Dyeing, part 3. Handspun Seacell

The third dyeing project the other night involved a skein of handspun Seacell fibre. This is one of my first ever wheel spun yarns from a couple of years ago. I picked up the fibre while visiting Port Hope, Ontario. It was one of those serendipitous events whereby we went to the town for a completely unrelated purpose and happened upon a fabulous wool and fibre studio, The Black Lamb!

Seacell merino blend, hand spun on a Schacht Sidekick wheel. Warm natural cream colour.

Seacell merino blend, hand spun on a Schacht Sidekick wheel. Warm natural cream colour.

The natural creamy colour of this fibre is really classic and elegant, but in the midst of my dyeing experiment mood I realize that I have little in the way of ‘fibre blanks’. So into the dye-pot went the Seacell!

In the dye bath!

In the dye bath!

Like the other experiments, I soaked the yarn with warm water and Eucalan first. The theory behind this is to get a more thorough and even dye application. For dye, I used Paas Easter Egg colours in shades of blue, purple, and green. While the fibre was steeping, I added drops of Club House Neon food colour in chartreuse for an extra pop. Like the other batches, the dye bath was brought to a simmer, about 95 degrees Celsius, for about 15 minutes, vinegar added and the heat turned off while the fibre absorbed the colour. When the bath was exhausted (the water was clear) the yarn was washed, blotted and left to hang dry.

Such lovely colours and the seacell is so soft and shimmery!

Such lovely colours and the Seacell is so soft and shimmery!

I really like how the colours have turned out in this one. Short repeats of colour that should translate into a nice, subtle marled fabric when knit. What really impresses me, however, is the way this marvelous fibre behaves. It is soft and shimmery and drapey and just lovely.


Pretty yarn cake. Reads green with short repeats of violet, aqua, and chartreuse!

Despite this being an early spin, the yarn is well balanced and I don’t mind the bit of thick and thin. To me, that lets you know that it is hand made. One of a kind. Never to be repeated exactly. Even by the same maker!


Swatched a bit, just enough to see how the short colour sections translate into knitted fabric.

This knits up just how I hoped, the shades of green, aqua and violet all blending together harmoniously into a soothing cool flash of colour, perfect for a drapey cowl or shawlette. Note to self, from now on spin larger quantities of fibre!

This concludes the results of the dyeing night, save for this little bit of cotton that I popped in along with the Polwarth fibre. I am pretty sure that there will be more dyeing in the future here at Heathcote Road.

Have a beautiful day,


A bit of cotton dyed with the Polwarth fibre.

A bit of cotton dyed with the Polwarth fibre.