Tuesday, November 11, 2008

All of those extra wool strips!!

What can we do with all of those extra strips??? Dye them!

Thanks a bunch to everyone who has commented on my blog, etc.. I appreciate it!

There are only so many Hit & Miss projects, and borders to use your "extras" in right?? I always need more antique black for backgrounds. I love a mixed look, not a solid color, but lots of variation. So what I like do is take a mixed bunch of strips. I have some divided by color, but I always have several "strays" of all colors in a bunch.

***You may want to start with a small pot of strips and see if you like the outcome first, then go back and repeat the process if you do.

There will be few casualties, and you will loose a few strips, but you will have several you can use in an upcoming project. I say you will loose a few because some will become overfelted and too thick to hook with. Some wool can be dyed more than once and not end up too thick, others with fatten up too much. You can always use those strips unfit for hooking to stuff pillows, etc...

Use enough strips to almost fill your pot, I throw them in my pot and see how many I can get in, then I remove them. Fill your pot with water and bring it to a boil. Once boiling turn it down and stir in your favorite black dye recipe. A good one to use is one that combines all of the primary colors, this way you won't end up with a pile navy blue or dark green strips, etc..
Since I am not sure how big your pot is, let me give you a general idea on how much and a recipe, but please adjust as you see fit. For a medium pot, let's use equal parts of Cushings, say 1/4 teaspoon of Khaki, Golden Brown, and Black for a total of 3/4 tsp. of dye. Stir these dyes in your pot and turn the heat way back, this will prevent too much over felting of your wool. Now add your strips. Stir a bit and watch them for awhile. Pull your strips up with your spoon, do you need more dye, is one shade showing up more than you would like?? If say the khaki is going too green, add some Mahogany or any red. If they are not dark enough you may need to mix up another batch and add it to your pot. Add vinegar when you are satisfied with the shade in your pot.

You can hand rinse your strips, or I usually go ahead and run them through the warm/cool rinse cycle, and then machine dry them. Hopefully, you will end up with a nice collection of mottled and varied antique black strips you can use. You should have nice deep interesting mix of black.

Another way to do this is........say you have a bunch of dirty white's, but you actually need a nice mix of mustards. Just follow these directions, but use your favorite mustard recipe over your dirty's for a great selection of mustards. A good mustard is a mix of Mummy Brown and Gold. Have fun!!!!!

I am adding a photo of a rug I just finished using strips I re-dyed in the background.


primitivebettys said...

Now, I'm REALLY interested in this! For some reason, unknown to me, I have about 3 laundry baskets FULL of worms!!!!!! Yikes!

:) Betty

primitivebettys said...

Loved the instructions & am gonna try it soon. Thank you Cathy!

BTW... I've tagged you on my blog. Stop by when you get a chance.


Gayle said...

I'd love to try dyeing leftover strips, but please tell me how you keep them from tangling in the dye bath?