I want to knit a cardigan/jacket - and couldn't find a yarn which combined appeal with affordability (I take after my great-grandmother in having expensive tastes) and availability in the quantity required. So, what's a girl to do? I bought some undyed bluefaced leicester yarn from Violet Green which arrived by return of post - wonderful service - and straight into a soaking bath it went, while I dug out my small collection of acid dyes and stockpot (which is reserved for dyeing adventures rather than culinary ones) and got mixing the pigments.
After a steamy period in the kitchen, all seven skeins were dyed, washed and dripping on the washing line, suspended from coat hangers. Here's a photo of the finished product, in today's strong autumn sunshine.
I used a kettle-dyeing technique, which produced a very subtle variation of colour: teal, petrol and peacock, using lilac, spruce and blues (brilliant and sapphire) from the Jacquard Acid Dyes selection. Whereas a handpainted and steamed treatment previously gave quite specific areas of colour (when last I dyed wool yarn), there are elusive changes in shade which are clearer in reality than in the photo above, but still very gradual changes, as one might expect.
It will be interesting to see how this works out as a knitted garment and it won't be long until I cast on and start finding out.