Sunday, October 15, 2006

Dyeing on the Prairie





Dyeing was a part of both days at the fiber fest. The first day Jessica (that's her in the tie dye) led us through dying with acid dyes. She is messy and way too much fun. My gosh, she had a bazillion jars of colors. Well, ok maybe 50? It was really hard to figure out what I wanted to do. I had an idea when I got there, but after seeing all those colors it went up in smoke. When it was my turn to pick out colors, I just told her I wanted mine to be like easter eggs on acid. These are the colors I ended up with. And she had the most clever dyeing dishes. Those are plastic chip and dip bowls The skein fits nicely around it and the removable center helps keep things from just slopping around. I also learned that superwash really, really likes the dye. Hardly any in the bottom of the bowl and in fact, a bit difficult to get dye everywhere you wanted it. One of mine is pretty saturated, the other one, I wanted some white to show.

And this, thanks to the lovely Elabeth, is me doing my best to make only a small mess. It was so fun and I was delighted to know that she had sock yarn as well as roving. So I got two skeins to play with. Afterwards we hung them on a drying rack outside the building, and they finished drying in my bathroom. They aren't wound yet. Maybe tomorrow.

The second day was dyeing silk with Kool Aid. This is the weirdest thing I have ever done. We were given a silk hankie as well as some silk roving. It basically went like all other Kool Aid dyeing except that the silk, when wet, sort of looked like a wet cat's tail. Fortunately, before we ever started we got to see that when dry, things changed. What you do is to grasp the fiber in your hands, maybe 6-8 inches apart and tug hard. Sort of like snapping a cracker. And when you do, it opens up into much loveliness. Amazing. What will I do with it when it's all open? Umm probably keep it in a box until I can spin better and someone can show me what to do with it.

6 comments:

Laura said...

How cool! AND, we get to see a picture of you! Silk is something I want to try spinning someday. There IS some undyed roving in my stash I could play with, as soon as the Christmas knitting is over, of course. I'm so glad you had a great time, and you did lovely work. :)

Dave Daniels said...

Congratulations on the dyeing! How does it feel, to accomplish that? What is that bundt cake pan thing y'all are using? I just do it flat out on the counter. (Maybe I shouldn't!) Great dyeing you did, too.

Susan said...

Thanks Laura! I overheard some of the spinners talking about the silk. One said she had finally figured out how to do it and had looped the silk over her finger. I have no idea what that meant but the end product was wonderful.

Susan said...

Thanks Dave. It was sooo much fun and especially because there were people to share with. I guess if you have a class of dyers in a rented building with a huge kitchen and long white cabinet tops you do all you can to keep the dye contained LOL. Those chip and dip bowls worked great. And the long pieces of plastic taped to the countertops helped a lot too *G*. For awhile I was in charge of 'glugs'. Jessica put the dye powder in the bottle, added the water and handed it to me for a glug of vinegar. I'd add that, put the top on and tip it over and back to sorta mix it. Once though, using a very bright purple, when I took my finger off the tip of the bottle purple dye shot upward like a geyser. We got it off the walls quickly and with a squirt of clorox it was gone. Not quite the same for those of us in the vicinity. I was horrified, the teacher just laughed and laughed.

Elabeth said...

The looping over your finger thing I did with the silk is called spinning from the fold. There is a video over at http://www.icanspin.com/fold.htm

Susan said...

ooooooooooh spinning video? I need to go watch that..and bookmark it so 10 years from now when I can finally spin, I'll be able to find it again. How long have you been spinning?