I've been doing some dyeing with the girls recently. The first attempt, with Devil, resulted in some lovely brightly colored Romney locks, which I got as a gift with my hand carders.
Violet, Scarlet, Turquoise and Sun Yellow - colors picked by Devil and dyed with no standards whatsoever (i.e. Devil dumped in a bunch of 1% stock into a jar until she liked the color and we put some locks in). These were microwaved for about 6 minutes each I believe. We rinsed them out in the big dye box, spun out the excess water in the washing machine, and hung them out to dry.
Now the question is what to do with them. They'll be good practice for the hand cards, but what sort of gawdawful yarn will these colors make? Yikes!
Our next project involved the turkey roaster. I had a little problem the last time I ordered dyes - somehow I found myself on the roving page at Dharma Trading Company, and ended up with a box containing 2 oz of dye and 2 lbs of wool. Hunh. So I'm looking at this massive pile of wool and wondering what the heck I'm going to do with it. And sitting next to the pile was the Fall issue of Interweave Knit, which contains the pattern for the Peacoat of Gloriousness (Rav link) that I am completely in love with. Not that I need a wool peacoat in Houston, but heck, next fall I will definitely want one. So my new spinning goal is to spin up enough yarn to make it.
The first yarn (worsted weight) is going to be from this wool, dyed purple. I think the variegation in the fiber will work well as yarn, but I'll probably have to sample* a bit before I commit to spinning up the whole mess. The second yarn (the pattern calls for two different yarns held doubled) I think is going to be merino/tencel, dyed violet, spun DK weight. At least that is the plan. Who knows what it will actually become.
This attempt was somewhat less successful in that there is now a large purple splotch on my driveway (thanks Boo!). We did these in the roaster and I ended up dyeing with twice as much dye as yarn (by weight). I had to add a bit more water to keep things from drying out too much. 3 hours at ~175 degrees and then left it to cool overnight.
This is a lot of purple fiber, people. I've got two balls of this stuff now, and they are approximately the size of 40 lb pumpkins. Much, much larger then my head. Maybe Devil and Boo's heads stuck together. In any event, I'm either going to need a ball winder or many more bobbins to spin all this stuff up. Anyone want to take bets on wether or not I can get it done by next summer so I can knit the damn coat before it gets cold?
* Oh no, a second dreaded "S" word!