Monday, January 9, 2012

Dyeing Roving: The So-Not-A Tutorial

As I said, I've been hankering to learn to dye roving and yarn.  I already have my fingers in the dye pot as far as wool fabric is concerned and feel pretty comfortable with that, however, the technique for yarn and roving dyeing is just a bit different. 
So I have been watching YouTube videos, reading tutorials online and consulting books and, without further ado.....I give you my first attempt!
Oh, and I apologize in advance for the crummy pictures.  We have a dark kitchen and when you factor in a bad camera with my even worse photography skills......well you do the math.
First I gathered together all my supplies.
I used ProChem dyes because that's what I use to dye wool for my rug hooking and have it on hand.  I also needed a glass measuring cup, vineger, plastic squeeze bottle and an old chopstick for stirring and poking things down.  In addition, I needed old newspapers, plastic wrap, a colander, plastic glover and a big enamel pot.
First, I soaked the roving.  I added a bit of Jet Dry to the water so the wool would absorb the water quickly.

I know, it looks like one of those Halloween party things where you have to stick your hands into a pan full of guts.  Or maybe that's just the kind of Halloween parties I get asked to.  Never mind.
While the wool was soaking I put newpaper over the kitchen counters and then plastic wrap over that.  I put two long strips of plastic wrap down and then pinched them together to made a long seam in the middle.  This will all become important later on in the process.
Next I gently took the wool from the pan and gently squeezed the water out.  Gently, gently, gently.  Handling the wool roughly will cause it to felt and we don't want that.

I laid out the wool folding it back and forth so it all fit on the saran wrap.  Now for the fun part.....
Adding the color!  I chose four colors:  Evergreen, Teal, Plum and Bright Orange.  Although it doesn't look like it in this picture, I added a toothpick tip of Brillant Blue to the Orange to tone it down a bit and make it a more of a rust color.  I won't go into how I measured the dye and mixed it because I am learning some new ways to do that and will write about that in another post. 
Anyway, I carefully poured the dye into the squeeze bottles, which I bought at Walmart in the section where they had the small kitchen items.  Only 97 cents each! 
Then I squeezed the dye on the roving in wide strips.  Wearing plastic gloves, I made sure that I gently worked the dye into the fibers all the way through.  Remember....gently....see above.
What comes next?  I'll post that tomorrow!

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