A background scare and casserole dyeing

A couple of weeks ago, I realized I was getting short of the antique black I’m using for the background of my hall rugs. When I went to get a another yard of the claret coloured cashmere I’m over  dyeing to create the antique black, I was shocked to discover that I had very little left….only about a yard….certainly not enough to finish the rug. I started out with 7 yards, about 2 yards more than  the estimated amount needed. I knew the claret was no longer available, but I had a couple of yards of the same wool in a burgundy colour.


With my fingers crossed, I dyed up two batches, using half claret and half burgundy in each batch, hoping I could mix them together without it being too noticeable.

Thankfully I think it will be fine.

In fact , although I just prepared more background wool, I’m taking a break from working on the hall rugs.

I have never done a landscape, and that is a style I would really like to try. I want to do a picture of our house ( a 125 year old ‘work in progress’) and I want to do Mount Kilimonjaro (my grandson went to Kenya last April….don’t forget to send me the picture Graham).

Last week Linda Wilson held a workshop entitled Nature’s Elements. Yea!!! a chance to try a landscape and gain some knowledge (not to mention having a great day with hooking friends). I’ll talk about the workshop, and how I’m faring with the pattern next time, but I’ll talk about my dyeing wool for the sky and water this time.

Since I had my dye pans out, after I finished dyeing the antique black, I decided to have a stab at dyeing wool for the sky and the water. I debated about whether to do a dip dye (dyeing the piece vertically) or a casserole dye (dyeing it horizontally). I decided I wanted lots of colour, so I settled on the horizontal version. Linda had given us instructions, but I called her for some extra clarification and advice, which she was only too happy to give.

I settled on a purple, red, orange, and yellow sunset sky. I made up trial dye baths in jars, and tested it in a white paper towel. The first I did with Majic Carpet dyes, but the colours didn’t have the depth I wanted, and were too bright. I tried again with cushing dyes, and used purple, cardinal red, orange, and buttercup yellow. YES!!


Linda had given us the depth of fabric that was needed, and I hooked a straight line across the middle, pulled it out and measured it to get the required length. I predyed the water section in a light grey bath so the colours would be a bit duller than the sky. I lined a broiler sheet with foil and laid the first section of wool in the pan, spooned on the dyes, then folded the next section over the top and repeated until I had all of the water and sky sections done. I poured off the extra water wrapped the foil over the top, and put it in the oven at 300 degrees for an hour. That’s a long piece of garish wool!! (this is actually just the wool for the water and it isn’t quite as bright as it appears in the photo)

Now I’ll be interested to see what it looks like when it’s hooked ! Show you next time.

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