Showing posts with label dye. Show all posts
Showing posts with label dye. Show all posts

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Alpaca Scarf - Start to Finish

My goal for this scarf project was to see if I would be happy spinning and knitting with a single ply yarn. My thoughts have always been that a single would slant and perhaps even fall apart.
I started with a couple year's growth of white alpaca fleece from the handsome Target who lives with Chris and Jenn in St. Louis, Michigan.

To Target's fleece I added a few pounds of white merino that I purchased from the McMurrays' who have the shop Genopalette on Etsy. They always provide me with the most awesome, clean sheep fleece imaginable.
So below is little Max with this huge bag of top beautifully processed at Zeilingers' in Frankenmuch, Michigan.

I dyed up a few pounds of the top in my crock pot and have some still listed in my shop (This isn't the same dye lot as my scarf)

I spun 2.6 ounces of the dyed top rather tight for me. I was really afraid it would fall apart, but I didn't need to worry. I washed the yarn in hot water and agitated it a little so that it would felt some. It did just that, stayed together, but retained its lovely softness.

....and here, TA,DAHHHHHH, is my scarf.

It is for sale in my shop here if you want to look more.
In conclusion - YES! I will continue to knit with a single ply yarn, but I will probably always worry about the possibility of a slant - probably never doing a vest or sweater, anything large....

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Dyeing Raw Alpaca

I came across 2 ZipLocks of raw white dirty alpaca and am not sure where it came from. The amount of dirt and VM makes me think that someone gave it to me. Not really sure so I'm just going to call it Celeste 'cause she gets pretty dirty. The alpacas are all different with how much junk they like to wear in their fiber. We don't bed with straw and every morning I sweep up any hay that gets dropped so my fleeces are pretty clean. Well, actually Very clean. But then there is piggy Celeste. She rolls a lot - in spilled hay - in mud puddles - in snow (no, the snow doesn't clean her up). I digress. I came to show you the above fiber.

I soaked this fleece last night in Dawn and the hottest tap water I could get for a couple of hours and gently drained it in the sink with the drain open. Removed it and filled the sink with warm water and a big glug of white vinegar and let it set overnight.
I put it into my crock pot this morning and sort of divided the area into thirds and dotted Jacquard dry powder to produce the three colors you see here. Poured boiling water over and sort of poked a little to get the colors distributed but not running together. Cooked for 30 minutes and let cool on its own. Rinsed a couple of times and spun out in my washing machine.

Now I don't quite know what I'm going to do with it. It's quite lovely just as it is. I could spin it just like that, I could card it, I could sell it. Maybe I'll just leave it on the kitchen counter to admire for a while.....

Saturday, January 5, 2008

A Successful Experiment

I need to share this happy little experiment with you. I finished dyeing the roving on the left and quite a lot of dye was left in my crock pot. So, I poured it into the canning jar, added a glug of white vinegar, and stuffed in the little 95 yard ball of handspun that was waiting for a project in my knitting basket. I zapped it in the microwave for 3 minutes and let it cool. The color was totally exhausted and the yarn came out beautiful because the outer part of the ball was much darker than the inside. Really pretty as you can see below. It was in my Etsy store about five hours before it sold.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

I meant what I said yesterday. I am going to use up my dyed roving! I deserve to spin this lovely stuff! Yes! This is what is hanging up drying right now, and I've started about 4 ounces of a pink/ lavendar roving that I had named Heatherbelle after a very dear young friend.
I was telling friend Beth that I will soon run out of the dyed and why does it seem like we shouldn't start new projects, like dyeing, before Christmas. It feels like things should be finished up - wrapped up, literally. But I will probably break through that mind set and get out the dye pots.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

This is our Riley cat in his favorite, come hither pose. If you have read the delightful kids' book, My Big Dog by Stevens and Crummel, you would know Riley's personality. He is definitely Merl, "a very special cat", who tries to rid his home of a Golden Retriever who comes to live with him.
A few years ago we found ourselves house catless with incoming mice. Husband says We must get a cat. Says I Just wait, a cat will find us. I was telling our groomer about the mice invasion and she asked if we would like her Riley, a full grown, neutered, declawed male. And being rather suspicious of any free give away, I asked what was wrong with him. It seems that at night, groomer woman puts her 3 Dalmatians in crates - and Riley spends the entire night, parading, meowing, and jumping on their crates which of course keeps the dogs barking all night.
Riley lives here now and know that his job is to rid us of mice and not to tease our three dogs.

Well, I'm off to dye this morning. I make myself chuckle when I say that.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

This yarn turned out really nice. I think that I will not put it into my Etsy shop, but rather enter it into the skein competition at the Michigan International Alpaca Fest in Birch Run at the end of this month. Entries are due by Saturday so need to get it washed and ready to submit.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

I am so determined to dye my alpaca and retain all the lovely features of this fiber - softness, fineness, loftiness, and mainly - easy to spin.

I'm using Pollux's baby alpaca to experiment. Here's today's adventure:

I weighed up 2 one ounce samples. Turned my crock pot on. Started heating a tea kettle full of water. I wound one ounce of roving lightly around the inside of the crock pot and poured 1/2 cup of white vinegar onto it, then half my tea kettle of hot water, just about covering the fiber. Then I dyed by dipping the end of wooden spoons into the powder and applying it to the roving (this was fun seeing the colors explode). I sort of divided it into fourths & used 4 colors.
I repeated this same procedure using the rest (1 ounce) of my roving.
I turned the crock up to high, covered it, and cooked for 30 minutes. The water was clear so maybe I could have stopped sooner.
I took the pot out and let it set until cool.

I put this in my Etsy shop but have some that I "cooked" yesterday and am spinning up today. It is really fun to work in some color. Like Peggy, I dearly love the natural colors of alpaca but just need to do different stuff once in a while. I'll post my yarn tomorrow when I finish spinning it.

Monday, July 16, 2007

These are the rovings that I dyed at the Saturday workshop. Well, not the brown, that's just natural colored alpaca. This is the first time that I haven't overdone dyeing my roving. In the past they have been nearly felted, would break easily, and have been very hard to spin.
Everything that we dyed had a vinegar soak to start with.
Top left yellow was held in a simmering kettle for about 3 minutes and then allowed to dry on the racks. The orangey one was spread out and hand painted with yellow, pumpkin, and red, and then nuked for 1 1/2 minutes in the microwave. I also did a purplish one in the microwave that isn't shown here. After everthing cooled off naturally, we gave it a rinse in a bucket of plain water. I had quite a bit of color come out.
Now, I think that these all look and will spin nicely, but I'm not convinced that they will retain the colors well. Will have to wait and see but I am envisioning colored fingers while spinning.