Sunday, March 11, 2007

Busy busy bee

oh my goodness - a week has passed without a post - I can't believe it! There has been so much happening I've wanted to post about, but it's taken up every minute of my time leaving no moment to post ANYTHING!

Where to start...

Skoot's birthday is on the horizon, so I've been busily creating away in order to have his pressie ready for him on time! He's so encouraging of my fiber arts adventures - and the other day said "Aren't you just hanging out to knit something up from your own handspun?" Which is absolutely true! I've produced multiple knittable yarns but haven't yet actually knit any of it up. So I decided his pressie would be my first hand dyed, hand spun and knit item!

So I cracked out the food colouring and set up the kitchen for some dyeing!

Starting off by wetting down the wool for a while so it would absorb the dye more easily and thoroughly, I then laid the roving out and applied the dye. The problem was I didn't have enough red and black dye to cover all the roving, so I considered it and decided to dilute some of the red dye just a little bit to make it go a bit further.

When all the wool was dyed, I zapped it in the microwave, cooled it, zapped it again, cooled it then did the big rinse out!

The strips of roving soaking looked like a giant pot of entrails - very appetising!!
pot of woolly entrails
But unfortunately, when I had dried the roving and brought it back inside.. it was simply too pale for what I had in mind.
pinky grey hand dyed
I showed Skoot and he loved it - "it's like nothing I've seen before" but we both agreed when I started to spin it up that it wouldn't really be a 'wearable' colour. So I've put it aside with the plan to still spin it up and knit it - skoot loved the earthiness of the shade and didn't want me to dye over it, so I'll into some cushion covers or some such instead :)

So after hitting the shops for a huge and bottomless supply of dye I had another shot at it!!
hand dye again
This time I didn't hold back and DIDN'T dilute!! I had in mind a roving that was black and red but with some white undyed parts too, and maybe some speckled red amongst it.

I've now completed the process, finally all the rinsing is done leaving me with a little plate of squidgy woollen treats!
plate of woolly
Must dash now - Off to the river for a lovely post-wedding picnic :) I'm so keen to see wheat the roving's like when I get home! It's all pinned out on the washing line now warming and drying itself in the sun!
clothesline dry dye
p.s. I've now purchased some gloves, but in my first dyeing frenzy I was too keen to wait (and besides coloured hands don't actually bother me at all) so got stuck in without any glove protection. The next day I was most glamorous and professional at work with bright purple hands!!
purple mitt!


Ann said...

Wow - dyeing - looks like fun! Must give it a go one day. Like your idea of a knit along of the Swallowtail Shawl - have been thinking of knitting it as my 1st lace project - told Yin that I will be happy to join & we can knit along during City Nits.

Helen said...

Fantastic first dyeing effort. Can't wait to see it all spun up and you knitting it.

pinky-yin said... have to teach me spinning one day.... perhaps i can go with you to one of your spinning meetings :)