Dyeing Wool – Part #1

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I saw something a while back on how to dye wool in the crock pot…. yes, the crock pot.  Well, I just had to try it.  It read as pretty straight forward and I was pretty sure I remembered all of it so I decided to go for it!

 

This is what I started with. Thankfully I didn’t get rid of my old crock pot when I bought a new one… it will work perfectly if I keep doing this!

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The yarn has to be 100% wool, no cotton or synthetic or anything like that. This is the yarn I chose for my first “experiment” into dying wool myself!

 

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The first thing I had to do was to rewind the wool so that it wasn’t in a tight ball like we get them from the store. I turned a little table we have upside down and used the legs on it to rewind the wool. I was dyeing 2 balls so I did everything twice.

 

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Next I grabbed some plain old worsted wool and tied the wool I just wrapped in about six different places, about 6 – 8 inches apart, just to hold it all together during the process.

 

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I removed it from the table legs and sort of twisted the two balls into a loose roll.

 

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Now I placed the two twisted “rolls” into the crock pot and filled it with water to cover the wool fully, and added 1/2 cup of vinegar.  I recalled reading something about the wool needing some kind of acid in order to accept the colouring. At this point, I also sort of pushed down on the wool in case there was any air in between the threads.

 

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I turned my crock pot on low and let the wool presoak in the water/vinegar solution for about an hour, until the water was good and hot.  Then came the fun part!

It was now time to get the colours ready to go in.  I mixed about 1/2 tsp. of Wilton’s gel food colouring into separate bowls with about 1/2 cup of very hot tap water and mixed it until the gel was all dissolved. I used pink, purple and orange food colouring gel.

 

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When the gel was completely dissolved I poured it into the crock pot where I thought I would want the colours to line up.  (I think I added a bit too much of the colouring and I was really worried about the outcome.)

This is what it looked like.

 

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From there I had to let it “cook” for another 90 minutes until the colouring was totally absorbed into the wool and the water in the crock pot was now clear.

I dumped the whole thing into the sink and rinsed the wool in cold water.  Once it was all rung out, this is what it looked like.

 

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How cool is that?  I was so totally impressed that it took the colour so well!

Next I took it to the laundry room and ran it through the spin cycle on the washing machine to get as much water out as I could and then I hung it outside to fully dry.

 

 

In Dyeing Wool – Part #2, I will be rewinding the wool into a smaller bunch and then I think I will just crochet a toque for someone for next Christmas with it to show how nice the wool looks once it has been used in a project!

Stay tuned……

Sandie

 

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12 thoughts on “Dyeing Wool – Part #1

  1. Your wool dye came out GREAT!
    I used to dye wool for my students when I taught weaving to kids in Kentucky. We used nuts and berries to show the kids the “old ways,” but the kids loved the colors I dyed with….
    Kool Aid!!!!
    Sharkleberry Red was a HIT with the kiddos! 😂😂😂
    Yours is very bright and vibrant- I’m impressed with how well your wool took the dye! 👍

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’re welcome. It was very easy, and effective. The hardest part was the waiting lol! I lucked out, I just bought a new one and almost threw out the old one until I remembered this idea! I hope you have as much fun as I did!

      Liked by 1 person

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