Friday, July 18, 2008
Dye, Dye, My Darling
Quick backstory: three years ago I thought I'd try dyeing with natural dyestuffs (flowers, bark, bugs). I bought a kit from some yarnshop in Missouri (email or comment me if you want to know the name and I'll look it up) and undyed wool and fibers. Then, I broke my collarbone. Then, I went back to work. Then, a bunch more time passed. Then, it was yesterday.
I thought I'd finally give it a try. Honestly, though, it would be much easier if I just bought those full o'chemicals professional dyes and just squeezed 'em on the fiber. 'Cause natural dyeing? You have to do math and science and stuff and its not just a day fingerpainting.
On dyeing day, I laid out the roving on top of a table covered in layers of newspaper and saranwrap. I then used turkey basters to trasfer the dye from the big jars to the fiber, then wrapped up the fiber and put it in a canning rack in the dye pot where an inch or so of water started to simmer. (I also did some sock blanks that aren't quite as colorful as the roving).
Two reds and a purple. Not bad. Not as bright and vibrant as I would like but it is natural dyes and thus tend to be a bit subdued. But I learned a lot, I have more sock blanks and some undyed sock yarn, and I will live to dye another day.