Hand-Dyeing Fibre

This post was supposed to be written and posted at the beginning of the week, but I woke up on Monday morning feeling really ill…My head hurt, I had a runny nose and I was aching all over..You guessed it, I had the flu. The rest of the week has resulted in my lying on the couch coughing and sneezing very loudly (it’s okay hubby was working and the dogs have been outside so no-one heard me).

I am feeling a bit better now, I still have the runny nose (I look like Rudolph according to hubby) and coughing an awful lot, but the aches and pains have nearly gone.

Soooo, here is the post on hand-dyeing fibre which I have been promising since last year…

As you may remember a few years ago I had a really good offer of some Welsh Ewe fleeces off of a friend of my cousin for a £1 per fleece. I ended up having all 35 fleeces as the farmer said I may as well have the lot. Most of them had to be thrown away as they were too manky to use, but the rest I decided to wash and dye as I could not face spinning sooo much white fibre..

I washed quite a lot of the fleece during the Summer and then back in August/September I decided to have a go a hand-painting the fibre batts. I have never hand-painted fibre, only kettle dyed it in a big pot with some white vinegar so was looking forward to this.

I decided to steam the dyed fibre in a large steamer which I hadn’t used very much and also to use some food colouring and Easter Egg dye along with some white vinegar to set the colour.

I had a lot of fun trying out the Easter Egg dye as I bought it from Dr Oetker online for something like 50p a pack which included the transfers etc (I donated the transfers to a friend of my mum’s for her grandchildern). I dissolved the tablets in some sauce bottles which had a small hole at the top and added a bit of vinegar and water.

I proceeded to lie the fibre batts on some clingfilm and splashed the different dyes all over the fibre. I decided to turn the batt over to make sure that the dye had gone through to the otherside and was surprised to see that it hadn’t so I splashed some more on, wrapped it up and put it in the steamer for 20 minutes.

Once the fibre had cooled a bit I took it out of the clingfilm and rinsed it. There was a lot of water in the clingfilm and the dye had merged into one colour.

I decided to try another batt as I still had some dye stock in the bottles and put a little less on the batt and steamed it again for 20 minutes. Again there was a lot of water and the dye had merged into more or less one colour.

I had another couple of goes and had the same results, so once dry, re-carded them and they looked really good.

The next weekend I tried dyeing with food coluring (again from Dr Oetker) and had more or less the same results.

I have tried dyeing the batts pre-wetted and also dry and both times they came out near enough the same. I have also tried painting just one side of the batt.

Even though the results weren’t as I expected I was still pleased with them…What do you think???

bumbleberry bliss 2

bumbleberry bliss

coral candy twist 2

coral candy twist

crystal dawn 2

crystal dawn

cotton candy 2

cotton candy

grape snowcone 3

grape snowcone 4

fairy mist

fairy mist 2

grape-alicious 2

grapealicious 5

sky high 2

sky high

purple haze 2

purple haze 3

tangerine dreams 2

tangerine dreams

Some of the above batts are still available at my Etsy shop which you can get to via the link on the left hand side of this post.

If you have any suggestions on where I may be going wrong then please let me know, either by commenting below or by PM’ing me either here or on Ravelry (my username on Ravelry is Knitterscarlet).


Happy 1st Birthday!!!

On the 11th of March my gorgeous niece turned 1. It doesn’t feel like a whole year since she was born. She is a truely loving little girl who I adore and would do anything for and I wish I got to see her more often.

Anyway, as it was her 1st birthday and she likes the Teletubbies I decided to knit (yes, knit) all 4 of the Teletubbies. So I searched my stash for the appropriate colours and the colours I didn’t have I bought and I am pleased to introduce Dipsy, Po, Laa Laa and Tinky Winky.



laa laa

tinky winky


I also found the really cute “Baby Mine” pattern the Yarnharlot.

baby mine


So of course I knitted it up. It is a bit big for my niece at the moment, but in a couple of months it will fit her perfectly.



Accessory Knitting and Catch Up

I can’t believe that it has been 6 weeks since I last posted…This year is just flying by and every week I have meant to post but things just seemed to get in the way.

Firstly I would like to thank Melody from “Oh Baby dotcom”for featuring my Etsy shop on her featured-sellers page. I really appreciate you featuring me.

I was going through my blog folder that I keep on my laptop to see what I hadn’t posted about and realised that there was a whole category from 2010 entitled “accessories” that I hadn’t told you about, so here they are.

The first 2 are shawlettes and are both lovely and soft. The first is fancier and would be perfect to put round your shoulders over that little black dress.





This scarf was a lot of fun to make as it was a lot of little knitted shells all sewn up to create the unusual shapes. It was knitted out of sock yarn which makes the colours so variegated.

scallop scarf 3

scallop scarf 4

scallop scarf 5

This is a gorgeous cowl in a lovely lace pattern. The edge of this cowl has little loops which makes it very unique.



One thing I don’t usually knit are bags. I received a pair of bamboo handles as a free gift with a knitting magazine and thought I would knit a cute bag to use them in. I was really pleased with the overall look of this bag.


One thing I do enjoy knitting are socks. These are in a gorgeous blue colour and are lovely and soft to wear.



I still have a lot of knitting to show you that I did in 2010, and will post some more over the next couple of weeks. I have also begun making candles and soaps and will share what I have learnt soon.

In the meantime you can find everything I have put up in this post in my Etsy Shop.