Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Therapy..... I don't know if it's the weather, but I've been doing some spring cleaning. I haven't had a purging session for quite a while, and it sure felt good. I've had this tall dangling silk tree for approx 15 years whose branches would never stay in the main trunk. I would be vacuuming and it never would fail, just by bumping it it would drop branches. So it was very theraputic ripping it apart and putting it outside in the bin.

More therapy......

I bought some mystery fiber from Wool2dye4. Sheila doesn't carry this on a regular basis, but from her blog she's hoping to be able to in the future. It was selling for $10 per lb, and I thought it's worth the price to get for practice spinning. When it arrived it looked and felt great. Of course it didn't end there..... I saw an article on knitty.com about Koolaid dyeing. I was hooked. I like the fact that it's non-toxic and I don't need to designate any special pots for the dyeing process so I kept on researching, and these are some of my results....

My dyeing pots. An old canner, and stainless steel bowls.

In a stainless steel pot cooling down.

My drying technique....hanging the dyed rovings on a plastic hanger.

Some pictures of the completely dried rovings. The colours stayed pretty consistent.

I still haven't spun any of this up yet. It's been dyed, and rinsed, and then hung to dry. The dyed fiber doesn't have the same feel as the undyed stuff. It's feeling sort of stiff it's like it's lost it's 'loft' through the dyeing process. All of the resources on Koolaid dyeing mentioned to be careful of felting the fiber. As a beginner I was a little afraid that I might do so. As it turns out I can still pull it apart and fluff it up, but not enough to spin from it properly. So I'm going to have to handcard it before spinning. I don't have handcard's :( but I found out my mother-in-law does! They're in the process of moving back to Alberta, and I discovered that the handcard's are packed in amongst many boxes in a farm shed .....

So..... patience is not one of my virtues. This meant more online comparison shopping and I came up with a pretty good price on a set of handcard's at Paradise Fibers. They're presently in the mail so I'm going to have to wait to spin up this newly dyed fiber. It's been an interesting process, one that has made me appreciate all the effort that's put into the luscious handpainted roving and yarn that's sold online and in local yarn stops.

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