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Archive for 'Dyeing'

Dyeing with Koolaid Tutorial

In the Fall 2009 Issue of Living Crafts we featured an article on dyeing wool yarns with food colorings. Here is link to a great website offering Kool- Aid formulas for mixing 135 shades by combining flavors!

Beautiful! What a great resource for ideas on playing with food grade colorings!

Many thanks to Judith  for passing this on! You can read more about Judith’s explorations with color at

Fiona Duthie

Fiona Duthie is a regular contributor to Living Crafts.

In her studio on Salt Spring Island, BC, she creates in a bountiful beauty of color, wool, and texture, inspired by the natural world. Fiona designs fine feltwork, felting and knitting patterns, gives workshops in natural craft, and runs her hand dyed, artisan fibre company, Kattikloo. You can read more about her fibers, projects and creative living at and on Facebook.

Posted by Fiona Duthie on Apr 4, 2012 10:50 AM | No Comments

From Sunlight to Sweater

Columbia Sheep

Imperial Stock Ranch

My dear friend, Jeanne Carver (Imperial Stock Ranch), has always referred to her wools as “nature’s miracle.”  She speaks of the energy transferrance of sunlight to the grass to the sheep to our finished objects.  We had a number of our handspinning students ask us for a class on the full process of taking a fleece through all it’s processing

and I’ve been to ISR during shearing a number of times so I asked Jeanne if we could use her wool for the project.  She invited our group out to see the shearing and selected the 10 for our project. Back in studio, our group rolled out their “blankets,”  the intact fleece, so that they could pick out all vegetable matter and short cuts.

A Pico Accuardi student picks her fleece

We began our washing process by talking about all the ways you can clean a fleece (some stinkier than others) choosing to scour in our studio washing machine using just Murphy’s Oil Soap.

Everybody dyed their fleece the colors they hoped to see in their sweaters.  I encouraged everyone to dye a larger percentage of their wool the overall color they wanted with a small percent a contrast color and another a deeper shade to get their color to really pop!  Some decided to blend in different fibers, such as our 100% silk, to make it softer and add deeper color interest.

Columbia Wool dyed in three colors

Our next class took place at Andersen fiber works in Gresham.  They are the one place in Portland where you can rent time on the drum carder to blend your own batts.  You

Andersen Fiberworks, downtown Gresham Oregon

can see some of the owner, Jen’s, beauties under the Hanks in the Hood label ( I’m ridiculously addicted to anything with sparkle she makes!).  Everyone took turns putting their dyed locks through the mini picker to remove seeds and then blended their fiber on Jen’s large Duncan carder and began test spinning their fiber.  Did I mention Andersen fiber works serves local beer and wine?

Wine and Chocolate at Andersen Fiberworks

The next piece of the process is going to be spinning to gauge for specific projects for the group.  We just got serious practice at the fleece to foot at sock summit couple of weekends ago- we had to go from sheep to pair of socks in 5 1/2 hours!  Yes, the yarn had to be spun to fingering weight, plied.

I think I’m going to make a pretty simple sweater out of my Lavender-mauvey-grayish fiber.  I”m still deciding about whether or not it should be fully picked and carded or just spun from locks, whether I should , how I want to ply it, etc.  Sometimes it’s fun to just let the fiber tell you what it needs to be.

Stevanie Pico dyes yarn for Pico Accuardi Dyeworks in Portland, OR.  She has also designed colorways for Cascade Yarns, Imperial Stock Ranch Yarns and Autoctona jewelry.  Her work is featured in Chrissy Gardiner’s Indy Socks,  Larissa Brown’s My Grandmother’s Knitting and Judy Becker’s Beyond Toes.

She enjoys rocking out with her three kids, running around with Larissa Brown and Deb Accuardi, playing with yarn and fabric, spinning weird yarns and singing really loud.




Get your own Sheep to Sweater on!

Pico Accuardi Dyeworks is offering a giveaway of 8 oz. of wool roving to start your own project.  Winner may have the roving dyed a custom color.  See below for palette ideas or send a photo  to  To enter drawing for this gift, valued at $32 please leave a comment  by Sunday August 28th midnight pst.  Winner will be announced on Monday.

We Have a Winner!

Mary Whited
Submitted on 2011/08/25 at 2:44 PM
WOW! What gorgeous colors! I don’t know if I could choose if I were to win. I love to dye my roving, I use the Slow Cooker method.

Posted by Stevanie Pico on Aug 25, 2011 06:15 AM | 370 Comments

Natural Egg Dyeing

I really love how Soulemama savors every bit of her resources when dyeing eggs. You go mama!

Posted by Living Crafts on Apr 21, 2011 05:08 AM | 1 Comment

Designing Your Own Wool Fabric – Part I

by Annette Ringeisen

Project Picture

In this project, brought to you by Living Crafts in two parts, Annette Ringeisen, an accomplished fiber artist, and Living Crafts magazine contributor, teaches you how to dye your own wool fabric, needle felt your design, and prepare it for any sewing project you wish. To get to know Annette and her company, Wool Creations, visit

The first part is to dye the fabric with acid dyes, and is sponsored by Jacquard Products, offering a giveaway to die for at the end of this post! Here comes Annette in her own words with Part I:

Here’s my plan:

I’ll start with two yards of woven wool fabric, add a bit of dye and some needle-felting, and end up with a richly colored and beautifully patterned piece that I will sew into a lovely jacket.

I know this won’t be the quickest project I’ve ever dreamed up, and I know that I can sometimes, perhaps, get a little ambitious with an idea and before long find myself knee-deep trying to complete it. As a child I would get big ideas. I’d start them, but then not ever finish the project. But I’ve come a long way since then.

(or so I hope…)

Dyeing the fabric

To start, I’ll need to prepare my fabric by soaking it for 30 minutes in a mix of warm water and a good amount of vinegar. I used 58” Wide Wool Melton Beige Fabric By The Yard by Tuva Textiles often available in fabric stores, but any woven wool fabric will do.  Here’s a close up shot of the fabric before dyeing:

It is important for the fiber to really absorb the liquid so the dye will be taken in easily.

While I wait, I can mix my colors. I’m in the mood for an earthy palate, so I go with yellow, orange, brown, blue, and red.

I follow the directions on the container of the acid dyes from Jacquard Products. Always be sure to use all recommended cautions and follow the directions for best results! Also, as they say on their website, the only acid is the vinegar you use.

I’ve decided to dye my fabric with the low water immersion technique. The outcome is always a bit of a surprise, and I guess I am in the mood for a bit of surprise. I use an old large crock-pot, a perfect fit for all my fabric. Along with the fabric, the warm water and the 2 cups of vinegar, I leave enough space for the dyes to be added. I like to experiment with dye order. Depending on how and in which order the dyes are added, the results can be very different. These pictures show that it can be fun to experiment.

To dye my fabric, I first pour yellow onto one area of the immersed wool and watch it creep along the fabric. The color will be more intense where it first touches and more subdued where the fabric folds. Try to move the fabric as little as possible if you would like more variations of shade, but move it more if you prefer a more uniform saturation. After a few minutes, I add the next color. I have to be patient—my colors will get “dirty” if I add them too soon. When the water is clear, I know my color is absorbed and another color can be added. By the way, as I do all this, my crock-pot is on. The temperature is kept just below boiling, as recommended for the dyes I
am using. This is important for the dyes to set.

Now it is time to let the dye-bath cool down and then to lift out the fabric. I rinse well in water till the water runs clear. I’m eager, but I cannot felt the fabric just yet.

Please stay tuned for Part II on Monday, when you will learn how to design and transfer it onto your fabric. Here’s a peek:


Dye Giveaway Photo

Jacquard Products is sponsoring today’s tutorial, with giving away one complete set, including one each of their 40 colors of acid dyes! This is valued at $175. To enter drawing, please leave a comment on this post by end of the day Monday, January 9th 8:00 p.m. EST.

The winner for this Giveaway by Jacquard Products is Melinda Zinda:

I have always wanted to try dying my own fabrics. The colors are so beautiful. I would love this win!

Posted by Living Crafts on Jan 7, 2011 09:22 PM | 474 Comments

Dyeing Wool Felt with Kool Aid

Hand-dyed felt by Fiona
This tutorial has great step-by-step instructions and resources. Great gift idea too for craftsy friends.

Variegated felt is what I use most when I’m working with felt. Some people call this fairy felt which sounds much better than variegated.

Stay tuned for a step-by-step tutorial from Fiona on how to make your own prefelt!

Posted by Living Crafts on Dec 18, 2010 09:18 PM | No Comments


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