Sunday, April 23, 2006

Lesson One: Dyeing Wool with Cats

This is the hank that I wound from the "Bendigo-Knitting Mill-back room" machine washable 4ply. It was sold really cheaply because it had two ends! I thought to myself that two ends can't be too bad, so I bought it and some more. I wound two threads of 4ply white, machine-wash pure wool on my niddy-noddy.

I worked out that each full wrap of the niddy-noddy was 150cm. So I wound it 120 times. Most sock wool is 130-160 m a sock-ball so,... I reckoned that after dyeing and rewinding, which can lose up to 25%, but usually about 12%, I would have enough in each ball to knit a sock.

I took the white wool from a ball onto the niddy-noddy to do this and counted the times I wound it through one full wind. You can see the anxious look on my face as DH takes the pic and I try to remember where I was.

I ended up with a hank made from a ball of double ended wool. This means that I can make a pair of matching socks because two strands will be put through the same dyeing process.

All I want to know now is...How do I separate the two strands when all is done? Any ideas out there on how to separate two twin-strand-dyed wool.
I'll have to do something soon because as you can see FatKitty has already taken to kitty-nesting in the next hank of wool to be dealt with next.


  • Good morning Gillian! I love when kitties decide to make what you're doing "important" by sitting on it. My first experiment with dyeing was on New Year's Eve. I wasn't very scientific or thoughtful as you though. I'll try posting a link, but I don't know if it will work. My color and yarn choices ended up being a nightmare (mohair with clown colors), but all in all, it was a good learning experience. From everything that you've shown you have impeccable taste and your colors will lovely.

    By Blogger Heide, At 7:12 AM  

  • Thankyou Heide, impeccable taste sometimes but clumsy fingers for sure. No wonder my post took so long to publish, I'd obviously loaded the pics twice!
    Cheers Gillian

    By Blogger ferg, At 3:57 PM  

  • Hello Gillian. Thanks for your comment. I could not find your e-mail address on your website. Maybe I just could not find it. It would be good to meet up one day and have a chat. You look like you know what your doing with dyeing wool.


    By Blogger sue, At 4:44 PM  

  • Hell Sue. I'm at
    cheers Gillian

    By Blogger ferg, At 7:24 PM  

  • You did a great dye job with FatKitty, love the black and white colourway. ;) What colours are going to be in the sock wool?

    I don't think there is going to be an easy way to separate your wool, though. Dualling wool winders on opposite sides of the swift?

    By Blogger Taphophile, At 3:15 PM  

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