Making Rainbows



Welcome and thank you for popping in today!  I’ve been reeeeeally excited about today’s post for a few days now, so yay… the moment has finally come!  Did you enjoy meeting that sheep?  She is one of my Mum’s sheep… if you have only just met my blog, you might enjoy taking a trip back in time to meet my Mum’s sheep collection  they are a lovely bunch, especially if you have sheep nuts in your hands!

I’ve been telling you in the last couple of posts that I went to my Mum’s fibrecraft garden party on Monday, which was a public holiday, and did some cold water dyeing.  It was sooooo much fun, and I finally, FINALLY have all of the wool dried and balled, ready to play with!  Oh the excitement!

When I went on holiday a few weeks ago, we stopped at Utiku, home of wonderful Perendale wool which I tend to go on and on about.  In amongst the bags (and bags) of glorious wool that ended up in my Aunty’s tiny (very full) car, were two nice big skeins of undyed wool, which I bought for the purpose of dyeing at some stage. 

I’ve had a go at dyeing once before, but the colours were so weak it just didn’t do it for me… these colours were fabulous and I got into them, dyeing all 400grams of my wool into beautiful bright colours….

This process involved painting the dye on with our fingers, smushing it right into the wool so it reached all of the strands in the centre of the skein… I managed to keep it off my clothing, but dyed the deck a bit too…. thank goodness for waterblasters!  I have to say, it was like stepping back into childhood, “er…sorry Mum, I got dye all over the deck…”  (Better to tell Mum than Dad!)  The next part of the process was to leave the wool in the sun for 48 hours.

48 hours!!!!  But I want to see the results now!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So as I said in my last post, I left it at my parent’s place so that I’d leave it alone and not play around with it, trying to get it to set faster, and on Wednesday, off I went, back out to the farm to rinse the dye off and spin the skeins in the washing machine.

They turned out quite different to how I had expected them to, but I just adore them and can’t wait to see how they look knitted up… I discovered I missed bits here and there, so have white spots in some parts, but Mum said that is easily remedied with a matching felt pen….(!)

Winding it into balls was the most interesting part, seeing what it looked like compared to variegated yarn being manufactured by people who know a lot more about dyeing than me!!!

I’m interested in how the colour I thought was the main colour in the skein, becomes the secondary colour when the ball is rolled…

I’m amazed at how when there are three colours, and two are similar, the whole ball is dominated by these two shades…

I’m fascinated by how much yellow steals the show!  Especially when mixed with lime green!  (That end ball is like a flock of canaries!)

So I’m going to have to get myself some more white wool and some more cold water dyes and have another try at this!  But first I’m thinking I might need to put some manufactured variegated colourways on my niddy-noddy and unravel them into skeins to see how they mix their colours so beautifully…..

I think a new obsession has just begun….

I’m thrilled by these lovely big balls of colourful goodness!  I have no idea what I’m going to make with them yet, but I want to have a play soon to see how they knit up… especially the canary!

OK, well, I’m off… I’ve just started a really fun new project which I’ll tell you about in my Sunday morning post, plus I’ve got FOUR flower tea cozies that need to be made, oh and a pattern to write for fingerless mitts for my crochet class…. sounds like a fabulously fun morning… it will be… I love my life….

Wishing you a beautiful day!


About Crochet with Raymond

I'm a crochet obsessed, reiki master, crystal healing, yoga junkie, counselling student, in a happy long term relationship... and Raymond's mum!
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41 Responses to Making Rainbows

  1. ripplestitchkin says:

    Lively and lovely! (That started off as a typo but it worked so I let it stand.) Are you going to see how any of it CROCHETS up?

  2. Oh Alice, how gorgeous! Those colours are just luminous- you look like you’ve been having lots of fun. I can’t wait to see what you make with them… Laura x
    PS: By the way, the Aviatrix pattern does go up to adult sizes, so if you wanted to, you could make yourself one! The pattern’s on Ravelry (it’s by Justine Turner) and it knits up super-quick. x

  3. Melissa says:

    I’m so jealous! I’ve been reading a lot about dying and just haven’t gotten around to trying. Your yarn is beautiful!

  4. Lee says:

    Ohhhhhh I love sheep with little black faces. My husband and son chased a lamb around for ages trying to get him back in the yard on a farmstay in NZ, much to the delight of the farmer who asked them to do it. Lots of fun. Gosh, just thinking, it’s 16 years since we were in NZ, but we’ll be back.
    Loving all that you’re doing.
    Cheers from a drier Aus, but heard NZ has been affected by torrential rain as well.

  5. penelope dubois says:

    They came out so vibrant! I have tried Kool-Aid (us powdered drink) and was pleased with the results. It came out shades of red.

  6. Alyson says:

    Oh, Alice! I love love LOVE your dyed wool (espeicially the second from the left- pink and purple)! Please keep doing this, but be careful- Noro might get jealous!

  7. Linda says:

    wow ,that is just gorgeous!!!! love the colors! mmm…..

  8. Penelope says:

    Alice how divine, thanks for sharing all your dye joy story, wha an incredible mum you have having a fibrecraft garen party. I am green with envy needless to say and would love to do some dying someday. Your colours look like the happiest sunny-filled rainbows I have seen in a long time xox Thank you for sharing your latest obsession with all of us, you are ever so lovely to take us on your journey’s xox see you sunday xP

  9. Fiff says:

    Wow! How lovely and happy that looks🙂

  10. Maria says:

    Love the yarn cakes, the colours are so fantastic. You are egging me on, as I really want to try dyeing too

  11. Joyce says:

    Hullo Alice, these new creations of yours are fabulous. Looking forward to seeing what you make with them. Have a wonderful few days hooking your creations and writing your patterns.

  12. hawthorn says:

    Beautiful – it will be lovely to see them transform🙂

    Hope you don’t mind but could I link my blog to your Fooooooooooooooood! post, the one with the potatoes and chickpeas with the yoghourt and mustard dressing? I made it tonight and we thought it very tasty!

    thank you!!

  13. Sandra Draper says:


    Stunning colours Alice, they looked MARVELLOUS in skeins but MAGNIFICENT swifted up:) How much are the swifts, I think I REALLY need one, do you get them from weaving shops ??? My poor husband would be so relieved, maybe I should get him one for his birthday?!?!?!?! Plus a few skeins to go with it.

    I think you have found a niche in the craft market, home~made variegated skeins, put me on your list, every one unique.

    Glad to hear your in your happy place, the weather is stunning, so have an awesome day, after another hectic week.


  14. Nikkole says:

    Oh Alice! That yarn is so beautiful! The colors are so amazing! I love the canary yarn! I think that might just be my favorite🙂 I also love the ball with all the bright purples and blues. I can not wait to see all the new pretty things you will make with the yarn😀


  15. Pati from London says:

    Alice, I’m impressed!! The balls look fab, my favourite one is the blue one (I love blue) but I have to say that they are all vibrant and gorgeous! I can’t believe that this was only your second time dying…. Look forward to seeing what you do with them. I finally finished my vintage-style granny square bed throw ( after 6 months ) and am really happy with the result. Very pleased to hear that you are enjoying your life, I am too. Have a great weekend, bella. x Pati

  16. Denise says:

    Wow the colors are amazing! I love your life also, seems so wonderful!

  17. I WANT A SHEEP!!! What a gorgeous little face is that 🙂 Alice I love the dying that you have done. I did a workshop with a lady from NZ, can’t remember her name sorry but she is the agent for those cold water dyes…..aren’t they fabulous!! I want to get her new colours (chocolate, grass green, lime and turquoise) and have a play with them, I just have to find a fellow dyer over here who will share the cost of postage.

    Can’t wait to see how they knit up! Thats a great idea about unwinding the commercial wools to see how they dye them up. Keep us posted on all your lovely creations and experiments with wool and colour.

    Lucky you to have such a stash of delicious wool so close to your place 🙂

  18. Shanti says:

    Impressive dyeing Alice!!! well done!! can´t wait to see what you make with them!

  19. Debi says:

    Your Yarns came out fabulous !! Love the colors… what dyes did you use?? I have several differnt kinds on hand.. some that I have not used before, wondering if they might be the same? thanks

  20. Kris says:

    What fun! They turned out beautiful!!! My friend Kate at The Garden Bell sent me a skein of her hand dyed yarn. I loved it!!!

  21. MeredithJean says:

    You are SO FUNNY!
    I’m not past the first pic and have to comment hhhahahhaaaaa still laughing – brilliant – helloooooo! Cute Hilarious and Shining xxx
    Back to look at the remainder…

  22. MeredithJean says:

    omg and now I have just detoured to look at My Mum’s Sheep Collection and I WANT TO VISIT – no, I WANT TO COME LIVE THERE! er… excuse me… back to your post :))

  23. 'me' says:

    they are gorgeous !!!!
    i want them !

  24. MeredithJean says:

    Oh ahhhh you are on Fire Alice and the whole southern hemisphere is a better place. I’m up late today, just fed Nellie and Hazel, and made myself a coffee, and here is your missive of excitement almost too much for one flat screen! You have thrilled my inner crocheter, colourist, patternist (I LOVE the pics of your balled yarn), naughty child, good child, creative child…. and more. And I’m seeing new tutorials down your right hand column – you HAVE been busy.
    How about making a canary with the canary? Or is that too realist? ha! xxx

  25. Terrie says:

    Alice I just know I am always going to be inspired after dropping by here and now I have another thing on my long list to try!

  26. Maria says:

    absolutely gorgeous! i’m in the process of moving my studio and your posts make me eager to be done and back to the thrill of the art!! Give Raymond a big hug from Hidey and me🙂


  27. Samantha H says:

    Oh my gosh you make me really want to dye my own wool now! And have my own sheep! Oooh that would be so much fun! I’m currently in the process of trying to convince my partner Roxi that sheep will fit in our back yard😉
    I’m new to your blog but loving the posts so far!

    Samantha x

  28. Pam Clarke says:

    You clever old thing..l bet you cant wait now till you make something really pretty.. l do like the colours..AND the coloured Sheepies..l love sheep..We had lots of coloured sheep on our farm (sold it 7yrs ago) but l still have 6 sheep ( 2 coloured babies, “Wam WAm”, & “Pearl”.. )) Our sheep are just for grass eaters..We are on a HUGE holding- a whole TWO acres.. Too much grass though, hence the sheep.. Where would l buy some Perendale wool from please..Been searching web but to no avail..
    Best Wishes,
    Hahnsmum aka Pam C..
    New England , NSW, Australia..

  29. Jak says:

    These are fab, I’ve got a real case of the wanties! I, too, have a passion for variegated yarn at the moment and would just love to dye my own yarn. Can’t wait to see what you make with them.
    Jak x

  30. tickety-boo says:

    WOW. That looks like a lot of fun! They have turned out so well. Lovely and vibrant. Look forward to seeing them knitted up.

  31. Awesome job with the dye!!! This is on my very long want to try list.

  32. Sarah says:

    Queen Ann Lace scarf would be so beautiful using one of your hand dyed skeins. How about crocheting at least one of your skeins for those of us that do not knit.

    BTW In my next life I want hair like yours!

    Sarah from Texas

  33. Virtual Lintu says:

    Even more gorgeousness! Well done. xx

  34. Marla says:

    I love these Alice! So pretty- I wish I had time to mess with making pretty yarn like that but barely have time for my crochet and knitting much less dyeing!. I’m Jealous!

  35. Sara says:

    I love the sheep! And I think this sound like so much fun. I want to try! Can’t wait to see what you create with this.🙂

  36. Rain says:

    Kia Ora!

    Your rainbows are beautiful! I look forward to seeing how they look when knitted! And congratulations on running a class! I’m sure your students will be inspired by your creativity and enthusiasm!

    om shanti

  37. Fondantkiss says:

    Oh my I would love to try this! You make it look/sound so easy but i wouldnt know where to start! Finding the “blank” yarn would be difficult enough. Your colour combos are beautiful and i cant wait to see them worked up….get clicking Alice!
    Deb x

  38. Ooohh! Alice, fabulous colours in your yarn! FABULOUS! And the first photo of the sheep was a nice witty start to this post! Love Vanessa xxx

  39. BethelCallin says:

    Congratulations Alice, Mum to Raymond… I think you had done a terrific job of dyeing…
    I dyed my first items the other week & had a ball… singlets for my new grandson… & now I want to dye some more stuff… so I think you have a wonderful blend of colours…
    Will be back to see what you make with these beautiful balls of wool…

  40. Pingback: Fibre…. the snuggly sort….. | Crochet with Raymond

  41. loinchop09 says:

    G’day Alice, I just followed a link here from your latest email & have fallen in love with the dyes you used. Is there an online shop where I can buy them? Pleasee – crochet hugs Kat

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