color that can't used in a primitive rug! Keep up the great work! You may have started a new love!
    Cathy G

  8. Lauren,
    Good for you for getting in the dye pots! Happy mistakes are how I started my wool dyeing business. I'd take my happy mistakes to the library group I hooked with and the girls would snatch them up and buy them, as no one in my area was dying wool at the time!

  9. At least you tried. I always think that is the hardest part of anything. I love the color you got and the thing I love about dyeing wool is it is always such a pleasant surprise.
    Almost like magic I think.
    I love the colors you got. Now that you did it, it will be come so addicting. When I dye wool, I am in such a happy place. Good for you.

  10. You sweet gal, I've made many mistakes during my limited dyeing experience and have also had some happy mistakes. Had some that weren't so happy at the time but obviously found a great place in a rug at some point.

    BTW, city water and well water create different results (I have well water). Different parts of the US also plays a part in the type water and results. And a rug hooking teacher who dyes a LOT once told me she notices a difference in her wool when there is a drought or lots of rain. So you could always blame it on the water and not you. Hugs.


  11. Don't you like it Lauren? I do, a nice contrast.

  12. I think it is a good start and I have decided to dye more I am paying to much for wool when I have a closet full! Said I after a wool spree!

  13. I have got to be one of the most prepared ones but yet to jump in and dye.. Kinda was slike that with soap making too. Love love you first try and the beautiful results!! And also hearing what you learned! Enjoy your day Lauren!

  14. I use washed mayo jars for left over dye. Lauren any time you dye it's a little bit of a surprise ! Be sure and label left over dye when you dye again . Hugs cheri


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