Saturday, September 11, 2010

A Roving, a Roving...

Well, I'm dyeing again!

I'm using Koolaid and black food coloring again. Wish the wasps would leave me alone, I must smell yummy!
Back to the job at hand. I had two sleeves of Knit Picks Superwash Merino and nylon roving. I filled each of four condiment bottles with a mixture of warm water with a teaspoon of vinegar. Each bottle was numbered. Here's which Koolaid flavor and food coloring I put into each one.

1 - 3 orange and 2 drops black food coloring
2 - 2 orange, 1 cherry, 2 drops black food coloring
3 - 2 cherry, 1 black cherry, 2 drops black food coloring
4 - 2 orange, 1 lemonade, 1 drop black food coloring

I soaked the first batch of roving in nice warm water with a glug-glug of white vinegar for about 15 minutes or so. When I took it out...eek! It tried to come apart! It's so easy to spin because it's all fluffed out, but that makes it difficult to keep together when it's wet. I did the best I could, and laid it out on plastic on the deck.

Then I squirted the contents of each condiment bottle onto one section. When all four were used up, I rolled up the plastic, squishing the dye into the fibers. Squishy-squishy.

The bottom part shows how it looked after rolling up and squishing it. I ended up with a squishy sausage. (I know what's in this sausage, and it's high in fiber, but I still wouldn't eat it!) I folded up the sausage and placed it into the sun tea jar. Then I filled it up with hot water. It stayed in the sun a couple of hours.

While the first batch was sunning itself, I decided I wasn't going to make the same mistake with the second batch. Ha! I made different mistakes! Instead of soaking the roving in warm water with vinegar, I laid it out on a black plastic trash bag on a big cookie sheet. I folded the big loop of roving into four separate sections and encased each in plastic wrap. Then I poured hot water mixed with vinegar onto each section, followed by most of my dyes, which I had mixed up this way, because I was getting low on orange:

1 - 2 orange, 1 lemonade, 1 drop black food coloring. I divided it in half and added half of a mixture of 1 drop of black food coloring mixed with 1/4 C water. Dilute both with hot water and vinegar.
2 - rest of above mixture, but without the rest extra food coloring
3 - one orange, one cherry, one drop black food coloring
4 - one cherry, one black cherry, one drop black food coloring.

Here's what it looked like when I rolled up each section of plastic wrap:

Then I folded over the black trash bag into a nice package and put it in the sun, just like a camping shower:

It looks like a foil package, but foil would reflect the sun and not heat up enough. When it was done, I wasn't happy with it because there was still too much white, so I soaked it in hot water and vinegar, put it back on the black plastic on the cookie sheet and used the leftover dye on as much of the white parts as I could. I was happier with the result. Both batches got a nice bath when all the dye was gone from the liquid. This time, I tied each batch of roving loosely in several places, and it stayed together better. The wasps have lost interest, so I guess the smell is mostly gone.

Here's what I learned from this experiment:
Don't do this without gloves! I ended up like Homer's Rosy-fingered Dawn:

Don't soak roving in washpan without tying it loosely in several places. It does need to soak, though, to absorb the dye.
Don't spread wet roving out to dye. It comes apart!
Wrapping the roving in black plastic works great, even in fairly cool weather!

That's all for this week. It's a long blog, so I'll skip all the usual what's on my needles, etc. This blog is dedicated to our sweet but ornery feline friend of 17 years, Kasih, who died--not dyed--this week after being in poor health for a couple of years. May I have the courage to face life and death the way she did!

No comments:

Post a Comment