(Warning: Photos of fiber p0rn ahead)
Okay, sing-a-long with me to the tune of "Fergalicious". It's Fiberlicious. Don't know the song? Um, guess I've been watching too much MTV Jams.
Thanks for all of the kind words about piggie and the Zune cozy. I couldn't help but laugh out loud regarding potential names for piggie. And I thought that I had a twisted sense of humor. I'll announce his new name next week in addition to fun surprise.
In case you're just tuning in, one of my goals for 07 was to dye with the intention of spinning vs. playing with colors with nothing in particular in mind. First, gotta make sure you have the right tools.
Free weekend with nothing on my agenda?
Dyepot? (make sure that it is EXCLUSIVELY used for dyeing fiber. Don't want to poison the kiddies)
*** I soak mine in a warm bath with a touch of Dawn and vinegar for around an hour.
*** Color wheel (lost my favorite one for a few weeks and had to use one printed from the internets), gloves, foam brushes, The Dyers Companion, fibers to test colors, various cups and measuring tools, Prochem acid dyes (these were already mixed so I didn't need a mask), vinegar, distilled water and LOTS of newspaper and plastic to protect my very WHITE kitchen island.
Alright peeps. Let the dyeing begin. I did a dye study of some of the few Noro yarns in my stash. Unlike most knitters, I can't stand the itchiness of Noro but I LOVE the colors. The fibers are obviously spun into the color bands that you find in the skein vs. dyeing them once spun so I thought that I might strive to dye some different color gradations and then spin them into Noro like yarn. I wanted bright saturated color so I mixed fairly strong batches of dye.
As far as the fiber, I used the domestic wool (breed unknown but probably Shetland or Jacob) that I bought in Asheville at Earth Guild. Each mini batt that I dyed is approximately 1 ounce of fiber. I also dyed 2 ounces of merino/silk that I bought at Rocktown Yarns (a new knitting shop find for me in Harrisonburg, VA back in January). I began by practicing with a 20 yd sample skein of the domestic wool that I spun and plied on the Asheville trip. I aimed for grades of color from pink to dark blue and pour small amounts of dye on each section of the wool and ended up with a rainbow. It was all wrapped in plastic wrap and steamed for 30 - 60 minutes (I honestly lost track).
I love how this fiber takes the dye. Not only does it have a slight sheen to it but it dyes very evenly. I only wish I knew what it was.
Once I figured out how much dye to use to get the deep color saturation that I wanted, I started dyeing the wool batts. First out of the dyepot was this batch.
I was shooting for Hokie colors (VA Tech Orange and Maroon) for the top batt and am fairly pleased though the colors aren't quite as true in person. The bottom was supposed to be teal and green and I ended up more with turquoise and green. Can't complain because the colors are incredible and exceeded my expectations. The dyes were poured onto these batts and they were steamed for over an hour (seemed to take longer for the dyes to set). There were some other batts that I forgot to take pictures of but they ended up looking like this once spun.
Fiber on the left is the rainbow yarn above. The yarn on the bottom is dk weight singles that I knit into a Trinity log cabin triangle just to see what would happen if you used a variagated yarn.
Next up, some very dark chocolate brown roving that I called "Woodland". I was very curious as to what colors a dark roving would produce with heavy concentrations of color. I used dark orange, royal blue and black on this batt (which weighed 2 oz) and ended up with this very interesting color combo shown as braided roving, spun singles and plied yarn.
Doesn't look much like orange, blue and black does it? I spun this up and plied it so that Catie could see how it looked at our March spin/knit in. Very interesting how that yarn dyed up. The jury's out on this one.
Next out of the dye pot was a small ball of forest green roving that I called "Morning Dew". I rolled the roving into a tight, layered ball, soaked it in dye, double wrapped it and steamed it for at least an hour and a half. The resulting varigated color was incredible. Alas, I forgot to take a picture of it before I carded it with the angelina. Doh!
After it was plied, all I could do is gaze at it in the sunlight. It truly reminds me of morning dew glistening on grass as the sunrises in the morning. I may need to add angelina to all yarn from here to eternity. I love sparkles in such a bad way.
Next out of the pot, my favorite and what I called "Blue Ridge Dusk". Its the 2 oz. of merino/silk dyed with violet, forest green and turquoise. I'm such a sucker for purple and green together. I'm going to have to play with these colors more in the future. This merino/silk spins like a dream, like cotton candy, like heaven. I can't wait to dye more.
Believe it or not, there's more but I'll wait until I've spun some of it up before I flash you with it. I've ordered some additional dye colors from KnitPicks and as soon as they arrive, there will be much more dyeing in my future. If the dog and the kids aren't careful, I'll dye them too if they sit still too long.
I'm cooking up some good stuff for ya'll in the near future. Stay tuned...
Friday, March 09, 2007
(Warning: Photos of fiber p0rn ahead)