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Dye, Dye, Dye January 30, 2008

Posted by hollyspinner in dye.

I don’t usually dye in winter.  Mostly because I open windows when I do the steaming and when it’s eleven degrees (without the wind chill) it makes it cold in the house.  That and it is so much easier to dye outside.  Since we had a slight heat wave, the tempratures reaching almost forty degrees.  I decided to dye.  I really wanted to make this particular yarn for a particular project that needs to be mailed out soon.  I looked at commercial yarns and realized I can make a better product for less money in exactly the colors I want.  I only dyed eight ounces, which is the smallest batch I have ever done.  So here is the process in pictures with some comments.


I pour what colors I want on the the prewetted roving.  I’m going for Caribbean blue/green.  I know right now it looks like a rabid University of Michigan fan rolled himself all over the roving, but it will get better with blending.  By the bye: Glad wrap is not Saran wrap, buy Saran wrap if you are thinking about doing this sort of dying.


Why it is a good idea to wear gloves.  Protein dye likes protein.  Dry human skin and wool are not that far apart.  I have really dry skin. 

plastic roving
After I smoosh all the dye around.  I spray it with white vinegar then I wrap it up with the Saran (really use Saran) wrap into these spiffy packages.  Then I put them on a steamer in a pot of water and steam for 30 minutes.

finished roving
After 30 minutes I take the whole pot off the stove.  I leave it for several hours, often overnight.  Then I rinse it out and spin it.  I use a salad spinner because I dye in batches no bigger than 8 ounces.  The salad spinner is one of the best inventions made by man.  One of these days I may even get one for lettuce.  After the roving is spun, it is hung up to dry.  One of the good things about dying in winter is due to the extreme lack of moisture in the air the wool dries really fast. 



1. olga - February 15, 2008

I use my salad spinner to get the water out of my knit socks when I hand wash them. Goodness, do you think people actually use those things for salads??!

2. debbi - February 15, 2008

I wonder how this would work for yarn instead of roving. I am going to have to try it.

3. Deb - February 15, 2008

Holy crap– that’s awesome. ~gotta buy a salad spinner!!!

4. Melinda - February 19, 2008

Answer to Olga, Yes. They do. Ask my MIL. She once gave me one for Christmas. It was a hint that my salad was too moist. She meant well.

But what a novel idea! Knitters really are creative!

5. Yarnival! « Mystery House - November 16, 2009

[…] has figured out what to do with a salad spinner, other than drying […]

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