Saturday, July 9, 2011

Tour de Fleece.... days 6, 7 and 8

Days 6 and 7 saw more spindle spinning. So did today, day 8. In fact I took my spindle to the laundromat with me. Great way to make that chore not a chore.

This morning I took the smaller batt of wool/silk blend out back and dyed it. I soaked it for an hour in water with a good dose of vinegar because I'm using acid dyes. The vinegar is the acid that will act as a mordant. I used to think that the word 'acid' meant that the dyes themselves were acid. It does not... it refers to the fact that the dye needs some sort of acid to help the fabric absorb the dye.

So after looking at my little jars of powdered dye this week and imagining different combinations of color, I decided to go simply with a purple and a burgandy.

After the soak I removed the wool batt and unfolded it as best I could over some laid out plastic wrap. Then I poured purple and red dye over it in bands and used a spoon to smoosh it around making sure it got into most of the fibers. Still, I wanted a little white showing here and there. When the batt was saturated with dye I folded the plastic wrap around it, laid more wrap over it and folded it in 3 lengthwise. Then I rolled it up very loosely into a bale and into the steamer it went for 45 minutes. I use one of those folding vegetable steamers in a large enamel pot. A few rinses and then it was hung out to dry:

I have just now come in from the backyard where I've been since doing the laundry, spinning up some of this batt. I knew it would be a challenge but it's going better than I expected. Perhaps it looks rough but in fact it's very soft and feels like chenille. Not sure if I'll 2-ply or 3-ply. The batt looks sparkly in this picture, I think the silk is responsible for that.

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