Taste the Rainbow of Wool Flavors….

Okay, so I want to experiment with color in felting. And all the sources I have read, stress the fact that for color-work like intarsia and Fair Isle/Nordic to felt up evenly, it has to be the exact same wool, preferably the same brand.

I was at the Goodwill sweater-diving again, and found a beautiful “sheep white” (creamy natural color) sweater. I have a range of acid dyes, from my work with silk… so I started playin’. I know that I’ll want to do more subtle, over-dyed type shades at some point in the future, but this will allow me to test and see if individual colors affect the felting process. I’m still working on exactly what kind of piece I’m going to do first – something small, maybe just another little bag. They’re like swatches you can use.

So, without further ado…

This is the sweater. I didn’t take a picture of it whole, so this scrap of unreclaimable collar and shoulder will have to do. It wasn’t a particularly pretty sweater, and had moth holes in the front. It had suede patches on the elbows, which may become FuzzyFeet slip-stoppers in the future. It was also interestingly constructed; kind of a cross between Dolman and Raglan.

This is a winder-cake of the yarn. It looks like exactly the same 7×2-ply yarn as the sweater I unraveled to make the Big Red Bag and the Bobble Bag. Hopefully it will behave as admirably in the felting cycle!

This is the set of dyed samples. The wool took the colors beautifully, although it’s so much differerent than the silk dyeing I’m used to! I am particularly pleased with the voilet and purple, and the vermillion (which is actually a reddish-burgundy). Once I have figured out how the colors will behave, I’ve got enough yarn to do a larger project in the color I decide upon. I got the dyes, Jacquard Acid Dyes, from Dharma Trading Company, www.dharmatrading.com

The skeins hanging to dry – this is a truer representation of the colors. Left to right: Vermillion, Scarlet, Golden Yellow, Bright Kelly Green, Emerald, Brilliant Blue, Violet, Purple, Olive, and Brown.

8 replies
  1. admin
    admin says:


    It’s actually Olive, but it got *way* dark, very quickly… I think it’s going to have to be a very dilute bath to get an actual olive tone.

    I love playing with the colors. Especially with small batches like this – it’s neat to be able to do a bunch in one evening.

  2. admin
    admin says:

    It’s surprisingly simple, with the acid dyes. Probably five minutes or so per batch, and two running concurrently. It was a couple hours all told, maybe…

    I’m just looking forward to getting to play with the pretty colors! It’s so frustrating, having to wait for them to dry.

  3. spiderfarmer
    spiderfarmer says:

    I really like the way it turned out. Maybe it’s the lighting of the picture, but to me, it brings to mind the thought of long hair, glistening in the fog, as the moon slides gibbeously away…

    But then again, I’m a loon. 😉

    The colors are amazing. Astounding levels of brightness…not a single muddy color. Fantastico!

  4. admin
    admin says:

    I’m pretty sure those are in the right order. I can put them in PhotoPlus and blow out the brightness, and you can actually tell that the olive has a green tint. Both Olive and Brown made a color like the sludge on the bottom of coffee, but the olive was slightly more greenish.

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