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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. 


Loot October 31, 2007

Posted by hollyspinner in dye, Knitting, Spinning.
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We had a fabulous time at the Fiber Expo!!  There were so many nice people and fiber and animals and yarn.  It was a blast.  I came home with a few things:


I need fiber like a hole in the head, but it was on sale and it’s an alpaca/wool blend, I really just couldn’t say no.


Fun Funky Yarn for Promise Tree Socks

Look what I made! I’ve had the pattern for a while but just haven’t gotten up the courage. It was a lot of fun! I want to make a lot more, especially for Christmas.

Then there is This:


It’s an osage orange. You can’t dye with it, ok you can dye with it but you get the pale yellow that you get out of anything, the bark or roots is what gives the orange color. But the orange has the most interesting smell, kinda oragany, but not really. I like it.

Color, Naturally II October 3, 2007

Posted by hollyspinner in dye.
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They are finally done and dry, woo hoo.  I have five beautiful skeins of logwood purple yarn. I had to rinse out a lot of dye, which I felt bad about, but now I have a better idea about how much to use. The dye bath was definitely not exhausted. I’ve not kettle dyed yarn before and was surprised at how well it took. I’ve heard that yarn gets streaky or splotchy and this dyed thoroughly.

100_2458 100_24570

Color, Naturally September 27, 2007

Posted by hollyspinner in book review, dye.
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I’ve been really negligent on fiber posting.  So here is a project I’m just starting:

I’ve been wanting to try to natural dying for a while.  So now I have all the ingredients: dye (I’m using Earthues logwood extract), mordant (alum),  wool yarn, and most importantly, time.  I’ve done quite a bit with synthetic dyes, but this seems to be a whole differernt kettle of fish.  I’m using The Dyer’s Companion by Dagmar Klos for instruction.  Her directions seem clear.   The method she describes is more scientific than the method I use, but that is good in case I want to repeat (or at least try).  Ok, big breath, here I go, off to find color, naturally.