WIP Wednesday: Rediscovering Colour

I finally got to try out a craft that’s been gradually seducing me. The promise of playing with a kaleidoscopic array of colours together with yarn is too hard to resist. I haven’t painted much in the last 8 years, but now I’m learning how to create hand painted yarn in the comfort of my own kitchen.

Hand Painted Yarn Wilton
Clockwise from top left. Inspired by: summer grass and heather (ended up tropical but lovely); Bilberries and heather; Light on the moors; Turquoisey teal just because :)

It all started with ogling the beautifully dyed yarns of my fellow Instagrammers, of professional dyers on Etsy and elsewhere. Hand painted yarn tells a story. Often dyers are inspired by books, characters in TV series, or certain places to create limited edition colourways that sell out fast and which knitters treasure. I fall hard for pretty sock yarn and I found myself being inspired to make my own. It felt like a wonderful way to rediscover my old love of intuitive, abstract painting with colours, and combine it with my newer love of fibre arts!

I started with buying a large quantity of discontinued undyed sock yarn skeins on Ebay, and researching and thinking about what I wanted to dye with. I heard that some food colours are surprisingly brilliant at dyeing yarn, and that the light fastness of the colours could be almost, if not equivilent to, professional acid dyes. I decided to get a set of Wilton Gel Colours- highly concentrated colours which are food safe and very easy to use.

I will be writing more about my hand dyeing experiments as I learn about it- and I’ll be putting up a tutorial once I get to test out my new yarns in sock form :) But for now you can see the fruits of the last week, and their inspirations, in the picture above.

Pink Handspun

Onto the spinning- I havn’t done so much in the last week, but I dug out this blended dyed British wool fibre from Woolyknit in the UK, and just started spinning it up. I really love the brown and pink together and looking forward to how it turns out.

Stroop Stroop Socks

In Sock Madness 9 news, I’ve completed the first sock of the first warm-up pattern: Stroop Stroop Socks by Ros Clarke, and the second sock is well underway! I hope I can get it finished in the next couple of days as I want to get going on the second warm up pattern! The competition proper starts at the beginning of March and is still open for sign ups- you can find all the info in the Sock Madness Forever group on Ravelry.

Take care and Happy Knitting!

Rosie x

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