Friday, December 23, 2005

First Dyeing & Spinning Project

Well....I am totally hooked on fiber..dyeing, spinning and using! I know all the mistakes I have made along the way in this first project too, but I really have to document this in my blog!! Someday I will look back at it with laughter!
My friend Kathy gave me a big bag of "mystery wool." It is pretty fluffy though. I thought I would experiment with trying to dye it with food coloring/easter egg dye and then work on learning to spin with the spindles she gave me.

Here is the wool in its undyed state:

At this point, I hadn't done any reading on dyeing to realize how complicated it is! I didn't know that with protein fibers, I needed to add acid or that it even needed heat to set! So with my first experiment, I didn't know why the dye didn't stick to the wool. Here is the wool in a pain with the dye on it!

After some reading, I changed my approach and added lots of vinegar and heat in the microwave. This is not the approach I am going to stick with, but it did work. Here are a few photos of various wool rovings dyed with different colors of easter egg dye in the microwave. You can see the wood spindle in some of the photos along with some of my first handspun yarn. I think I accidently felted the first green batch but I was able to retain the fluffiness in the second!

And I am proud to show my very first spun totally on my own skein of handspun yarn. It has a TON of things wrong with it believe me. Including the fact that the dye is still coming off on my hands!! And talk about "thick and thin yarn!!" BUT, I have a lot of roving left that is dyed perfectly and this weekend, I will start spinning that and then ply the various colors together. Very fun and great learning experiment. Now I am going to order (yes I swore I wasn't going to buy anything else:)) some good dyes and experiment and also experiment with some natural dyes from plants as well. Fun. Fun. Fun.



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