Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Making More Color

I decided yesterday to oven dye some roving. I spun natural colored yarn when Amy and I went to the Nevada County Fair in Grass Valley, California last weekend - not to be confused with our fair here in the Reno, the Nevada State Fair. The public had a clear affinity for the interesting fiber that the other demonstrators were spinning.
Our fair starts tomorrow and I need some color. I haven't dyed roving in a long time because every time I did, it felted. I'd stand side by side with Mim, use the same technique and dyes, but she would get beautiful results and mine were barely spinable. We put the roving on plastic wrap, applied dye, then steamed the packets. She sells hers and I can't spin mine. Something not right here. I've been thinking about dyeing in the oven so phished on the Internet and found information here.
I bought two 8 ounce bumps of undyed combed top from Mim a couple of weeks ago and I divided them both. The first two batches I dyed are Corriedale. Pardon my color notes, but they're for future reference for me. The first was lily, honeycomb and raspberry. I used too much dye, so while the results were intense color, I also threw away a lot of expensive dye. The second was mulberry, hibiscus and cycleman.
The last two batches were Merino and will be socks for me. The third is mulberry, olive and honey-
comb. The saturation of the olive isn't as intense as the other Gaywool colors so I need to consider that in the future, because I really like olive with purple.

I baked each batch at 355 degrees for about 30 minutes. Fortun-
ately our temps were a little cooler yesterday so I didn't heat up the house. I was in and done in 2 1/2 hours.

I dumped the wool into the small side of our sink after it had baked, and it cooled while I prepped for the next batch. The secret to not felting is a minimum of handling. The roving soaks with no agitation and then the rinse water is drained. The water doesn't fall onto the roving and I don't manipulate it. It looks terrible in the lasagne dish, but boy oh boy, does it look good here.
My last batch is myrtle, raspberry and olive. I had started to run out of ideas since I don't know what any of them are going to look together. I know I want to try this again but I won't until I have finished spinning these batches and have a better idea of color choices.

And here they are, my lovely ladies - ready for their debut. I cannot believe I never thought to try this before.

11 comments:

Life Looms Large said...

Cool! I guess deadlines really are a good thing sometimes!!

Love the color choices you made. Will be interesting to see how this looks as yarn!!

Sue

Purple Fuzzy mittens said...

I can't wait to see them in person!

Leigh said...

This sounds like so much fun. Great photos and great results!

Wool Enough said...

Those are gorgeous. Congratulations! I especially like the one with yellow, blue, cream, and a pinch of green. It's going to make a lovely yarn.

~~Sittin.n.Spinnin said...

Very nice!

Ray said...

Those are beautiful rovings! I have dyed in the microwave and using black plastic in the hot sun but never thought to try the oven. Sounds like great winter time dying! Only dye I have ever used is Kool-Aid. I have one Gaywool dye that I brought a long time ago. You are inspiring me to try something new. Thank you for sharing! Vicki J

Mim said...

Beautiful colors!

Laura said...

Ok, first let me say that I love the colors!! BUT - you should not dye in your oven... Please, please get a turkey roaster from St. Vinnies or Goodwill and do it in that. The technique is the same except you use the inner pan for the roaster as your "lasagna" pan. You set the temp (200-225 is usually enough) and then drain when done.

The way cool thing about the roaster is that you can fit 8 ounces of roving in there at a time...

bspinner said...

Great colors. I can't wait to see it spun up. I've never had any luck dying roving but with your information I think I'll give it another try.

vlb5757 said...

Those are just flat lovely. I really need to dye some of this stuff I am spinning. I want to try dying before I spin and then dye after spinning and see what happens. I can't wait to see what you make out of all of them.

wooly daisy said...

sharon- your results are gorgeous! awesome job! i especially like the one on the far left.