Every now and then things turn out just the way you want (dyeing :: Lorna’s Laces, from Blackberry to Plum)

It’s rare that I’m totally satisfied with how one of my projects turns out – my vision usually outruns my abilities. I fully expected that to be the case this time, too. Especially since I’d never tried dyeing before.


Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sport, “Blackberry”

But I was determined to give it a go, because this just wasn’t the contrast I was looking for:

Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sport with my handspun Pigeonroof Fiber Studios BFL in Cut & Paste Socks

Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sport with my handspun Pigeonroof Fiber Studios BFL in Cut & Paste Socks

I did some testing to see which dye I wanted to use to overdye. I had initially assumed I would go with the “Plum Dandy,” but I am so glad I did a test first, because it turned out that the Deep Maroon actually achieved the color I was looking for.

Having figured out which dye to use, I got to work. Bye-bye beautiful purple “Blackberry”:


(I do love the original color, it just wasn’t what I wanted for this project)

Even though I had done some sampling, I still wasn’t prepared for how completely perfect the yarn was going to turn out for me.


I mean, seriously. This is exactly what I wanted.

A deep, semi-solid, plummy purple. It practically glows.


It provides a perfect contrast for my handspun.



(the dark spots were actually already in the yarn before I overdyed)


There are only two problems now.
1 – It seems a shame to use such a pretty yarn for contrast cuffs, heels, and toes for socks – it’s going to be covered up most of the time!
2 – I really do feel like I have possibly fallen down the rabbit hole of a new hobby….


for comparison: original on left overdye on right

for comparison:
original on left
overdye on right

Dyeing shenanigans (or, how to play a cruel trick on an innocent child)


When the boys came home from school yesterday, Little Buddha thought the mixing bowl of purple goodness on the counter was cake icing. Even after he realized it was yarn, he still thought it looked good enough to eat – I think most yarn-lovers know that feeling, am I right? Boy, was he surprised at the vinegar taste!

(It was just soaking in vinegar and water. And I did tell him it was yarn. I truly didn’t expect him to actually taste it. But you didn’t expect me not to photo document the moment, did you?)

Plum Dandy, Teddy Bear Brown, Deep Maroon. I’m going with the maroon.

Feeling sort of Breaking Bad over here


So this is happening right now. I created three wee skeins of Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sport for sampling, mixed my three dyes, and am now steaming the yarn. I only used a little dye mix for each color, but it still all looks really dark:

(Plum Dandy, Teddy Bear Brown, Deep Maroon)

I poured a tiny amount onto each of my vinegar-soaked mini-skeins and put them into small jars for steaming. They’re on a wire rack inside a large canning pot that I’ve dedicated just for dyeing. As per the research I’ve done, all the equipment I’m using is only for dyeing, and I’m wearing gloves and a mask. It’s actually flipping me out a little bit to be working with chemicals, but it’s a chance to unleash for inner Jesse Pinkman, so there’s that.

I’ll let you know how it goes!

(Fashion Friday will be back next week – hey, maybe even on Monday, who knows)

Good Mail Day

So the dyes I ordered on Monday arrived today:

Can you tell what colors those are? They look like black, green, and black to me. But they are actually “Plum Dandy,” “Deep Maroon,” and “Teddy Bear Brown.” (For those of you who know more about dyeing than I do – this is normal, right?)

I can’t wait to crack into them and overdye my Blackberry Lorna’s Laces!

Dyeing to knit (contrast yarn for Cut & Paste socks)


So my Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sport, in “Blackberry,” arrived on Friday, less than 48 hours after I’d ordered it from Angelika’s Yarn Shop. Like I said, y’all, Angelika has lightning-fast shipping!

As I mentioned last week, I was ordering this yarn to use as contrast cuffs, heels, and toes for my latest pair of Cut & Paste Socks.


The thing is, the color of the yarn is softer than what I thought it would be. I think in terms of color “value” it is more of a medium value, when what I’d really like is a darker value, more like the yarn I originally was using for contrast. (The original yarn I had to hold double, and I’m just not crazy about how it looks/feels like that).

In these pictures, the new yarn looks brighter/deeper than it actually is. I contemplated just moving ahead with it, but I decided instead to try something new. So I’ve ordered some acid dyes and am going to give overdyeing a whirl. I ordered Dharma dyes in “Plum Dandy,” “Deep Maroon,” and “Teddy Bear Brown.” I’m not sure which one (or ones) I’ll use yet – we’ll see!


The socks are all done except for the cutting and “pasting,” so I’m eager to get on with the dyeing. I have a great book about dyeing (Hand Dyeing Yarn and Fleece), but I’m still interested in learning anything anyone wants to share about doing this, especially about overdyeing. For those of you who have done it, what tips do you have? If you wanted a soft medium purple to dye up into a deep brownish plum, what combination of dyes might you use? Anything else you want to share about dyeing? Hit me with your tips!

I figure if this doesn’t work out, I’ll just order more Shepherd Sport, this time in “Chocolate.”

Meanwhile, I’ve got 1.2 ounces of this handspun left, and I was hesitant to keep knitting my sock tube – it really didn’t need to be a whole 42% longer than it already is (as it is, it’s already the length of my original Cut & Paste socks). So I think I’m just going to store the rest of this yarn with the rest of my left over handspun bits, for another long-term project I have in mind.