Monday, February 15, 2010

Berries in the Garden - Microwave Dyeing

Through the Aussie Swappers Group on I got 3 cream balls of Panda Woolbale. They'd been sitting on the desk in the office since their arrival, and I screaming out "dye me! dye me!"

After using my trusty office chair to wind them into hanks, and then soaking them in a tepid vinegar bath for about 45 minutes, it was time to let the mad scientist get to work.

Once again, using Queen's food colouring and my plastic mustard and ketchup squirt bottles, I began the fun (if a bit messy and stinky) process. All went smoothly until a completely full bottle of blue food colouring slipped out of my hand, bounced off the kitchen counter top and fell on the floor.!

It got on the sink, on the counter, down the front of the dishwasher, down some of the cabinets, splashes on my feet and legs, on the kitchen floor and into the grout, and some of it started creeping under the dishwasher.

Long story short I spent the next hour+ trying to get all of it up, but there just seemed to be more and more blue everywhere I looked. And note to self for the future... do NOT try and spray cleaning products on the food colour to clean it. It just dilutes and SPREADS it. Ergh.
Well in the end, it was worth it because I am very happy with the results. It also came out almost EXACTLY how I'd planned.

I've named this colourway "Berries in the Garden" as the green is very "grass green" with bits of blueberrys, raspberries, and one other kind of berry I can't think of the name of at the moment.



  1. The colours are lovely. Can't wait to see how it works up. Can you do the same dying process with wool that is already coloured?

  2. Thank you Maria. I still need to decide what I am going to make with. The idea of some fingerless gloves keeps jumping out at me. We'll see.

    Yes, you can do the same process for already colour wool. As long as it is 100% animal fibre, it will work. Obviously, the colour of the wool will affect your results - so you would probably want to overdye something "lighter" in colour - like pastels, etc.

  3. Wow, I really love this color scheme! Try using a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser to keep on the food coloring, if you can't find them at the store, you can use just some baking soda and water paste to rub it off. Good luck!

  4. Thanks for the info, DipYourToes! :)

  5. Oh my gosh! I love the way they turned out. You are SO adventuresome.

  6. Have to say I too think your wool turned out to be beautiful colours.