When Life Gives You Lemons….

“When life gives you lemons, make lemonade” is something we have all heard I think. But I prefer lemon pie!

So when life gave us snow yesterday (about 8 new inches after having almost all bare ground), I decided to try some snow dyeing! I’ve done it at guild meetings on silk and cotton(using cool temp dyes), but decided to try it with my wool dyes on wool yarn and top.

I pre-soaked my wool in warm water with vinegar added, then lifted on a mesh to drain in my colander.

ready to dye

yarn on wool top

Meanwhile I gathered a bucket of snow, then froze my hands carefully packing it around and on top of the wool, to a depth of about 3 inches, then sprinkled a little more snow on top.

I sprinkled powdered dye carefully on top of the snow, using magenta, teal, and yellow.

They looked so pretty as they started to melt into the snow.

snow dyeing 2

dyes beginning to migrate

The science behind snow dyeing is that as the snow melts, the different components of each dye dissolves and spreads at a different rate,remixing and being carried into the material below it. (Of course there is a pan underneath to catch the run-off.)

snow dyeing 3

After the melt and before hot water bath.

The results; The snow (in the house) melted πŸ™‚ The resulting wool didn’t look anything like I had envisioned (I had gotten carried away and sprinkled way too much dye for the amount of wool I was using.) Since this dye is heat set I placed my lump of wool into a pan of hot water and heated it for about an hour. Lifted carefully by my trusty mesh I then put it into two rinse waters.

drying dyed yarn and top

Actual yarn colors are deep red/burgundy, dark purple, and high-lights of blue

Looking at the dyed snow water drippings, I added those to my heating pan and placed more wool top in to heat. I always try to exhaust all of the dye from the water and sometimes get some interesting shades.

the results of dye exhaust

dye exhaust is a soft purple/mauve

Snow dyeing is fun, but I have more predictable results with my rainbow dyeing and kettle dyeing (unless I’m in the mood to play “mad chemist”, then any unexpected color may appear πŸ™‚


15 thoughts on “When Life Gives You Lemons….

  1. They look nice πŸ™‚
    I’ve never heard of snow dyeing before and I hope I will not have a chance to try it myself before Christmas at least ^^

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Next snow dyeing, I may try heat setting by wrapping in plastic and steaming for the heat..or getting the right dyes and using them on cotton, linen or silk! I do like the deepness of the colors, although I usually go for bright!
    I learned about the snow dyeing at spinning guild, but sure there must be instructions on line too. It’s fun to play in color πŸ™‚


  3. No 😦 we still have snow, a few more inches on top of what’s in the pictures…20’s or lower at night and 30’s-40’s in the day time so it’s slowly melting! It’s giving me more time to concentrate on inside stuff that needs to be done πŸ™‚
    Thanks for the comment and for following. I’ve spun the smaller top and have a hat knitted so more pictures before too long.


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