Saturday, July 28, 2007

Dyeing Wool

As promised, I have photos of the dyeing with Koolaid process. I dyed the wool last night and gave it to the hostess of our class this morning. I am always amazed that wool, water, Koolaid, and heat can produce such a lovely thing as softly colored wool. My microwave is old and so it took about twelve minutes to dye this sheep's wool.
Start with natural colored roving, batting, or spun yarn. This is wool that I picked clean and scoured (washed), dried and paid someone to card into roving. Carding means to brush all the hairs going in the same direction while removing the tangles. Roving refers to the way the fiber looks after it's carded. Roving is a long string of fiber, rolled up in a ball.

Pull enough of the roving off the ball to fill a two quart microwaveable bowl.

Mix two packets of unsweetened Koolaid into seven to eight cups of water.
I used Black Cherry last night. I have also dyed with Strawberry Kiwi, Berry Blast, Lemonade, Limeade, and Grape.

Place the loosely rolled wool in the Koolaid, pushing it down gently and making sure that the wool becomes thoroughly soaked.
Put the whole concoction in the microwave. Shut the door. Time: five minutes. Temperature: high. Repeat if necessary until all or almost all of the color has disappeared from the water and has been absorbed by the wool.

The result is a lovely rose shaded wool fiber, with a lightly variegated look.

Don't your hands just itch to grab it and spin it up into a lovely heather yarn?

1 comment:

roxie said...

This is so neat - but it does rather make one wonder about what that dye does in the human system. Your class sounds wonderful. Good on you!!