Friday, March 23, 2012

Getting ready for classes

It's officially Spring! Nice weather means that I can dry my yarn and dyed articles outside where they dry much faster and there's little chance that the cat will 'help' by pulling wet skeins off the drying rack. I typically don't dye much because I just don't like the mess, but I also can't resist making colors. So I end up doing some dyeing once or twice each year.

Since I wanted to show my students at the Great Lakes Fiber Festival a few fun things, I'd purchased a few little bags of fibers I didn't have in stock, including tencel and cotton nepps . Monday was the perfect day for dyeing them. The tencel presented no problems as it wetted out quickly and absorbed the dye nicely. Since the cotton nepps were still floating in the soda ash soak (even with the addition of Synthrapol) I let them soak for another day. On Tuesday most of the nepps were wetted through so I decided to go ahead with dyeing even though the dry nepps wouldn't absorb any color. I let them sit in the dye until last night to make sure that the color took on the little cotton bits. The cotton is still sitting on the drying rack but the dyes are exactly the same color as the tencel so I haven't bothered with photos.
Clumps of tencel, which become individual tiny balls of tencel once they dry completely.
Since I was already making a mess of the laundry area with dyes and chemicals, I decided to dye the wool/cotton yarn I'd spun years ago. My expectation was that the cotton clumps in the yarn would take the color while the wool would remain it's natural color or become tinted with the dyes. Imagine my surprise when the wool also accepted the fiber-reactive dye! I've rinsed the yarn till the water ran clear, but the wool still retains the dye to a stronger degree than I'd expected.

Fiber, it's all a learning experience and so much fun to explore!

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