>

Rainbow Dyed Handspun Silk Top

Rainbow Dyed Silk

An easy-to-knit pattern that uses handspun silk yarn. A Dice Block design gives a simple but effective finished edge to the stockinette stitch, knit of rainbow-dyed shimmering silk, reminiscent of mother of pearl. The Dice Block is repeated across the shoulders of the back, adding extra interest to the design. A square neckline and short, set-in sleeves make this top a delightful addition to your summer wardrobe.

The tussah silk top was Rainbow Dyed prior to handspinning.

tussah silk roving

Hand dyed silk top

This method of rainbow dyeing can be used on wool, silk, mohair or other protein-based fibeers. For this sweater project, I used 8 ounces of tussah silk top.

  • Thoroughly wet the silk top. This will allow the dye to be absorbed more readily.
  • Fill a large pot with hot water.
  • Add 2 tablespoons of vinegar to the dyepot and stir.
  • Add 2 – 4 oz. of fibre or yarn into the dyepot.
  • Using the end of a chopstick, dip it into the dye powder and then place the dye into the edge of the dyepot.
  • With another chopstick, dip it into another colour of dye powder and place the dye into the dyepot on the other side of the dyepot.
  • If using 3 or more colours, repeat the previous steps.
  • If dyeing more wool, place another layer of wool into the dyepot and repeat, changing the location of dye placement.
  • Allow dyepot to simmer at least 20 minutes, or until all the dye has exhausted.
  • If the dye is exhausted before you have sufficient colour, you can add more dye, by gently lifting the edge of the fibre and adding more dye. Simmer for another 20 minutes, if you have added more dye.
  • If there is still dye in the dyepot and the fibre isn’t absorbing more colour, then add a bit more vinegar.
  • When you have achieved the colour that you want, turn off the heat and allow the dyepot to cool.
  • Remove the dyed fibre from the dyepot, squeeze out excess moisture and let dry.



This was a good quality silk top, and easy to spin, but the dye process caused the fibre to be a bit sticky and more difficult to handle. A gentle teasing and pulling apart of the fibre before spinning made it easier much to spin. For really sticky silk, you can use hand cards or a drum carder.

Pull the roving apart into shorter sections, lengthwise. Feed it through the carder, a small amount at a time. As this was good quality, spinnable top to start with, all of it can be used. If some silk fibre sticks to the front roller of the carder, gently brush it off and feed it through the carder again.
dyed silk
drum carder

(Note: Although the silk sweater in the project is pink, the sample of the dyed silk is blue – I dyed more silk in order to take this photo)


I spun the silk using the smallest whorl on my spinning wheel. 20:1. Silk should be spun with a fairly tight twist. I spun this yarn as a 2 -ply at 12 tpi and 1200 ypp.

Silk Top Knitting Pattern

Roving

 

Ebay Finds

Posh Pink - Dyed Merino Wool Top - Felting - Roving - Spinning - 250g - Current price: $13.03

Country Garden - Dyed Merino Wool Top - Felting - Roving - Spinning - 250g - Current price: $13.80

500g of Merino Wool Roving / Top Waste - Botany Lap Waste - Current price: $18.40

Starry Night - Dyed Merino Wool Top - Felting - Roving - Spinning - 250g - Current price: $13.80

Barky Browns - Dyed Merino Wool Top - Felting - Roving - Spinning - 250g - Current price: $13.03

Very Berry - Dyed Merino Wool Top - Felting - Roving - Spinning - 250g - Current price: $13.80

Comments are closed.

This page last edited on November 26, 2015

by


All Fiber Arts by Paivi Suomi is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Advertisements

This website contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on the links. This helps to cover the costs of keeping this website alive. Thank you for your support.

Facebook

Join our new Facebook Group
AllFiberArts Facebook Group
  • Dyeing to Print! (Coupeville, WA)
    MX dyes are versatile – taking artists from the bucket to the print table in the course of one afternoon. The emphasis in this workshop is on thickened dye and the many exciting ways the dye can be applied....
  • Book Making: Exposed Stitch Eco Journal (Bulverde, TX)
    Carrie Avery brings us a technique featuring a beautiful exposed stitch, meaning the binding is visible from the outside of the book. The result is a rustic and organic book with a hint of romance, ideal...
  • Wandering with India Flint: New Mexico (Abiquiu, Taos, Santa Fe, NM)
    India will be traveling to New Mexico from her farm in the deep south of Australia to share her wandering spirit and creative gifts with us. She is best known for developing the highly distinctive eco-print,...
  • Fiber + Paper + Ink (Coupeville, WA)
    Fibre + Paper + Ink explores in depth the layering and design opportunities of these three wonderful mediums. Paper and Ink incorporated with more traditional felting fibers opens up new possibilities...