In my frenzy of stash organizing and decluttering I came across quite a lot of undyed fiber in a box. A couple pounds of Falkland, some merino/tussah silk, a pound and a half of Targhee. There was also a pound of domestic wool that I received when I bought my wheel way back when. It occurred to me that the girls might enjoy dyeing fiber for their own sweaters for next winter. The fact that the activity might eat up an afternoon was also quite popular with the holiday-parental unit.
I pulled out my sample cards and showed them which colors I had. They each picked four (both, strangely enough, went for fuschia) and I sent them off to watch Tom and Jerry while I made up stock solutions. And then the fun began.
We started off by soaking the fiber in a big plastic tub - I added some citric acid to the soaking water to be sure that the dyes would strike - and once the fiber was wet, the painting started.
The girls had to be convinced to part with their top.
Devil did hers in the crockpot with brilliant blue, fuschia, turquoise and scarlet Jacquard Acid dyes.
We cooked it on high for about an hour and a half. I was kind of worried that there wasn't enough liquid in the pot, so I added about half a cup of water. The end result was that the bottom layers of the top ended up much darker then the top layer or two.
I'm not sure how it will spin up, and she's not all that thrilled with it at the moment, but we'll see how she feels once it's yarn.
Boo chose yellow, orange, green and pink. And then used all the colors I'd made up instead. Her top was done in the oven in a roasting pan, and the colors that came out were, um, a bit bright.
Thirty minutes in the oven at 190, the kitchen smelled like wet sheep, and we had this:
Boo is pretty thrilled with this, when I can get her to stand still long enough to venture an opinion. We'll see how the yarn ends up, but I suspect it will be quite cheerful (if nothing else!).
The final results:
This dyeing session and my recent organizing made me appreciate even more the talents of the dyers I get fiber from. I put all of my Hello Yarn Fiber Club unspun tops together. There's quite a bit...
That's something like 5 or 6 pounds of fiber. And if I get really brave, I might even be able to combine some of those colorways to get some interesting yarns for larger garments.