Monday, September 22, 2014

Mixed-Up Monday, Pumpkin

Happy Fall!  It's that time of year where we see Pumpkin Spice popping up everywhere.  Lattes, Oreos, cupcakes, beer,.... what's next!?    Why not fiber, right?   While you may not be able to eat the fiber (unless you're a larva, of course), you can create the color Pumpkin Spice for your fall fiber endeavors.

What you'll need:

Acid: citric acid or vinegar
Fiber:  wool or yarn (animal based)
Dyepot: stainless steel or ceramic
Measuring spoons

I'll be dyeing 1oz bundles of mixed breed wool combed top.  I soak them in some room temperature tap water until saturated.

Add a few inches of room temperature tap water to your dyepot, just enough to cover your wool when you put it in later.  Add 1/2 tsp citric acid, or a couple teaspoons of vinegar. 

The color pumpkin has a lot more yellow than red;  the ratio I use is 3 parts yellow to 1 part red.   Add 2 TB (or 6 tsp, or 30 ml, whatever spoon you have) of yellow stock solution.

Add 2 tsp (10 ml) of red stock solution.

Gently press out excess moisture out of your soaked wool and add to your dyepot.
Make sure all the wool is submerged.  

Cover pot and set your burner to low. Check in about 20 minutes.  Water should be almost clear when done.  If it's not clear, let it heat a bit longer.
Let cool.  
Gently lift out fiber and place in a soak (room temp tap water with a couple drops of blue Dawn or textile detergent).   After a few minutes place wool in a final soak of clear tap water.

Press out excess water and let dry.  

This is a basic Pumpkin shell color.  Let's spice it up!

Adding just 1/2 tsp of brown dye stock to the basic recipe really changes it up.

Add even more brown, 1 TB total, to basic recipe, yum!

Here I added 1/4 tsp BLUE dye stock to the basic recipe.   It's the opposite color on the wheel.  A pretty earthy orange is the result.

Adding 1/8 tsp black to the basic recipe results in a nice cinnamon color.

Have fun and experiment!  

Good enough to eat! (but please don't)


Next on Mixed-Up Monday:  Plum


  1. I love seeing these experiments so much!

    How do you figure out how much dye to add for each part?

    1. Thanks Alicia! I've always gone by sight...and lots of experimenting. :) After mixing the dye colors in the dyepot you can pretty much see the depth and shade if you put a bit of it on a white plastic spoon. Some colors pop a bit more with the heat. When I first started I would drip some of the dye mix on a coffee filter and then hold it over some steam to get a better idea of what my end color would look like. Take lots of notes! :)

  2. I am really enjoying this series! If you ever decide to do a workshop, let me know. My guild would love to host one for you!!! oxox g deppe

    1. That would be fun Ginny! I'm so happy to hear you like these. :D