Thursday, April 16, 2009

Dyeing and Spinning Day

Yesterday was chock full of dyeing and spinning. I got nothing else done except for making dinner and taking kids to and from school.

Here's what I got busy with:

1. Easter Egg Dye: I had three goals with this project.

a) I wanted to play around with mixing some colors. There's a green that I would really like to have a on a sweater, so I got out the Yellow, Blue and Orange dyes and mixed them up. I put a tablespoon of citric acid and one cup of water in glass containers with the dye tablets.

b) Then, I took out some scraps of roving and made crochet chains with them. I wanted to do a different dye technique where I colored the bumps of the chains. I was going for a mottled effect where I would still have some of the white in the roving showing. In the first chain, I combined one part yellow, one part blue and two parts orange. This ended up giving me a lovely olive color, but not what I wanted. The second chain had one part yellow, one part blue and half a part of orange. Got the perfect green in that one. The last chain had all three colors randomly placed all over it, just for fun.

c) Microwave setting the dye (Mini Tutorial). I put the chains, one at a time in a glass dish that was lined with plastic wrap. I then colored them with the dye and then covered the whole dish with more plastic wrap. Next, I turned the microwave on for two minutes. Let it rest for two minutes. Then repeated until the dye was exhausted. Really simple, but you want to be careful not to cook it for longer than two minutes at a time. You could felt your roving/yarn if you cook it longer. Slower is good and it's always better to be safe than sorry!

The Results (re-chained - they were unchained so that they would dry better):
Moss green on top, Mix in the Middle, Olive on the Bottom

I'm thinking I might mix all of these in one tiny spinning project, just for fun.

2. Second dye Project of the day: Dyeing with Dandelions. I made the kids go out with me and pick a big pile of dandelions. It was great fun until we realized there were tiny little bugs on them. Now, I'm a self confessed hypochondriac. It's not good for us to see tiny bugs that might possibly crawl from our hands to the top of our heads. I'm positive no bugs made it into my hair, but now the top of my head has been itching like crazy for two days! I'll tell you about this project more tomorrow, it's still in process.

3. Spinning Project of the day: Actually, this would be a Plying project. I had two bobbins that needed to be plied and this was not how it turned out, at first.:

This was the second time around. The first time was way over-plied, crunchy hard and mega twisty. I ran it back through the wheel and untwisted quite a bit of it. This is approx. 216 yards, give or take. This is a two ply yarn and was intentionally made thick and then. I want this yarn to be more rustic looking.

I have a bobbin of more plied yarn that needs to be skeined and I've got about 4 more ounces to spin and ply of this stuff. I have a project in mind, but there's no guarantee I'll get enough yardage for it. So, I'm keeping the project under my hat until it's determined whether I'll have enough yarn or not.

Whew! That's it. Now can you see why I didn't get anything else accomplished yesterday?