Monday, December 11, 2006

My first adventure into dyeing

hand dyed rovingI'm going to keep a little running chronicle of my forays in dyeing.

I dyed several lengths of the mill ends I got from Brown Sheep (100% merino), as well as a tiny little bit of Superwash Merino and BFL I purchased from the evilness that is W.W. (it is too terrible to name :D ). I used Jacquard dyes in three different colors (Kelly Green, Teal and a blue but I can't remember it's name).

What I used:
- large pot to use for steaming with a steamer lid (thrift store)
- steamer to put in pot (basically a 3 inch deep colander that fits on the inside of the steamer pot)
- plastic tablecloth (one of the old school camping ones we had around)
- 9 oz plastic cups
- plastic wrap
- popsicle sticks (for stirring the dyes)
- Jacquard acid dyes
- white vinegar (better safe than sorry)
- one 1 1/2 in paint brush, and one plastic brush (if I used colors other than green and blue I'll need more of these)
- large bucket (for rinsing the rovings after the dye has been set if dying more than one roving)
- collection of measuring teaspoons and tablespoons (thrift store, plastic are the best with acid dyes)
- paper towels
- roving to be dyed
- towel you don't mind sacrificing to the cause
- reference books or reference material (I used Spinning in Color and Yarns to Dye for)
- lots of time
- good music to dance to while letting your creativity party

I pretty much assembly lined these. I took a roving (the first one was dry, no presoaking), painted it, put it aside to cure, took a second roving, painted it, set it aside to cure. Thirty minutes later, I steamed them. I left the first ones in for a little too long (closer to an hour), then after that I would put some new ones in right after I took old ones out. They all stayed in there over half an hour, although some had more time than the others.

However, I was also multitasking. At the same time I was dyeing, I was also felting the Suki bag and the bag of my own pattern (the teal one). The teal one's top is a bit floppy, so I'm going to have to do some surgery to get it more rigid. Oh well. I think Suki turned out pretty well, but I'll have to wait until it's dry.

And I did end up ripping back the heel on the Snicket socks. I'll try it again soon.


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