Thursday, January 8, 2015

Confessions From The Dye Pot

Today I decided to pull a half yard of wool to do some dyeing.  This past November had another great rug camp with Betsy Reed where she told me of a dye recipe that makes a primitive dirty wool.  Yeah, right down my alley for the antique adaptations. 

The recipe was 1/32 Silver Grey and 2/32 Seal Brown in 1 CBW over half yard of wool.  Easy peasy ~ have dye, have wool.

She went on to say it had been used on Rainbow Squares, and gave the otherwise pastel square wool a worn and soiled look of a well used antique.  Hey, I have some of that; and I had a piece of wool purchased on sale a few years ago at Woolley Fox so would pull out the dye pots.  When I looked at the brown and light plaid had envisioned hooking a checkerboard style border but the light always turned me off so maybe a dirty water bath would help.

Here is what I started with.
Alrighty then ~ being a wise hooker I rinsed my measuring cup first so that the dye particles would attach themselves to the moisture in the 2 cup measurer and put on my mask.  Smart, eh?  Well the mask is old and doesn't fit properly any more but figured it was still wise to prevent inhaling dye particles.

My breath started fogging up my glasses and mask moving when my  head moved.  But grabbed the measuring spoon (double ended ones) and put the dye in the measuring cup with 1 cup boiling water.  Not knowing if I should pour the whole 1 cup in the dye pot decided to put in only half.  The other half could be added later if needed.

The dye was almost dissipated but the wool seemed unchanged so poured the remaining dye in the pot.  Still not a lot of difference and looked at my notes.  HUH?  Remember that old saying "he who hesitates is lost"?  Yeah, well I  must have hesitated to listen to the wisdom of Betsy and didn't write down 1/2 yard as I was going from memory (you kidding, memory at my age???)  So maybe she said 1/4 yard? 

THEN I looked at the dye spoon used.  One end was 1/128, the other end was 1/64.  OMG!!!!!  No wonder there was hardly any headway in color change.  Frankly I don't know which end I used either.  My fogged up tri-focals  and moving mask prevented me from reading properly.  NOTE TO SELF..... pick out dye spoons BEFORE putting on mask.  Perhaps I should have titled my post "Too old to Dye?".  harhar, now that's funny.

Since there is half yard of wool in the pot and not much difference made the recipe again using the proper measuring device.  In addition to what was used before I put in another 5 Tablespoons of the recipe in the pot.  These are the results.  There really is more visible difference in person with the brown/tan than shows up in the picture.
I've several Tablespoons of the recipe left and saved in a small jar marked to use again if there is another wool I'd like to dye.

So there's my confession and I'm sure my 'dye by eye' friend is falling off the chair laughing at me.  Oh, and Betsy too!

Oh well, this enabled me to provide a blog post other than another update on what I'm hooking and wool for an antique adaptation.  Oh my...... ya know what I just thought of!!!!!!!  Those pastel colors would work marvelous in the stems and flora of this antique!!!!!!  Oh my!  And I've something planned for my frame next already.  Oh dear, what to do? 
Have a wonderful evening everyone and hope you got a good chuckle from my confession. 

At least the dye pots put a little heat in the kitchen with these frigid temps.



  1. I tend to mix up things without thinking and have gone too light and sometimes too much. But, if i add too much, I know I can always throw some wool in to soak it up;) I really need to do some dying, realizing I am out of colors for they are hidden somewhere in my mess.


  2. What is CBW? I am sure when you tell me I will feel really silly, but can't think of what you mean. HaHa!
    Thank you,

  3. Anna, I'm not getting my comments into my personal email unfortunately. So unless you come back to read messages here you won't means "1 Cup Boiling Water" and a newbie wouldn't know that so don't worry. There is NO stupid question. I was a newbie too and I'm STILL learning.

  4. Sounds like some of my dye days. Concentration is my problem. Those pastels definitely are made from that wondrous antique....could it be next up after all?

  5. I love your to dye for story. I did silly things like that too but i'm too old to remember, hahaha.

    I used to sing as a cantor in our church years ago. The CBW was the Catholic Book of Worship... So guess what I thought of when I read CBW!!!

    Well at least you warmed up the kitchen and you got that wet sheep smell that I don't mind at all.

    I remember my first dye job. As a matter of fact, I was marrying wool as I didn't had dyes yet. My husband came home from the farm a little perturb, and as he walked into the kitchen, he lifted the pot cover asking what was for supper? lol... What could I say? The kitchen smelled like wet sheep. hahaha.

  6. Thanks for the laugh!
    Hugs :)

  7. Thank you so much for answering my question and being so kind.

  8. This was a great post....I haven't tried dying wool yet....but when I do I will think of this post....too funny !

  9. You crack me up - Too Old to Dye? LOL! Anyway,looks like you ended up with some great wool - more useable than it was before!

  10. That wool will be perfect for your antique adaption. I adore that rug BTW

  11. Betsy is the best! She always shares her knowledge and tips with all.


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