Sunday, June 1, 2014

More Fiber Fun

Another sunny day here. Rinsed Batch #2 yesterday. Two dyes broke (green, second up on left, has spots of yellow....and, violet, last in row on right, has spots of burgundy).....and six didn't exhaust completely. Happens with the darker colors sometimes....especially fuschia. 

Today's dye session will involve those dyes that didn't exhaust yesterday. I'm using a light gray Shetland/alpaca blend. It will be interesting to see the end results especially since a couple of the jars were light on dye.

For those who are curious I thought I would explain my dyeing method. It's actually very easy. My girls and I would spend days dyeing fiber like this when they were little. Anyway, I'm using large canning jars. Quart size. About half an ounce or so of fiber fits nicely in them. My dyes of choice are Jacquard Acid Dyes, but food coloring and Kool-aid (unsweetened) works just as well. I won't comment on any other types of dyes since I haven't worked with them. The first thing in the jar is vinegar. I put in about a 1/4" - 1/2". I'm not super precise. Next thing in the jar is dye. I have these little coffee stirrers from McDonald's that I use to measure out my dye powder. They look like tiny spoons with long handles.  Once the dye is in then I add water until the jars are filled to just under the neck of the jar. Fiber is then added. I don't pre-soak my fiber. I figure it will be sitting in the dye solution for hours. Plenty of time to get thoroughly wet. I have an ice tea spoon that I use to gently push the fiber into the jar. Finally the lids are screwed on and the jars set out in the sun. Easy peasy!

I will let the jars sit out for the afternoon. Sometimes even overnight. Just depends on how busy I am that day. It's funny hearing the lids "pop". Once the dye has exhausted, or the jars have sat in the sun for a few hours, it's time to take the fiber out. Rinse until the water runs clear. Lay out to dry. Enjoy!

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