Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Spin till you dye

Sorry about that title. I really try to avoid the ubiquitous and nauseating "ewe" and "dye" puns, but sometimes I can't resist.

I dyed my handspun Blue-faced Leicester yesterday, using the aforementioned Jar Dyeing method as planned, and oh... my... God. The results exceeded my expectations.

Here it is, plied and wound onto the niddy-noddy:

It's a lovely cream color, but I fell in love with the deep, scarlet, vampire-blood red of my Japanese maple over the weekend, and I wanted something close to it.

I had some Jacquard Acid Dye in the Vermillion color that looked like it ought to do the job. I got it at Knit Picks probably 5 years ago, along with 5 other colors. I made a pretty strong dye solution because I wanted it pretty dark. I got what I wanted!

Gaahhh. It's deliciously uneven. Some places it's pink, some places it's nearly black. Overall, it's the lovely, deep red I wanted.

Now I get to decide what to make with it. There are about 3.5 ounces here. I was thinking about a scarf or cowl, but now I'm thinking of mittens... It's next-to-skin soft, so there are a lot of options.

I have an obscene stash of spinning fiber, as I've mentioned, which I have not touched in nearly 4 years. It's all been stored with Yardley of London Lavender soap, so it's stayed moth-free and smells wonderful. Now my bathroom smells like wet wool, vinegar and lavendar Eucalan, which is just the loveliest smell. Maybe I'll bottle that scent and create a wool-lover's air freshener!

Even though I already have all that fiber, I was looking at Knit Picks' fiber offerings and oh, my. They sell fiber for prices as reasonable as their yarn! Like the undyed Gloss roving (70% merino, 30% silk!) for $6.19 for 3.53 oz. That is an awesome price! I'll definitely be acquiring some of that when I burn through some of my stash.

Also, while looking for spinning groups in my area, I found this sheep and angora goat farm right in my 'hood of Maple Valley! Wow. This is dangerous. An old, dormant passion has been reawakened, and I've got enablers very close by.

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