Monday, January 09, 2006

Lots and Lots of Fiber Dyeing!

Hi all,
I have done a lot of dyeing this past week using several methods and materials. This is one long post with lots of photos!! First, here is some wool yarn that I dyed using Wilton Colorings. I was very surprised at the intensity of the colors. These dyes are used for cake icing coloring. They come as a gel inside little pots. I mixed a tiny bit of each dye with about a cup of water and a glug of vinegar for the acid. Then I painted it on sections of the yarn and cooked it in the crockpot for a few hours. I called this one Blue Moon. Look at all the colors!! It is very beautiful. These are also completely safe to use in a home kitchen which is a nice feature.

My second project was dying some undyed yarn that I bought from Ebay. This is a 100% Merino worsted weight yarn that I wanted to use to make a Poncho from the Modular Knits book. This yarn was all a natural off white color when it arrived. I saw a beautiful yarn that had shades of pumpkin, tan and browns online and I thought I would try those colors. I used Prochem acid dyes for this. This was much tougher and to be honest I hated how it turned out at first. One of the strands dyes completely different (darker in a twist) than the other. When it was drying in my bathroom, I truly hated it and wanted to throw it out. The colors all ran together, it didn't look variegated and i just didn't like it. But once it dried and I re-skeined it and then started knitting with it, I really am loving it. It is very soft and warm and actually has many subtle color variations of vanilla, tan, maple sugar, mocha, pumpkin and a lighter melon orange. I called this one Butternut Twist because it has a twist going through the yarn that in this case is dyed either a mocha brown or pumpkin orange. The twist part noticably takes up more yarn and is much darker. I wrapped this yarn in plastic wrap after hand painting it, and then set it in the over overnight at 180 degrees.

This weekend I dyed some very soft Falkland wool roving with great success!! I tried two methods and both worked equally well. One method was much easier than the other. I soaked the wool in an acid solution (using citric acid) and synthrapol. I used acid dyes (the ones from prochem) and I mixed them ahead of time VERY VERY carefully with a protection mask on and gloves.

The first batch I simply put in a large turkey roaster pain in the oven. I squirted five different blues randomly over the roving. I used a cover on the pot, but I did not use plastic to roll them up in. This was am easy technique! They stayed in the oven at 350 for about 35 minutes and then sat at 180 for two hours. I let them cool before putting them in the sink. Once cool, I soaked them twice in some clean water mixed with a little dishsoap. I basically used the instructions from this web
site: Hello Yarn.
Here is a photo of the roving in the turkey roaster and then soaking in the sink.

For the other batch, I put a few pieces of roving at a time on some plastic wrap, squirted the blues on and let it sit for a bit. Then I rolled it up in plastic and put this in the crockpot. I had three bundles like this in my crockpot. In the crockpot, I put a few cups of water first under a cheap metal vegetable steamer. I set the crockpot on high and left it for about an hour. It did get very hot and the packages also got very hot. I then turned it to the lower heat for another two hours. This worked PERFECTLY as well. Both sets of roving really turned out identical only skipping the rolling in plastic part was MUCH easier...

I think in a situation where I really want to keep the colors more separate, the plastic wrap is important. Otherwise, I will continue to use this oven method because it was so incredibly easy...... Here are the final photos of the roving in the crockpot and then drying in my bathroom and finally braided into pretty braids. I called it Moody Blues because that is just what came to my mind! I can't wait to see what this looks like all spun!

Hope you enjoyed seeing these posts and the dyeing I did. I posted about this also on the yahoo dyeing list I am on. Thanks to everyone there for all your help!



At 12:16 PM, Blogger mollymollymoonpie said...

Wow Lisa, I love the blues... I haven't handpainted roving in a LONG time, it's so much fun though because you can spin it right after it dries! :) I just got that same crockpot for Christmas, and I am planning on dyeing some silk hankies for spinning soon! :)

At 6:10 PM, Anonymous carmen said...

hi - I really like your handdyed yarns...i'm thinking of dyeing some wool with old wilton gels...I never thought of using a crockpot - what a great idea! Love the blues - i'm so envious!


Post a Comment

<< Home