Dye Day 2003 Part 2
I must admit, when getting ready for everyone to come out to my place to play with the dyepots, I got into the teacher mode. I have tried a number of different dyeing methods and I found it was tempting to try and set up a place for all of those different types of dyes. The thing that limited me the most was wanted to have it outside (and it turned out that was a good decision, the weather was perfect that day). I really was not set up for heating pots, and so many of the dyes need that to set the dye. Several weeks after dye day, it was pointed out to me that the big fire pit I have in one spot of my yard would have worked perfectly. All I would have needed was a large metal grate on cinder blocks and a fire tender. Well, maybe next year. As it turned out, the thing that did work for us was to run an electric cord to my porch, and to plug in a large electric roasting pan. With a little bit of water in the bottom we were able to put fiber wrapped in saran wrap, and in ziplock bags on the rack, and steam them for as long as we needed.
I also plugged in two old crock pots that I use for dyeing. I was the only one interested in trying the kool ade dye though. I did some blue face leiceister roving in the a berry color (blue) and some in the black cherry flavor. That was a soft rose color. Teresa tried one skein of yarn in the lime flavor, but it was not green enough for her, so she ended up overdyeing that in the green rit pot. I also used one of those pots later to dye a CVM roving I had just purchased. The roving is a lovely oatmeal color, and I used Jacquard's teal in the pot. I didn't do all the roving,just two 4 oz balls. It was a big hit when it came out of the dye pot, the teal is subtly shaded by the light brown underneath. It was a bit of a puzzle as to where to dry these rovings after they came out of the dye pots and were rinsed. I finally just shrugged my shoulders and laid them on the stone wall of my porch, and let them drip dry from there until later in the evening when I took them in and put them on a mesh sweater rack with a fan on them. I thought I may have a multicolored white stonework by doing that, but the colors must have been rinsed clear, because I don't have to repaint my porch.
Meanwhile, the others were playing with the tie dyes and acid dyes on Anita's cotton/wool roving. The plan of attack was to soak a good bit of roving either in the soda ash water or vinegar water, and then dye with either the cotton or the wool dye. Most of these bags remained zipped up and were taken home that way by Anita. I was glad that our spinning group several weeks later she brought along the rinsed and dryed roving for us to see how the dyes took. The tie dye in bright splashes of colors will be quite muted when spun, because there was a larger percentage of wool in the roving which remained white. The fushia acid dye, after rinsing turned into a wonderful old rose color, because of the mix of the white of the cotton. The best color of all though was a wonderful fushia, very deep, from the wine rit pot. The rit colored both the cotton and the wool and so the deep color remained.
Theresa spent the whole day dyeing balls of yarn....big balls of yarn. After making two skeins, and tying them as is proper, she decided it was much more adventurous to just take the paper bands off of the yarn and try the various dyeing techniques with the balls. I saw some cotton yarn, being squirted with tie dye color that looked like it would end up being very fun socks to knit. She tried the jacquard dyes on the wool yarn, putting the yarn in a ziplock and saturating it and smooshing on the ball. Last of all quite, some of the wool balls went into the rit dyepots.
Anita and I also dyed some silk roving. We both used the squirt the dye on the roving and then squish the colors into blends. I really liked the purple/blues that I got on mine. It dried as stiff as a board, but the more it is handled, squeezed and gently drafted the easier it is getting to draft and spin.
The very last project were two pots of rit dye on the stove. Andrea need to dye several shirts, and had a hunter green pot and a burgandy wine pot of color. There were lots of balls of yarn, and cotton/wool roving to use up the dye after she was done with the shirts.
By late afternoon, we too were exhausted (brwaahaaa, a dyer's joke) It was pleasant to sit on the porch and chat until finally it was time for everyone to pack up their stuff and head for home.