Friday, 10 October 2014

New toys

My new toys arrived today:
My husband declared them to be "terrifying".

As I mentioned in my last post, I had purchased a raw fleece. It was this gorgeous brown. I started combing it.

This past weekend at a crafting weekend, which will need its own post, we did a bit of dyeing. I threw some of this fiber in the dye pot after the original fiber was taken out. It turned a beautiful, rich purplish brown.
The top two locks are undyed. The bottom are dyed. I wanted more of this color...although the picture doesn't do it justice. 

The dye is Wilton icing colors. The nice thing about using this as a dye is that it is (obviously) food safe, so I didn't need to worry about what pot to use. 
The down side to this dye, as we found out later, is that it breaks easily. By "breaks", I mean it breaks down into the component dyes. The original ball of yarn has red on the outside and blue on the inside because the blue traveled farther. 

The fabulous part was what it did to this skein and to some fiber that Carol threw in the pot with my fiber. 

The fiber on the right is case you couldn't guess. The tips caught the purple/blue where the rest ended up a fabulous pink.

With these results I wanted to try to get more of the purple. I bought some dye of my own and put it all (one container of dye) in my large pot I use for water bath canning and let it heat up. I added as much fiber that would fit reasonably in the water and let it sit for a half hour. I rinsed the fiber and refilled the pot with more fiber as there was still color in the pot. The first batch of fiber came out a nice purplish for the most part, as expected.

I was a bit...surprised by the result.

The farther table has the fiber from the first batch of dyeing. The closer table has the second batch of fiber. It' 

I guess what happened is that the first batch took up all the red/blue and what was left was green. According to a friend, certain dyes are notorious for breaking. Dyes that contain Red dye #3, like this violet dye, tend to break. 

I've combed some of the green dyed fiber and it is less green after dyeing. The tips seem to have most of the color and they come out in the waste. 

The interesting thing about dyeing this fiber is that it seems to be softer after dyeing. Now that I have my new toys, I'll continue combing and see what I end up with. It could be an interesting hat as now it seems like it might be soft enough. I look forward to spinning this, but I haven't done any yet. 

Working with this fleece has made me want to process another raw fleece. I think what I might do with the rest of this is try dyeing it with kool aid. I will try a small batch and see how it turns out. I think the purple over the brown is beautiful and the kool aid allows me to do it in my kitchen without worrying about toxicity. This fleece may end up being about playing with overdyeing the brown. If I like the kool aid purple enough, I may do the rest of it like that and make something larger. Carol also mentioned that it could be used for striping with another color...or the natural fiber. 

In two weeks is another local fiber expo. I think I'll go solely for looking for another fleece or two to process. I didn't think I'd like this so much. 

I had been using a couple combs that I bought at Meijer. At the craft weekend, I got my hands on some proper wool combs. They were so much better than the hair combs. After using them a few times, I decided I needed my own set. 

This post got a bit side tracked. I think I'll try another post about combing. I'll have to get some pictures of the process.

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