Dyeing for an Adventure

Get it? Dyeing, instead of dying? Ok, well, maybe I am the only one chuckling at my little pun. That’s ok because I am so please with my most recent experiment with hand dyeing that it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks. 🙂

Last week I received some beautifully soft and fluffy fiber in the mail from a small family farm in Michigan. I ordered it from The Sheep and I on etsy, and it is a blend of cormo wool, llama fleece and mohair. All the animals on this farm are raised on organic feed and handled with love and care, so I was happy to support their shop by purchasing a sample of their fiber.

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A few days after getting the fiber in the mail, my little boy and I were dyeing some boiled eggs for Easter time. I looked at all those brightly colored cups of dye solution and said, “Oh, my! We can’t let all this lovely stuff go to waste!” I immediately got the fiber soaking so I could dye it while Little J napped. Having never dyed roving before, I wasn’t really sure quite how I wanted to go about it. Because the Easter egg dyes were already mixed with quite a bit of water and some vinegar, I new it wouldn’t work to hand paint and steam it…too much liquid! So I decided to use a pot on the stove with just a little lukewarm in it to start, then added the soaked (loosely braided) roving and slowly poured the dyes over different sections of the braid. I knew that the red dye in the purple might drift around and make some parts of the green and blue a bit brownish, but I was ok with this. It was just an experiment, after all! Some brownish spots did appear, but I don’t mind at all.

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After a couple of days of hanging to dry and a bit of fluffing up, here is the brilliantly bright finished roving! I have dubbed this color combination “Aurora Borealis” because that is just what these colors remind me of…although I’ve never had the joy of seeing the Northern Lights in person. Maybe someday!

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I don’t know what I’m going to do with this fiber yet. I am not a spinner (yet) and don’t have a spindle to even attempt learning how to spin yarn. I am very much considering the possibility of starting a shop to sell hand dyed yarn and fiber in the future, but that is still very much in the thinking and planning stages. So, I guess I will just keep it and look and it and pet it for now.

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Every time I dye something, I just get itching to do more and more, so this is definitely something you will be seeing and hearing more about later on! I am daily reading about different brands of professional dyes, methods for hand dyeing yarn and fiber, different types of fibers, tools to use in the home dye studio, etc., etc., etc.! I even started a secret Pinterest board full of photos of inspiration for color combinations for when I do get up and running! So much to think about…what an adventure!

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