fallingbooks: (dyeing)

Dye kit - WHOO!
Hopefully I'll get something going this weekend. :)
(Note to self: Go steal H's microwave.)

fallingbooks: grey and white cat sitting suspiciously close to the nasturtium (cats)
Figure out what you did with your dye notebook. The 50/50 brown/kelly green Wilton's is shaping up nicely.

(I have a buddy bringing me dead red bugs back from her NM vacation next week. I am excited!)
fallingbooks: (yarn)
So having survived the holidays (and hoping you survived your holiday of choice also,) I'm starting to play with the dyepot again. Right now I have twelve little jam jars full of diluted Wilton's paste cooling their heels on the kitchen counter while the crockpot chugs away at making a swatch skein out a packet of lemon-lime green koolaid. Dyeing? For the record? Takes a while. There's the soaking of the yarn in plain water (or plain water with citric acid, pending dye.) Then there's the dumping the whole mess in the crockpot and waiting for that to soak up the dye. Then there's the rinsing and waiting for it to dry (hoping that you'll be able to get it off the shower rod in time for you to take a shower and get to work on time.) Don't get me wrong, it's a lot of fun, but it's not fast. The nice thing is that I can walk away from it for a while and work on a project or write an email or try to beat my Netflix queue into submission while I wait. I'm hoping that the impending microwave will help speed the process some, although I suspect it'll require more of my attention.

In any event, I'm working on a swatch skein colorwheel in the koolaids right now, and I plan to do the same for the Wilton's later in the week.

In the interim. Remember the Romney I trashed in my early attempts to dye roving?

Well, it still looks like crap:

Crap Romney

(I tried to dye it green-blue with orange highlights. Bad decision, there's all these blotchy brown patches all over it. Very unattractive. I think that sort of thing is probably best for handpainting and not kettle dying.)

However, it spins up fairly decently. Color me amazed.

Crap Romney spun up

I'm spindle-spinning this because I have a project on the wheel already, but I think it'll turn out okay. Mittens maybe. Or socks. What do you think? There's about 4 Oz of it.


Mar. 24th, 2010 11:39 pm
fallingbooks: (Default)
Unexpected problem in having Koolaid around the house: crushing nostalgia and the resultant fruit punch mouth.
fallingbooks: piles of books and yarn (fallingbooks)
1.) I need to rinse out the things I dye a little better. My hands smell like cotton candy koolaid death.

2.) Spinning evenly from silk hankies is going to require mucho practice.

::eyes the mess on the wheel::

I finally managed to get my hands on some pint mason jars locally today (True Value FTW!), so I can start blending down the Wilton's pastes and start messing with them. I gather there are some issues with the red absorption in those (and the red is in several of the manufactured colors) so if you don't manage it just so the blended color will break down into it's components leaving you with an interesting spectrum represented in your yarn. Which may be fine, depending on what you want.

I plan to use these dyes until they're gone, but I have a feeling that once summer comes and I can start doing some of this work outside (and I can just see me running extension cords out my bedroom window so I can run a crockpot and microwave out on my apartment's tiny patio) I'll probably start moving over to proper textile-intended acid dyes. Getting my hands on blue and green koolaid has been a royal pain so far, and with regard to finicky red dyes, well, I'm not exactly known for my patience.

Anyway! That's going to have to wait until next week, because I'm going to try to make some progress on my wips this weekend, although at the rate I'm going, I'm now making sweaters for next fall. Yeesh.
fallingbooks: (yarn)
I dyed!


I crockpotted 2 skeins of white Full O' Sheep (hey, I never said it didn't have it's uses, and JoAnn's does have fabulous coupons on occasion,) dyed one side green (2 packs of green Koolaid, 4 cups water, flipped 'em, dyed the other side, dipped out some spent water, (we were seriously starting to head into overflow,) and then sprinkled blue all over both sides. Voila!, 300 yards of I don't know what. Smells tasty.

Tonight I did some really bad things to a braid of romney. I'm gonna pretend it never happened, seriously. I don't even think overdyeing will save it. In the interim I'm going to spend tome time studying color theory and try to figure out how the freaking heck to tie top/roving up so it doesn't get all drifty.
fallingbooks: (yarn)
I have been staring at the crock pot on the kitchen counter for about a week. It's still in the box, I haven't talked myself into slicing it open yet.

My massive box of wool showed up early Friday morning. 5lbs of BFL and a 4oz of silk hankies. I read somewhere that the hankies are useful in picking up excess dye that the yarn doesn't take.

I bought the visual learning how to dye book a few weeks back, hellbent on learning acid dyes. (This may be where I read about the hankies.) I learned that acid dyes are TERRIFYING AND DEADLY. And probably shouldn't be used in small spaces like my kitchen.

I now own a lot of koolaid.

Scratch that. An INSANE amount of koolaid. and some tubs of wilton's food coloring.

Maybe I'll open up the crock pot tonight.

Maybe I'll get dressed in something presentable and go buy some vinegar.

Or maybe I won't.

Edit! I will! My fingers are a violent blue right now.
fallingbooks: (yarn)
AUGH. I just bought 5 lbs of BFL top for dyeing.

More later when I'm done hyperventilating.
fallingbooks: grey and white cat sitting suspiciously close to the nasturtium (cats)
...on 'adopting' a sheep and has anyone any experience with it?

If you're not familiar with the concept, there are a number of farms out that that for a fee will allow you to 'adopt' one of their critters (usually in the llama, alpaca and sheep families, although sometimes goats and bunnies.) The idea being that you pay upfront (anywhere from $50-$250) for a lot of the year's care and feeding and in exchange you get to run off with the fleece at shearing season. You also generally get a picture of your adopted critter, updates from the farm, and opportunities to visit if you're local.

I like the idea because not only do I get a fleece (!!!) I'm giving money directly to the farmers and hopefully taking a little worry off their hands by putting money in their hands in the early stages of production. I also think that for ME it's a little more cost effective than a CSA share for the most part, offering a whole 5-6 lb fleece as compared to 1-2 pounds of processed roving/yarn. But that's also because I'm interested in dealing with the fleecy end of things, and don't necessarily need the extra processing, which also adds on additional costs at the farm level.

I still need to research it a bit more, figure out what kind of fleece I want, etc., I'd love to do alpaca, but sheep are more in my priceline at the moment.

I am getting way too into this.
fallingbooks: (yarn)
There are a bunch of posts I feel like I should be making before this one, but if I wait to post until I'm ready to write them, I'll never get to it. Hi, hello, I fell off the face of the Earth, I'm sorry.

This is what my bathroom looks like right now:

a rainbow of yarn hanging of the shower rod. Which is this side of snapping.

Yes, the wheel and I finally made friends. Huzzah! And I find that more than buying and using commercial or even indie dyed yarns, I like making my own better. (I will probably like it even more once I get better control over the thickness of my singles. Now everything calls for fingering weight yarn.) There's just this real sense of satisfaction in knowing that it's all your doing from start to finish and that it's exactly what you wanted.

Which is why I'm going to start dying my own fiber.

(I should note: I did not dye any of the stuff in the picture.)

I know, I know, I'm nuts. But I'm getting a free microwave to use for dyeing when a friend of mine moves next month. She and her husband bought a house that has a built in, so this one's going out the door which is fortuitous for me! This means dyeing shall commence with terrifying fervor next month. (Or maybe April. I'm not sure when she's moving just yet.) I think this means I'm going to back off on buying dyed stuff unless it's really gorgeously gorgeous so I can funnel the funds into supplies and suchlike. I'm really quite !!!!! about the whole thing because it really changes my whole fibery worldview. spinning aside, so long as I buy the right base yarn, I can dye it to be whatever I want. No more hunting for the right color in the right fiber in the right weight. No more grumbling about the lack of semi-solids in affordable commercial yarn. No more whining because my favorite color isn't currently in fashion. (Not true at the moment as I'm totally into that dark teally blue floating around, but how long can my luck last, really?) I'm not saying that it isn't going to be an incredible, insane disaster to start out because it so totally is going to be, but eventually I'll get there, and it is going to be AWESOME.


fallingbooks: (Default)

January 2011

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