When bad things happen to good Lushes

When bad things happen to good Lushes

Published by Michelle on 4th Jul 2017

In the original hand-dyed tried post, I wrote that I was now more patient and measured when it came to trying out anything that might stain my worktops and do irreparable damage.  However, now that I own a shadowy chartreuse green Lush cardigan I may need to step that back a bit! 

I wore the wonky cardigan from my original dying experiment a lot but always in the house.  It was a perfect size and the yarn has a lovely feel but the colours really weren’t that great.  Of course having a cardigan you love to wear but can’t wear out is a waste of a good cardigan so about a week ago I thought ‘Right, I’ll over dye it, how hard can it be, I see all these talented dyers doing it, surely I, with my large pot and complete lack of knowledge, can do it too.’  The sentence ‘how hard can it be …’ always proceeds great successes, doesn’t it?

Soaking Cardigan 

Cardigan in to soak in cold water and citric acid … a good start ; )

A little green 

 Mix up the colour … I took a punt on a teaspoon of dye powder to 300ml for 500g of yarn?

 A bit green

Cardigan, Water & Dye into the big pot

And I think if I had left it there I would have had a hugely green cardigan but at least it wouldn’t look a shadowy mess..

And then the trouble started … At about 50 degrees Celsius,  I thought ‘It’s very green …’ and the very good friend of ‘how hard can it be’ ‘didn’t I read that …’ showed up.  I remembered reading (in passing) about how a light grey dye mix can be used to create a shaded version of a colour.  

It looked like it might have worked

It looked like it had shaded evenly ... 

300ml of water was mixed with a quarter teaspoon of light gray which I then stirred into the pot.  Anyone with a small bit of dyeing knowledge is now thinking ‘That’s a great way to get patches because there was no way that went on evenly’ and that is exactly what happened …

Meet my bright green but partly grubby looking Lush!


That is not a shadow on the left!

Some serious shade

Some serious backside shading!

I’m going to wear it as a sort of penance because part of me still loves it … although the first time someone asks me for sun glasses to stop me from blinding them, I may just over dye it in black … if I do, of course I'll share!

My lack of knowledge was not the only complicating factor.  The UK Summer Monsoon that started on the day I went dyeing meant I was still trying to get the cardi dry with a hair dryer three days later.   Then, as the water reached about 96 degrees C, one of my pusses brought me the 'gift' of a frog.  For some people it's mice, for others it's spiders ... for me, it's frogs that bring on the banshee shrieks!  

No frogs were harmed

No frogs were harmed

Thankfully Simon was almost home so the frog spent only a little time under his protective colander.  Next time I'll wait for a sunny day when the frogs are away!


For people with more sense, we have lovely handdyed yarn from The Knitting Goddess, Life In the Long Grass & For The Love of Yarn ... and if you'd like your own Lush Cardigan, you can find it here!

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