Sunday, April 17, 2005

First Attempt At Dyeing

My 500 gms of merino tops, affectionately know as 'the sheep', arrived from Hilltop on Monday and after fondling it, I started spinning straight away. It is so lovely and soft and has a slightly greasy feel to it which makes it much nicer to spin than the tops that came with my spindle kit.

I mixed up some dye stock using the instructions that came with the Easy Peasy dyes from Hilltop and waited impatiently for Saturday to arrive so I could play. The dye kit came with yellow, scarlet and blue powdered dyes, instructions, measuring spoon, dowel for mixing and a syringe for squirting - oh and measuring! I used their instructions for 'rainbow dyeing' and I felt extremely nervous when it came to actually putting the wool in the water and squirting the dye randomly over it! At first I thought yuck! how horrible is that going to look! By the end of the processing period though I was impressed! At least, I was impressed with the result on the little hank of spun yarn (picture above). I was most definitely not impressed with the look of the unspun fibre! After processing it appeared to have felted - oh no! Oh well, I thought, its all experience. This morning it does look better so I'm reserving judgement until I spin it and it hasn't felted - phew!

My next task is to spin, spin, spin until I have enough yarn to try other rainbow combinations. I'm saving the leftover liquid from the rainbow dyeing, the 'red' left over from the purple rainbow is a lovely red wine colour, and I'll use it to dye some more spun yarn for two reasons - to exhaust the dye, environmentally a must, and also to see what colour it will produce. After all this is all about experimentation and learning! :-) Posted by Hello

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