Saturday, July 22, 2006

Dye party!

Yesterday three out of the four ladies who take my knitting class cancelled on me. The one girl who was still going to be there is my friend, Tiffany, so I moved the class to my house instead. (The bribes: home-made caramel ice-cream, chocolate banana bread, red tea, and chai!) She brought her Mystery Wheel (see the post below) to see if I could figure out how to work it (I couldn't), and some LB Fisherman's wool so that we could have a dye-party.

After fussing with her wheel for a little while, I decided to remove some of the twist that Mr. Fiberflash's little cousin had so generously applied to the singles I'm spinning right now. There was so much stored up twist, I was able to draft across the room.

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(Click for larger picture if you actually want to read the words.)

True story.
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Finally, we started mixing up our Wilton's Icing dyes and soaking the wool. Tiffany's favorite color is orange.
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Isn't it aggrevating when you can't find the center pull of a skein? This one lady in our Stitch N Bitch group, Yvonne, just pulls out the entire center in one deft motion if she can't find it, so I gathered up my guts and went for it. (It works, in case anyone's wondering but it's a little hair-raising.)
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I dyed about 6 oz of Corriedale Cross roving and a tiny bit of alpaca roving, and a mini sample-skein of alpaca singles that I'd spun up a while ago.

Something weird happened. I painted them all exactly the same color combination. The alpaca took the dye wonderfully, but the roving hardly grabbed it at all.
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This is the same wool that I'd spun that three-ply from (listen in on my upcoming podcast to learn what a disaster that was.) Has anyone else tried to dye this fiber? Are there any tricks to getting it to take? I'm very frusterated. Maybe I'll just have to spring for some professional acid dyes and a "dyeing-only" pot to rescue it.

So far, I've never had a very successful dying experience. I've read up on it a good deal, and know a lot of the little tricks and steps and such, but somehow when it comes down to it, I'm never satisfied with the results.

This explains why it thrills me so much to be part of the Spunky Fiber Club. It's so relaxing and fun to know that a fantastic, wildly colorful bunch of roving is going to automatically hit my doorstep once a month. Someday perhaps I'll be able to dye my own...

Anyway, we stayed up till almost 1am, and it was a lot of fun. Thanks for coming over Tiffany, I had a great time! =)

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