Following on from my success of dyeing yarn with food colouring I was thinking about what to try next. Time has been short for personal projects these last few months and so I haven't yet had the opportunity to make natural dyes but the next step up from food colouring (without too much effort) seemed to be tea.
I found some pithy (as Elizabeth Zimmerman might say) instructions for dyeing yarn with Rooibos (red bush) tea and loved the idea - this is the tea I drink every day and the method seemed quite similarly non-fussy as with the food colouring method.
My rooibos yarn turned out a wonderful caramel shade with some slight colour variations - which I wanted, so that the colour wasn't flat - caused by leaving the tea bags in the dye bath for the whole process.
I'm so pleased with it. It's warm and cheerful - not something easily achieved with a brown shade, I think.
The rooibos yarn is destined to become slippers, hopefully in October - it's already getting so chilly, definitely time to break out those snuggly knits and put the flip flops away ;o) - until then I will have to be content with giving it an appreciative stroke every time I enter my studio!
There are a couple of skeins of the gorgeously soft un-dyed angora/merino yarn left in my etsy shop if you fancy trying your hand at some yarn dyeing and the 100g hanks go a long way, I find (I got mittens and a hat out of the last one).
I think this process is part of my tentative steps toward learning to spin. I'm itching to get my feet wet in the spinning world. The idea of dyeing and spinning my own yarn before knitting and creating with it is so appealing. Spinning (the non-labyrinthitis kind) is going on my list of goals/resolutions for 2014 for sure.
Perhaps, in the meantime, I'll be able to pick up some tips at Yarndale in a couple of weeks.
Do you spin? I'd love to hear about how you got started and what you love most about it.