Spindles and Food Colour

I keep finding myself standing around and wanting something for my hands to do.  I think that the solution to this may be to have another go at spindle spinning – so I’ve treated myself to a couple of fairly lightweight spindles.

Now I’m waiting for the spindles to arrive and wondering what I’m going to spin on them.  So, last night I dyed up some Shetland tops using Sugarflair paste colours.  These behave just like acid dyes on wool, but are safe for me to use in the kitchen with the cooking equipment (in our new house I don’t have room for my saucepans, bowls, jars and other utensils I usually use for dyeing).  There are some lovely colours.  I experimented last night with Dusty Pink, Claret and Grape Violet (the dusty pink and grape violet both split slightly – but that just adds some interesting variation to the colours).

I’m finding dyeing with the food colours much more fun than dyeing with proper acid dyes.  I don’t need to take so many precautions about breathing in dust or making sure any spilt powder is thoroughly cleaned up before the children find it.  The colours are in a gel form in the jar (so not so easy to spill) and can be removed with a cocktail stick. In fact – I got so stuck in last night that I forgot to take the precaution of wearing plastic gloves – and dyed my fingers a bright red (fortunately that’s mostly washed off now).

My braids of top cooled overnight and were rinsed this morning and are now drying over the bath: