Monday, June 9, 2014

I Wasn't Meant to Dye ~

Next Saturday if all works out I'll be heading to friend Sheila's house to dye wool.  Maybe I'll learn the correct way . . . sigh.  Yesterday I thought I'd try again after my last dyeing fiasco.  I had time so didn't need to feel rushed.  Problem #1 ~ I didn't stir the dye mixture long enough so it was not all dissolved.  Problem #2 ~ I'm a dumb **** sometimes.  All was going well until it was time to add the glug of vinegar.  My vinegar was not under the sink so I figured it had to be in the basement or garage.  Not sure why I thought it might be in the garage since I never use it there.  I go to the garage first since it is closer and see a gallon jug with a vinegar label.  I bring it to the stove and start to add a glug and am wondering why the vinegar is blue.  Well, the light bulb goes off and I realize that the "vinegar" is the vegetation killer I made.  Thankfully it consists of vinegar, Epsom salts and a little Dawn dish detergent (hence the blue color).  Luckily those are the ingredients used in dyeing wool so I did not ruin the wool. 
The color formula, Emma Lou's Putty (old) is from "Antique Colours for Primitive Rugs" by Emma Lou Lais and Barbara Carroll.  I mixed up two pots, one using 4 tablespoons of the dye mixture and the other using 5 tablespoons.  There is not as much difference as anticipated.  The color doesn't look a whole lot like the sample in the book, but I LOVE it.  (Of course, the colors are more muted in person.)
As if I don't have enough to do, Thursday with the Hidden Hills Hookers, I took a wool applique class from Donna of Crows on the Ledge.  The sample was done up in bright colors,
but the majority of us were working with primitive colors.  Here is my progress so far. 
Not too much more to do, but there are a couple overachievers who are already done :)  I had never worked with Valdani pearl cotton before and now I know why everyone raves about it. 
Thanks so much for stopping by.
Pug hugs :)


  1. Well now haven't you been busy! I am going to try to dye wool in the next couple of days I want some special colors for my new pattern and I can not buy any more wool.
    I love your mat great colors

  2. Cool appliqué. Do you like doing it? I've yet to try it

  3. I love that about dyeing wool, I do something not by the book every single time. I couldn't repeat a color to save my life, but I still like trying. I like your colors.
    I also like your vinegar story that made me giggle.
    I love your mat and I love working with Valdani and wool it looks wonderful. Have fun this weekend.

  4. Dying is fun and sometimes mine doesn't come out right, but you can always add more dye, better to have less and add then to do too much.


  5. For some people, dying wool is an exact scientific formula. It comes out the same every time. For the rest of us, not so much....
    Kinda you hope for a color and you get.... something....LOL!
    Your 'something' turned out good!

  6. Oh my ;) sounds like something I would absolutely do. Not ready to try dying. Your appliqué piece is beautiful. Love the rich colors. Have fun at your girlfriends!

  7. I loved your vinegar story, Lauren !
    And, your wool applique flower is beautiful.
    Welcome to the world of Valdani ;)

  8. Wonderful woolie flowers.
    I so need to try valdani :)
    Woolie hugs

  9. That's a gorgeous applique! Keep trying with the dye process... I have a feeling that this third try will be the charm! :-)

  10. Hi Lauren,
    You have me giggling here with your wool vinegar story! So now we know that mixture works to dye wool but does it work on weeds? I've heard mixed results from people on that!
    Yay! You are doing great with dyeing and let me say that even after a few years of dyeing wool here myself much of it is still experimentation! But isn't it fun! Love Valdani threads also! Another addiction... sigh!! Keep on having fun!!
    Cathy G

  11. Good Morning Lauren,
    Your dye story put a smile on my face!! Your dyed wool turned out great despite your mishaps!! I have been dyeing wool for years and sometimes I still don't get what I think I should get, but that is what makes it fun!!

  12. ha,ha,ha, you should save your dye stories and publish them in Rug Hooking Magazine. I especially love today's dye storey.
    I remember my first dye job, I was simmering wool and my husband came home and lifted the cover off the pot and asked "What's for dinner", haha.

    If your colors don't come out like in the book, maybe it's your water. Have fun Saturday. I'm looking forward to seeing some great results.


    1. Oops, I love your appliqué. I've appliquéd quilts but never wool.

  13. I LOVE the colors you chose for your applique! And had to laugh at your wool dye episode as I've had many a 'situation' myself. Your wool turned out nicely tho.


  14. Oh Oh!!! but love the applique colors, Francine.

  15. You sure have been busy! Love the applique!

  16. I loved your story on dying wool ....I am afraid to try that ! I am even afraid to throw my wool in my washing machine !

  17. Lauren,
    You are keeping yourself busy. I have everything to dye wool except the gumption. But it looks like there were 8 swatches in the before picture, but I only count 7 in the after picture.
    The colors for your applique flowers are so vibrant.

  18. Your applique stitches are so nicely done and I love your color choices.

  19. The worst is when oops dyeing comes out so wonderfully perfect but not what you where aiming for because you can never recreate the oops again.

  20. The worst is when oops dyeing comes out so wonderfully perfect but not what you where aiming for because you can never recreate the oops again.

  21. The worst is when oops dyeing comes out so wonderfully perfect but not what you where aiming for because you can never recreate the oops again.

  22. The worst is when oops dyeing comes out so wonderfully perfect but not what you where aiming for because you can never recreate the oops again.

  23. LOL! I have been attempting to dye wool this year. It has all turned out ok to use but not what I expected or was attempting. I am so impatient I had to do two batches of dip dye to get my gradual colors. the first time was just a solid color. If at first you don't succeed try and try again. by the way your appliqué is so pretty.

  24. Your samples looks bright and good!

  25. I've found I always need to use more dye than the Barb/Emma Lou book calls for...maybe because I use too much wool...I only dye for the stash...when trying for a certain color it never works!

    still, worth the effort to dye your own...

    the applique is great...nice colors...and oh no on the's another addiction


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