Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Dyeing to Go South…!

Well our Snowbirding PLANS have changed!  We have bumped up our departure day to December 11th…rather than our usual date of December 29th! The kids are all scattered this Christmas so we thought we might as well scatter too!!  Why sit at home looking at a decorated tree…wondering WHY we are sitting here in the rain and cold when we could be down south in THE SUN and THE SAND!

So that gives me exactly three weeks to prepare for our travels…sew what do I do first? Why I get out my dye pot of course!

I NEED yellow/gold wool for a project that I want to finish off while in Desert Hot Springs…I only need a small piece of yellow wool… but no one sells wool around here so I dye my own!

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I know this looks BAD…Breaking Bad’s Walt White has nothing to worry about…the ‘white stuff’ in the plastic bag is citric acid (vinegar works fine too).  It helps to set the colour.

I’m using Cushing’s Perfection Dyes..I have three shades of yellow…Lemon, Old Gold and Gold.

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These are my ‘dyeing wools’…neutrals with a bit of checks for texture…I wish I had bought bigger pieces! (I always say this!!)…I got these off the bolt from Melvina (Hollyhock Hills) and they are GORGEOUS!!!  Her prices are the cheapest by far ($19.50 a yard!!)  and they are the SAME wools that you would pay BIG buck for from the other wool dealers!!  Check her out…you won’t be sorry!!

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Nice hey…this last piece of wool is a bit wrinkled…but that happens to the best of us!! :o(

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So I cut off small pieces…and wet them (they have already been washed).

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Got my three dye pots going…lemon (left pot), gold (right top) and Old Gold (bottom right).

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Plunked in my wee bits of wool…and simmered!! Ahhh the smell of wool…music to my nose!!   It was about this time that Hubby came into the kitchen…wondering what wonderful concoction I was whipping up for dinner?  Dinner??!…I told him to go over to Janna’s house!!  :o)

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Yikes…the Gold was too orange…so that wool got transferred quickly to the Old Gold pot which was too brown…Lemon Yellow was too pale…so off it went to Old Gold!!  Then all three pots got combine…ahhh… just right!!  ‘Gold’ilocks was HAPPY!!

Then off to the sink all the wool went for a wash and a rinse…and then off to the clothes dryer!

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I also tried Rit Liquid Dye…which I bought at WalMart in Palm Springs last winter.  The colour was tan…

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Simmer…simmer…I ended up adding the whole bottle but that’s OK because this stuff is cheap!!


Now my camera flash makes this look WAY lighter but this mottled dark brown will make a wonderful background piece…LOVE IT!!


Yup…I will definitely be buying more RIT!!!  WalMart here I come!!  (I’m not sure if WalMart carries it in Canada?  It’s worth a check..)


And here are my small pieces of yellows…like the brown wool, the flash of the camera makes these colours look brighter and lighter than the actual are…


I LOVE this one…Can’t you see sunflower petals with this one?


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Here’s my stack of yellows…I will over dye that orange piece (third from the top) but the rest are great!  That’s the joy of dyeing…if you don’t like a colour you just ‘over dye’ with another colour!  But that will have to be for another day…because


…Rylie wants to play…!

Yes, Rylie it’s YOUR turn now!!  Sheesh!

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And yes, we will DEFINITELY be taking your piggie and your ball and your dish and your blankie and your stuffies and your cookies and your…sister!  Can’t forget her…or can we?  Nooooo….never!!


Thanks for stopping by…I hope that you are dyeing to come back…and soon!~P


  1. good plan!! escape to the sun! We came down to Phoenix a couple of weeks ago (will be going back to the snow for Christmas, though) It has been hot till this week, now cooling off a bit...but now snow :)

  2. I didn't know that you do wool dying. Such talent!
    I think you want to get to your southern location so you can get in the thick of things with those other quilters. They are probably doing all sorts of things without you!

  3. So agree, hit the road as soon as possible and more time to spend at the quilt shop! Your dye job looks very professional too.

  4. As a rug hooker who dyes my own wool, it's fun to see you doing it for small quilt projects too! Enjoy your warm winter weather - I'm one of the rare ones who LOVE cold & snow! LOL

  5. Where have I been???? that I didn't know you dyed wool!!!!!! I guess desperation creates action! Sounds like a great plan to head south!

  6. Great post! Love your sense of humour! I'm taking notes and checking out the links. Thank you for sharing this wealth of information.

  7. Great pictures of your dying process. How large a piece of wool do you like to dye at once. It looks like you do multiple pieces in the same pot.

    So much to learn and never enough time.

    Thanks for sharing the pictures.

  8. I don't blame you, not worth freezing for nothing, lol.
    It would be nice if some year, the kids could rent a big beach house nearby and you could celebrate together and enjoy a vacation.

    Love your wools, you got a lot of gorgeous colors and shades.


  9. Thanks for sharing your wool dyeing process. And good luck on your travels south!

  10. I can't believe it is that time again. I remember when you just returned from the south. I love wool and seeing you dying it - is amazing.
    Keep us posted.

  11. I can only guess what your kitchen smelled like--Rick probably was wishing he could come here for dinner. Do you think you would go with RIT dyes only?? You know I recently purchased some men's jackets in different small checks and tweeds--I want to dye pieces of these, should I buy the more expensive dyes or try the RIT? Going to go back and search your blog for the dyeing method you used.

  12. Wow, you're gonna be a pro in no time. The wools looks wonderful. Hey...can you get mail "down south"? If so, can you send me the address!

  13. Looking good Paulette! I'll be reading your posts as you travel south.

  14. Sounds like it's going to take almost as long to pack Riley's stuff as your own.

    The results of your dyeing look great, specially the last photo where they're all folded up and stacked together.

  15. I am not any great colored wool either, never thought about dyeing my own, duh! Thanks for opening my brain to the possibilites.

  16. Ohhh my, you leave in 3 weeks! That will be here before you know it! You are soo organized and sounds like you will be totally prepared with all your projects!:) You do a great job with your wool dyeing- it all looks gorgeous! (p.s. thanks for the heads up on Karen's blog- I was one of the winners and won the Poppa's Tree Farm!! Sooo excited!! Thanks again!:)

  17. Wow you did great with the wool. I would love to learn to do that one day. I am just starting to sew with wool. Would you teach us how you prepare your appliqué pieces to stitch on. And what type of floss is best. I have tried 6strand floss by DMC and valdani 8. And I think I like valdani better. I used the double sided iron on adhesive method. And it's kinda hard to sew through. Any suggestions ? Thanks Paulette. Love what you do ! Love learning new things ... Also. Do you know of a good place to buy floss ???

  18. Dyeing wool looks like a lot of fun. Very interesting to see what comes out. Your yellows look great. Since I haven't started working with wool yet, I do, sometimes tea dye fabric. Especially whites and lights that I want to give a vintage look.

  19. Wow, lots of fun here! Excited to hear you're heading south sooner...good to be prepared!

  20. I've never dyed my own wool..Don't get me started on another project.

  21. What a beautiful job with the dying. Is it hard to do? I've always wanted to try it. Your dogs piggy is cute. We have the same one for my service dogbut its pink. She loves how it oinks! Its her aabsolute favorite toy. She also has a chicken that has the polka dots on it and sounds more like a sea gull

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