Saturday, July 25, 2009

More Handspun Yarn and Dyeing

This is the white roving I ordered from Sheep Shed Studio back in May. I ordered it with the specific purpose of practicing with some dyeing.This is the result of one dye experiment. I used Kool Aid to handpaint the roving before spinning. I forgot to take pictures of what the roving looked like but you can see a tutorial here of the process using acid dyes. The site I found the details of Kool Aid instead of acid dyes is here. I found this using Google to search for Kool Aid Dyeing with roving. After dyeing the roving I spun it up getting singles that were variegated. I used 10 colors of dye ranging from light yellow (lemonade) to dark purple (grape). Because I had folded the roving each roving length spun up light to dark to light. When I plied the singles I made no effort to match colors up at all. My goal was to have as much multi color as possible. I'm going to use this yarn in part to make a scarf and hat for my step daughter Rachel. I'll post pics of them when they are done. This is more of the white roving dyed with Indigo dye. My spinning guild, North Texas Hand-Spinner and Weavers Guild had a demonstration of indigo dyeing done by Laura Easterling and her husband at our May meeting. The process is fascinating and certainly a lesson in chemistry. Before I try more than Kool Aid dyeing at home I need an outdoor set up. One the most amazing things about indigo dyeing is that the dye must be exposed to air to oxidize and get the final color. Extra care has to be taken with the dye pot not to introduce air (oxygen) to the liquid when putting items in or taking out. As you pull the yarn out and squeeze the liquid out at the surface of the dye pot the color begins to show. Laura instructed us to take the dyed objects out to an empty part of the parking lot and swing it around in the air to fully aerate the yarn and develop all the colors. The two skeins are an example of 1 dip in the dye pot and 2 dips in the dye pot. This lovely dark pink color came from Black Cherry Kool Aid in a traditional on the stove dye pot method. This is about 5 oz of fiber and I used 6 packages of kool aid. An interesting thing about Kool Aid dyeing (not sure if this applies to other types of dyes) is that you leave the fiber in until all the dye is exhausted or absorbed. After 20 minutes of the fiber being in the pot the water was completely clear. Some Kool Aid colors apparently leave a milky white liquid instead of clear but all the color is gone. I still have some Berry Blast and Black Cherry Kool Aid packets. Who knows what I will come up with next.

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