Dreaming in colors and hand-dyed yarn

Hand dyed yarn in the dying process

When creativity flourishes and you are looking at the sea of colors created by Madeline Tosh and Hedgehog, and you are just missing that perfect color to complete you shawl or sweater – then you really wish that you could create such beautiful colors yourself.

Håndfarvet garn, to spande med farver

Soon you can, for this November we at Önling will repeat our successful yarn dying workshop. Last time 36 women participated in dying their favorite colors.

We started out with a small introduction out colors, what colors mean to us, and what to pay special attention to – for instance that if you mix to many colors you will end up with brown…

After that we opened for creativity, and all participants dyed some beautiful skeins. Some were dying yarn for specific knitting projects such as shawls or sweaters, while others were playing with different colors on each skein. The drying racks were filled with all the colors of the rainbow by the end of the day.

It was a lovely day, and we look forward to a new day with yarn and colors. 

Håndfarvet garn på række

It’s often said that creative people dream in colors – I often dream of yarn, and I think that must be just as good. Right now, I’m dreaming of a yarn with a yellowish base and black and blue specks. I think that is what I will be trying to create at the workshop.

Madeline Tosh and Hedgehog have made room for a lot of small business with hand-dyed yarn. There are still not that many here in Denmark, but internationally there are plenty of brands that create hand-dyed yarns in different colors scales and nuances. If you would like to start hand-dying with chemical dyes, then this is your chance to join our workshop (it will take place in Copenhagen but if you are around tickets can be purchased here).

We have chosen some truly delicious yarns as base yarns. They are from England, and of high quality. There will be sock yarn, merino yarn and sustainable yarn, which can only be dyed once though as otherwise it will felt.

I would like to talk a bit about planning you color scale. We suggest using the first skein you dye as a test that you can play with and get to know the colors. And then you can use the following skeins to work with color schemes you like or know you want to use.

I like working with colors by taking a photo or picture that you like, and then take inspiration from the colors. This can give some beautiful harmonies. But it can also become a bit dull. Not that everything must be neon or black, but it can be useful to think in contrasts. Our eyes like contrasts. Either light/dark or color contrasts. Some time you also should not be afraid of using “negative space” that is using white as a base and then adding splashes of color.

We will not have enough time during the workshop to talk about everyone’s inspiration, but it will be helpful for you to have given it some thought in advance.

Skagen sjal i håndfarvet garn

But what can you knit from the yarns you dye at the workshop? Well for that we have some inspiration: 

  1. You could dye yarn for a Skagen shawl like this. 
  2. Or for a summer top like Edith.
  3. You could also create your own ”Find your fade” shawl.
  4. Or maybe an ”No Frills” sweater by Petiteknit.

We have made a Pinterest board with handdyed yarn for inspiration

I look forward to seeing all the beautiful projects that will be knitted after the workshop.

Mette Lundstad
Design and Knit Enthusiast with Önling