Monday, March 21, 2005

Milestone Weekend Part I

As the title implies this weekend was a weekend of milestones. Why you ask? Well because there were a lot of "firsts" and because there were so many firsts I had to break it up into parts...

Part I

I took the plunge this weekend and tried dyeing my own roving. I only did it in little bits because if I was going to botch it at least I was only going to botch a little bit of it.

First I started out by soaking the roving in a mixture of hot water and vinegar.

Kinda looks icky doesn't it?

While I waited for that to soak (they recommend at least a half an hour) I prepared the dye I wanted to use.

I know you all have heard of using Kool-Aid to dye yarn and fiber, but I tried something a little different. I just wasn't satisfied with the lack of colors Kool-Aid offers so I used Wilton cake dyes. It's basically food coloring paste. All you do is mix it with hot water until you can't see through the mixture, add a little bit of vinegar and you're ready to go.

I laid the soaked roving out on some plastic wrap and spooned on the colors until it looked like the dye had soaked through the roving. After that I wrapped it up, put it in a pyrex casserole dish and popped it in the microwave for two minute intervals. Two minutes on, two minutes off, etc.

When the liquid in the plastic wrap looks relatively clear, you take it out and let it cool.

I know it's hard to see, but here it is about to be rinsed.

And once the rinsing was done, I hung it to dry over night.

I know you can't wait any longer to see it when it was dry so I won't leave you in suspense anymore...

I could not believe how vibrant the colors came out. And of course I couldn't wait to spin some up...

Here are some of my other attempts at dyeing...

Because I have more little bits of dyed roving than I know what to do with I'm going to have a little contest here on Skein Street. Ok... less of a contest, more of a raffle... except you don't have to pay, so more of a contest, except you don't have to compete..... Anyway, moving on... Would you like to know what you're playing for?

It's an ounce of dyed llama/alpaca roving. I know it's not much, but it's certainly enough to practice spinning if you're just dying to learn! Just leave a comment saying you'd like a shot of this fine fibery goodness and I'll draw a name from a hat at the end of the week (very sophisticated-like).

Stay tuned for Milestone Weekend Part II...

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