One of the easiest ways to jazz up your leftover wool yarn is to overdye it. Even if you never do any other dye project, you will want to try this one. It is easy and fool proof, and you won’t believe how beautiful the results will be.
Take the Box ‘O Crayons rug (above). I had put together an assortment of yarns for my book Joy of Hooking (With Yarn!), in every type and texture I could find, to show the huge variety of yarns available that make great rugs. When I finished photographing this multi-colored bundle of yarns, it seemed a shame to just put all the skeins back on the shelf. So I decided to make Box ‘O Crayons.
Well, as you might imagine, I ended up with approximately 80 balls of leftover yarn. Rather than make skeins out of each one (and then have to cross-tie each one so it wouldn’t get tangled in the process), I wrapped them on my niddy noddy one after another. When I came to the end of one ball, I just tied it to the beginning of the next ball, and kept going until I had several very large, multi-colored skeins to dye. There was no rhyme or reason as to which color went with which, I just wrapped them randomly.
I separated the skeins into three groups and put them into three very light dyebaths; Mountain Aqua, Key Lime and Very Hot Pink. I ended up with yarn that was lightly overdyed, not too much, so the yarns all looked distinct from one another, but just enough to make them look like they “matched.” With my new set of colors, I hooked Crown of Thorns.
Well, don’t you know, I ended up with a lot of leftover yarn. So I wrapped up all my leftovers into skeins, just like I did before, but this time, I dropped them all into a light Mahogany dyebath. I then separated my overdyed yarns into piles of light, medium and dark, and hooked the background for Cozy Rose. I used the lighter samples for the inner background, the medium colored skeins for the middle background, and the darker skeins for the outside border.
But, you guessed it, I still had leftovers! Back to the niddy noddy, all the leftover yarns from Cozy Rose got wrapped up and overdyed with Royal Blue, giving me a whole bunch of blue/purple colors to work with. I used them to make the penny background for Haleema.
So when you look at Haleema, you are looking at yarn that has been overdyed at least three times (more if the original yarn was dyed or overdyed!). Each time, I ended up with a completely different color palette to work with.
There’s really no risk to using this dye method. As long as your dyebath is light enough, even if you don’t like the way it turned out, you can keep on overdyeing it until you get what you want!
Now for the newsy stuff: October is a busy month. I’ll be at the Schafer Medows Fiber Festival in Elma, WA Oct. 9-11, then Fiber Fusion in Monroe, Oct. 17-18, and the Best of the Northwest in Seattle, Oct. 23-25. If you’re in the area, come on by!
Don’t forget that for every $50.00 you spend at Little House Rugs between now and November 25, you will be entered to win the Victorian Santa!
The blog subscriber special is a new kit that I designed for a class that I taught at Oregon Flock and Fiber last month. It features all cotton yarn, which shows that you don’t have to use only 100% wool yarn in your rugs. You can order the kit for 20% off during the month of October at http://hstrial-jtaylor9.homestead.com/blog-special-october-2015.html