Tuesday, July 19, 2005


Is There Life After Dyeing?

Apparently so. I'm still here.

I went out for another spinning lesson today, however I was late, we were going to ply but I didn't have enough ready, and my wheel sucks.


And donkeys, more than likely.

Anyhow, couldn't get much of anything done until I switched to her lovely Ashford Traditional. I may or may not be keeping my clunker of a wheel, but I'm definitely getting me one of them there Ashfords!

Got stuck in traffic on the way home (took me two hours!) and after suitably refreshing our hot, sticky selves with ice cream cones, Eleanor and I decided we should take a run at dyeing the fleece we washed yesterday.

So, I spent a day and a half drying it, only for it to end up back here:

Behold, the fleece, leisurely soaking in a warm bath with some vinegar added. I could only find cider vinegar, however, and may never be able to eat fish and chips again. I added some soap, too. I couldn't remember if Diana had said to do so or not, and well, I couldn't see the harm.

We carefully gathered our serious and expensive tools of the trade.

These are, in order from left to right, a mug that says "Just Say No To Housework" and which has, for some reason, a cat sitting on a sofa licking its ass, a mug from Capilano College, a mug from Sprint Canada, a mug my friend gave me and which is impossible to use due to the nasty addition of a heart instead of a handle, a mug informing all and sundry that Beer has been the proud sponsor of casual sex since 1858 (I'm assuming it was all mead and stuff before that) and a mug advertising a company I worked for 15 years ago and which has since gone out of business. As has the logo on the outside of the cup, it would seem.

The Dubble Bubble cup behind that row belongs to the cat. She won't drink water out of a bowl on the floor.

Shut up.

An aerial view of the carefully measured and mixed high quality dyes.

OK, I bought them at the Super Store just after Easter when they had overstocked. I paid 35 cents (Canadian, even) per package of six colours.

I love the blue, which is unfortunate, considering what happened later. (This, dear readers, is a literary device known as foreshadowing. Take note of it; it will be on the final.)

I poured in the dye, as per Missy Eleanor's detailed instructions, and got this:

Hey, it's Pride week here in Vancouver -- I could get me my own little rainbow flag!

After soaking for an hour or two and checking repeatedly, I resigned myself to the fact that the dye wasn't going to exhaust and washed it all out.


is now drying on The Rack (I'm starting to sound like the Spanish Inquisition, aren't I, with the racks and the orifice tools and all ...). I think it looks sort of like cotton candy. We won't really know what the hell it's done until after it's dry and carded and spun, but I'm pretty pleased with it in spite of the paleness of the colours.

Stay tuned for more Adventures in FibreLand.

You need to heat it for the dye to fix !
This method will work with your dyes :

I had suspected that that might be the problem but seeing this was Easter Egg dye and works in warm water I thought I'd at least try it!

Thank you for the link. I may boil this puppy up again tomorrow. (and felt it no doubt)
They are pretty colors. Nice trial run.
Great colours, next time you are out here, we are definitely dyeing fibre. Emma is right, you need heat.

First you soak your fibres, then you start to heat them up in the soaking water, when they reach 120 F you can then add the dyes. Then you bring the temp up to 150 - 180 F and hold it there for a while, that's when and how the dye "enters the wool" and stays there.

I have notes on all of this and will copy them for you. It's part sciene and mostly fun and intuition. Just wanted to relay the science piece to you so your gorgeous colours stay that way.
You made pastel Pride cotton candy. Hee.
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