Exploring the world of fiber, one draft at a time

My posting can be as frequent or infrequent as my spinning, so be as patient as that fiber, sitting in my stash.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Dipping in the dyepots

This is a picture heavy post, which I usually do not do. I promised lots of pics though on the podcast about dyeing this fleece. If you are interested in the podcast you can find it here or on Itunes.

Spring is really popping up all over my place now, and I have been getting the itch to copy to spring colors. Here's a few that got me thinking of yellows, oranges and greens:

Those lead to my version:

It all started with this fleece, a Romeldale (the white version of the CVM breed) that was a lovely soft fleece but which had some yellow coloring to it that I was not sure would wash out.

There was a pound of the fleece and it was very free from VM and otherwise really nice. Since I wasn't sure I would end up with a nice white yarn, I decided it was time to do some fleece dyeing. After all, there is no better time to dye a fleece than when it is wet from washing. I discuss the whole process on the podcast, episode 28. After splitting the fleece into four different parts and doing two dyepots, with two parts in each pot, I ended up with a dark and light version of yellow and orange.
The orange was much darker than I had planned, my first reaction was, oh my, I've made clown hair. The color is growing on me though, more so than the wimpier lighter version of the orange. It was my plan to card the fiber in mostly yellow batts with the orange striping through the batt, similiar to the orange pollen on flowers. After the fiber dried, I did some sample batts to see how I liked my idea.

The batt on the left is how it looks when you take it straight off the drumcarder. The ball on the right is the second batt I did, pulled off the drumcarder in a continuous strip, which not only makes it more roving like, but also shows more of the orange, which is buried in the middle of the first batt,
I will have too much of the dark orange, so I am thinking about another spinning experiments, of a cabled yarn in orange and yellow. So I did a solid yellow batt (far left) and a solid orange batt (in the middle). I will spin singles from those and try a cabled yarn from those.

The batt on the far right was my attempt to card a batt for a second carding. You can see that it did do the further blending of the orange which I like. But I have a very hard time carding the batt fiber, it was wrapping the small drum of my carder and really not wanting to feed in nice, no matter how small of an amount I tried. I believe this is because I have a fine teeth drum, which works fine with shorter fibers (which the dyed fleeces locks were) but not well at all with long stapled fibers (which is what a batt acted like once it was all carded). It is not going to be worth the struggle to me, just to get that further blending and I will not be carding the dyed fiber more than once.

After I had used the yellow dye pot twice, I decided to add blue dye for a green color and dye some yarn. Remember the summer Ravelry spinning olympics project, where I took raw fleece to a finished project (the cat bed) during the olympics? Well, I have four skeins of that Maine Island yarn still, and thought I would like a color other than white.

Adding the blue dye, without adding more yellow, meant the blue dye struck first, giving the yarn a more blue tone than I had planned. I still love the color, and the yarn is thick and squishy. I plan to knit a version of a pocket stole, something to throw over my shoulders while I spin, knit or read.

Don't you just want to squish it?



Jenn said...

Very pretty. I actually love that orange. What dye did you use to get that deep color?

Cindy said...

Both the yellow and orange dye are from the company G & K Craft Industries. You can find their website with Google. I do not see my actual color numbers in their list, but the dyes have been with me for quite awhile and they may have changed the numbering system. The yellow is marked 117 and the orange 208. None of the current packaging on the website looks like what I have, but the Pro Washfast acid dye line looks the closest. The blue for the yarn was Country Classic, cornflower blue.

Jenni said...

very cool!

stringplayer said...

Thank you for sharing your spinning experiences and expertise! I started spinning earlier this year and am going through all your posting. Have enjoyed learning from you and listening to your stories and musical selections.