Monday, April 21, 2008

A different fiber-y goodness

Late last year (Oct or Nov?) I ordered several pounds of roving from Sheep Shed Studio. They have some great stuff. Most of it is rescued Mill Ends that for whatever reason doesn't get spun, but it's all excellent for spinning. It was all natural colored and has been waiting patiently for a new look. Last night, it happened.

The Eldest and I had a craft project. He just loves those. We weighed out approx. 4 oz. of roving and soaked it in warm water and a generous dash of vinegar for 30 minutes, then let the water out and gently pressed down on the wool to get the excess water out.

Taking it's bath:

While it was soaking, the fun began. We got out a spare pack of Easter egg dyes and added 1 dye tablet, 3 tbsp of vinegar and 1/4 water to each cup.

We placed one layer of roving in the bottom of my crockpot (these are food safe dyes so it was okay to use my one and only crockpot. If you use acid dyes, please don't use the crockpot again for food, make it a dedicated crafting crockpot instead.) On the bottom layer we drizzled the purple dye and two blue dyes over the roving. We then added another layer of roving and drizzled the two greens and one yellow on it. Then the red, pink and orange was used for the top layer. I added a bit of water to the pot by pouring it onto the top rim and letting it drip down the sides making sure not to pour it directly on the roving itself.
Looks bright doesn't it?
I was very paranoid that I would felt my roving. I made sure not to stir or agitate the water in any way in order to avoid felting. The colors looked very intense in the pot didn't they? I was also worried that we would get "mud" colors since we used 9 different colors, but oh was it worth it!

The roving sat in my crockpot for 3 hours on low. Then I turned it off, poured out the water and let it all come to room temp before rinsing in lukewarm water. The roving then went into the washer for a few minutes of spin cycle and was hung to dry the rest of the way.

This is what came out of all that work:
Check out the colors! - click to enlarge for fine detail.

It's perfect and ready for spinning! What should I name this colorway?


  1. Anonymous7:59 PM

    Wow, that looks interesting. I have heard about crock pot dyeing, but haven't seen it until now. I think that you should call it "He's Crafty" or something similar to remember that the Eldest helped out.

  2. Spring Surprise?

    Looks great! ^_^

  3. I'd call it "Too Much Fun" and make The Eldest a sweater out of the spun fiber!

    Very very pretty and neat technique I must try!

  4. how about 'crock'd colors' or Pasquali's (or Paschal's) Paint Box?

    (pasquali is an an italians boys name, with its roots in Passover/easter traditon (Paschal lamb is the lamb sacrificed for passover, in christianity, its is used to refer to christ, who sacrificed himself)

    Pasquali make reference to the easter (egg coloring) and is less religious than paschal.


  5. OOh! Lots of good suggestions. Thanks everyone! Tomorrow I'll be showing you how it looks all spun up and plied. It looks completely different than I expected!