Paste it in the head!


Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Misadventures in dyeing

Sooo, it turns out that dyeing roving is harder than it looks. I have much more of an appreciation for people who consistently produce beautifully dyed wool. Lorien and I spread out our little strips of roving (we didn't want to make too big of a commitment to any one "colorway," as if what we produced could rightly be called colorways).

I, as usual, didn't have a color scheme in mind, and I have tried to read memorize Deb Menz's Color in Spinning, but it's too technical for me. When I see per cent signs and acronyms (DOS, etc.), my brain turns off. It looks too much like math. I figured that I'd let my artistic, creative, free-flowing self take over and produce magical, beautiful colors.

Not so much.

These four rovings look better in the picture than they do in real life. The colors are brighter here, but they are actually pretty washed out, particularly the two on the right:

I didn't intend for them to be so light, but I'm pretty sure I know what went wrong; it was either:
*wool that was too wet,
*too much dye,
*not enough citric acid to set the dye, or
*forcing the rovings to cool off quickly by laying them out flat instead of keeping them rolled up.
Let's try all of the above, shall we?

These two look a bit better:

This one I spun up yesterday; I'll post pictures later.

This is the only one I'm actually pleased with. The colors are fairly true to what they were originally, and I like the way they all work together. Of course, I suppose that producing pretty blue/green roving is fairly easy, since most people like those colors and they complement each other so well.

I over-dyed the two lightest ones, with hopefully better results. I haven't washed and dried them yet, so I'm not sure what they'll look like, but I tried to make sure that they got well doused with citric acid, and they were not unrolled as they cooled off.


  • Yes, dyeing rovings is hard. However, hopefully your second attempt turned out better. I have yet to spin up my rovings but as you know, three of the four are definitely not what I had planned. However, they're better than I thought they would be when I saw the wrapped rovings wet, with the colours bleeding together. At least we didn't end up with a series of browns!

    I'm pretty sure we learned lots from our first dyeing experience. (#1: sitting on the floor for four hours hurts like hell).

    By Anonymous Lorien, at 12:49 PM  

  • personally, i love the top one.
    and you will be amazed how wonderful they all look spun up.

    ps. your bio is cracking me up!

    By Anonymous pippi, at 3:27 PM  

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