As I mentioned in my post on Sunday, I was having a dyeing session.  I’ve got into a bit of a routine with the dyeing.  I have four large, deep, roasting pans, that I can fit into the oven in pairs.  The first two are perfect, but the second two need to be put in just the right place, or they don’t fit! (I was lucky finding roasting pans at a sensible price, but sadly I wasn’t able to choose four identical ones).

I prepare the first two pans, soaking the wool in the pan (I use a very small amount of washing up liquid in with the water to aid wetting). Once the fibre is thoroughly wet I add the mixed dyes with vinegar.  I cover the pans with foil then put them into the oven.  I put the oven on at 150 degrees Celsius (that’s about 300 degrees Fahrenheit) and allow the wool to cook for 45 minutes to an hour (the exact time will depend upon how much water I’ve put in the pans). While the first batch is cooking, I prepare, soak and add dye to the second batch.  When removing the first batch I check that the dye solution has exhausted (I gently press a teaspoon down onto the wool to scoop a small amount of water up, I’m looking for completely clear water).  On Sunday one pan, which had a lot of water in, wasn’t exhausted, so I returned it to the oven for an additional 10 minutes.  I then put the second batch in the oven and give them about 45 minutes.  I turn the oven off, leaving the pans in there to cool down a bit, before removing them.  Everything is then allowed to cool down overnight. In the morning I drain the wool and gently rinse it out.

On Sunday I had a range of different wools I wanted to try (none of these I’ve spun with before) and I wanted to explore purple (because I’m finding this a hard colour to obtain with the Sugarflair food colours I use).

I dyed Whitefaced Woodland:


Dorset Horn (which is amazingly squishy):




And Corriedale (as you can see, at this point I’d lost interest in exploring purple):


I’ve decided to try and label things this time