It’s been awhile since I’ve done a Photo Friday, so now that I’m getting back into blogging, it’s time to resurrect this feature. For those who are new followers, Photo Friday is basically a mini blog post that just focuses on one photo from that day or week.
For today, my photo shows the white wool that I dyed four different colors that will now become colorful rolags. I can’t wait to see how these will blend together.
It’s my birthday this Friday, and I have been having fun dyeing stuff lately! I recently finished dyeing my first three batches of hand-dyed roving. The new colorways include Marsala, Royal Tuesday, and Old Flame.
I am excited to be able to hand-dye fiber now, and I can’t wait to start on my next batch, which leads me to my next project. I have two pounds of unprocessed wool that I will be working on in the next week.
These locks have been waiting for over three years now in my stash, so it’s time to starting washing and carding. The lighter colored locks I’m probably going to dye different colors to create colorful rolags. The darker colored locks I am thinking about keeping natural. Check back soon to see my process of turning these locks into beautiful rolags ready for spinning.
I have been wanting to try dyeing yarn and roving for a long time, so I picked up a bunch of Kool-Aid in different colors, pulled out some undyed Corridale roving I’ve had stashed away for awhile, and got to work. I looked up some different techniques online and decided to do kettle dyeing since it was the least messy option.
First I picked purple (grape) and blue (tropical punch) because I knew that they would mix together well. I put 3 packets of each in two separate measuring cups of 2/3 cup of warm water and set aside. To prep the roving, I put two 2.5 ounce bundles in my crockpot with warm water. The biggest thing to remember is not to put the fiber through any extreme temperature change or it will start to felt.
I let the roving heat up on the “hot” setting for an hour in the crockpot covered. Then I took the purple and added it to the water first. The roving immediately starting soaking up the color. I carefully flipped the roving in the water (again, don’t agitate too much or it will cause felting) and then added the blue to where I could still see white. I gently pushed the roving back down into the water so it could get completely saturated with dye.
After another almost 2 hours of heat-setting the dye on high in the crockpot covered, the dye was exhausted (meaning the water was clear and all the dye was soaked up into the fiber). I let the roving cool back to room temperature and then dumped the water and gently rinsed the roving in warm water. A quick squeeze in a towel and a few hours outside to dry, the fiber was done!
I call this “Royal Tuesday” and I was shocked by the color depth that I was able to get from just a few packets of Kool-Aid. I am excited to spin this up so I can see if I should keep dyeing fiber (I can guess the answer will be “yes!”).