Episode #3 Viking Crafts and My Dyeing Process


Welcome to Ancient Threads Podcast, episode 3.  Today is Sunday, February 7, 2016


The past few weeks I have been taking a break from knitting to concentrate on some other crafting projects. 

Viking knitted or wire woven jewelry also called trichipololy). http://tangibledaydreams.blogspot.com/2010/03/tutorial-viking-wire-weaving.html

 Wire woven wrist cuffs made of a silver wire (not real silver) with a copper wire core and dragon ends. 

Sorry for the out of focus photo, it was the best one I had.  



 I then pulled the chin through a drawplate of progressively smaller holes to “hammer” down and draw out the chains.    We then took the condensed or drawn tubes and put dragon ends on them and used an adhesive to glue on the ends. 

Since the event last week, I have been working exclusively on the Kilvarnen kilt hose and those are finally making some progress.  The knitting is much easier now as I have moved off of the top bands and am into the leg with the ribbing and the cable. 

Next I want to give my color affection some love and attention, it is going very well and I’m enjoying the knitting, but I’m just trying to get those kilt hose done as fast as I can so they are off my plate and I don’t have to worry about those anymore. 

Last Monday I was off from work and took the time to take out all of the stash and take some photos and start making some decisions if some of this can be destashed.  I have over 23,000 yards of yarn, or 13.355 miles of yarn.  I have over a half marathon of yarn.  About 14,000 of that is sock or fingering weight yarn that is 8.39 miles of sock yarn. 


Another project I have some plans for is some nuno felting.  Nuno felting is when you take wool roving or fiber and felt it onto or into a sheer fabric like silk. During felting, the wool fibers migrate through the weave of the cloth.  When the wool fibers shrink, the other fabrics shrink with them. The result is a wonderfully textured fabric that is light weight, drapes well and provides a beautifully finished cloth -- like nothing else you have ever seen.   I purchased a number of silk chiffon scarves that I will dye with a base color and then nuno felt them for gifts and personal use. 



 My first nuno felted scarf!



Dyeing content

1.      Use natural fibers-  natural materials, wool, alpaca, angora and other animal fibers.  Cotton, linen, bamboo and other bast fibers and silk which I always put in its own category. 

a.     silk and wool yarn I dyed years ago that had two plies, one silk, one wool and you can see what I mean. 

You always need to keep your dyepots and implements, measuring spoons etc away from your cooking materials.  Never dye in a cooking pot.  My process is as follows and it works for me:

2.      If the yarn comes in cones, I use my electronic skeiner to make 100 gr skeins and I tie them off using at least three ties in a figure 8 pattern. 

I then mordant the yarn, usually 8 at a time and I try to mix up the yarn if I have different types in a batch, so I will try to do either 4 of two kinds or two of 4 kinds. 

3.      Next I remove the yarn and let it drain out in the dish drainer until it is no longer dripping.  I then add the yarn to a gallon zip loc freezer bag. 

4.     When I am ready to dye the yarn, I’ll mix up several dye extracts (we will talk about those in the future), or make up a dye bath depending on what the dye in and I usually mix dyes in mason jars. 

5.     I may just pour the different dyes right into the Ziploc bag, mixing and adding different colors as I feel it.  Ill then add other colors in other areas to fill in the white areas, and Ill let the residual dye disperse as it pleases throughout the yarn. 

6.     Other times, if I want more control, I’ll lay the yarns out in a plastic underbed storage bin and control exactly where I pour the dye and control how the colors mix.  If I want something specific like blue as a major part of the skein mixed with yellows and greens, I’ll do it this way so I have great control on what goes where and how the mixing should happen. 

7.      Another way is for me to take the yarn out of the Ziploc bag and put the yarn in a pot of hot water on the stove and set it to simmering.  I can then add the dye around the pot in different areas and see what happens.  If I need to overdye I will often do it like this.  If I put in three colors at say 12 noon, 4 o’clock and 8 o’clock, and let the pot warm up slowly, by the end a fairly uniform color will develop in the middle of the pot, where the outside will show a brighter more vibrant color where the dye hit it first.  You don’t want to do this with very hot water to start as the yarn will just suck up the dye where it hits in the beginning and the inside or underside of your skein will still be mostly white.  If I have been dyeing all day and I’m getting tired this is my go to

8.      Next steps.  If the yarn was removed from a bag, replace it in a bag.  Then in the dyepot put a few inches of water.  If you remember, I have a steamer basket in my dyepot, so I’ll add the insert basket and then place 5-6 bags of dyed yarn to the insert.  Put on the lid and turn on the burner to med high and let it get to a steady boil.  You want to steam the yarn and keep it steaming for about 45 minutes.  You can check on the water if you like to make sure there is enough, but I have never had a problem with that in this case. Usually one or more of the ziplocs springs a leak. 

9.      Once it has steamed for about 45 minutes remove the bags from the insert and put them in the dish drainer.  Once cooled enough to handle, you can remove the yarn from the bags making sure the number tags stay in place.  At this stage you can rinse it with cool water until the skeins run clear. 

10.    I then put them in a washer with the agitator removed to remove any excess water and then they get snapped out and somewhat organized making sure the skeins are tidy and the figure 8 ties are all lined up and then they go into the wool dryer until they are dry.  Every twelve hours or so, I will open the dryer and rotate the yarns to help facilitate faster drying. 

11.    Once the yarn is dried, it is resnapped out and labeled.  This is also when we name the yarns. 


Reading content-  Friend me on Goodreads link- https://www.goodreads.com/friend/i?i=LTM2MDE0OTc0MzM6MzYy


I finished off the last podcast with my end of year Goodreads list, and it has been a while, so here goes,

Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith-

Through the evil days- Julia Spencer Fleming- #8 in the Rev. Clare Fergusson and Russ VanAlstyne series. 

In the bleak midwinter- Julia Spencer Fleming- #1 in the Rev. Clare Fergusson and Russ VanAlstyne series. 

Dashing Through the Snow- Debbie Macomber-

Purl up and dye- Maggie Sefton- this is 13 in the Knitting Mystery series (this is the accountant who knits- sort of knits anyway) 


The Silkwork-Robert Galbraith #2 in the Cormoran Strike series-

Pattern of Lies- Charles Todd- Bess Crawford #7-


Abandoned Books

Perfecting Fiona- Marion Chesney (MC Beaton)- 

The Monster in the Box- Ruth Rendell- Inspector Wexford #22-


Currently reading

To Darkness and Death- Julia Spencer Fleming- #4 in the Rev. Clare Fergusson and Russ VanAlstyne series. 

Dead Certainty- Glenis Wilson-

The Confession of Fitzwilliam Darcy by Mary Street


Atholl Brose