Sunday, November 30, 2014

Dyeing Wool Worms Without Knots

Most of us have them, some of us have more than others.  I find it very rewarding to use them up but some bright or white don't work in a worn look, particularly a Magdalena style rug.  Well, unless it is red ~ Magdalena used red in (I think) the majority if not all, of her rugs.  Guess those red union suits got used to the very end (pun intended).

While working on Magdalena's Olde Ducks noticed that my light and off white wool strips soon became either pinkish, yellow, bright white... in other words, not to my liking.  Soooo, it was time to pull out the dye pot and select a bunch of mixed wool strips to overdye.

I had a little of the dye recipe "Olde Patina" left from a dye job in readiness of hooking an antique adaptation I call "Cats Meow.  Since it worked so well with wool for that rug figured I'd overdye some worms with the last of the dye.  There was about 2 tablespoons of the recipe left, just enough to maybe dye close to half a yard.  But, it is a little hard to judge how much wool it is when it is reduced to worms.

I saved this mesh bag from my grandson's summer freezer pop treats knowing it would come in handy for a project such as this where it was important to contain the unruly worms.
Below you can see just how white some of my whites were ~ not a pretty sight in a rug if you are doing an aged look. 
The open end was secured.  I used the white clip first but then decided to add the twist as well.
 Here is the wool simmering with just one tablespoon of the recipe.  Since I wasn't sure how much would do the job figured more could be added vs. having it turn out too dark.  And it did need that second tablespoon of dye.
This is an old dryer but love the table that fits inside which allows for the heat flow but the drum doesn't move so the strips don't get tangled.
Next I put a piece of netting on top so no worms would fall thru the holes.  This is the comparison on results from my previous dye job for Cats Meow and the worms dyed today, pretty close I'd say.
The wool looks dark in the photo above, not only what I dyed today but the sample of what I dyed previously.  With dyeing the worms the raw edges of the strips absorb a bit more dye than had it been a half yard solid piece.  If you want to see how it hooked up in "Cats Meow", click on that link and it will take you to my blog post, you'll see it hooks up a mild aged background and I used all of those pieces of wool in the rug that you see stapled to the paper. 
Have a great Sunday evening.


  1. Those came out beautifully and a nice technique to dye and dry them. I use the front loader rack for my pieces too.


  2. Well, I would of never thought to use the dryer rack, even though I have one and use it to dry my sneakers all the time.
    BTW----there was ice under all the raked leaves. Got them all up from the lawn, but still piles in the beds to gather up another day.

  3. What wonders a little dye can do. {{Now for my head to heal so I can do it on my hair.}} Great color!
    Hugs :)

  4. Such a great idea I always feel I am stuck with the color that they are.


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