I’m sort of in between projects right now. Or rather, I’m sort of in the middle. Even the shrub I’m working on is still at the sit there stage.
It makes it kind of hard to post about anything, when all I have to show you is a half finished or quarter finished project.
This wasn’t meant to be the summer of the dye pot, but I’ll tell you what I have been doing all the time lately. This has easily become one of my favorite ways to dye. I use it all the time right now.
There are some downsides to pint jar dyeing, and the big one is that you can only fit so much fiber in a jar at once. I don’t mind my roving being split because I split it anyway but I can see this being an issue if you’re dyeing yarn. You’re also limited to how many jars you can fit in a stock pot, unless you’re solar dyeing and can just sort of line them up. But since this is the year without a summer, I’m going stove top.
I also don’t normally like a roving with a lot of white space, and every batch that I’ve run has given me if not white space then significantly lighter splotches. I’m okay with that, though.
One of the upsides to dyeing like this is that since your dye pot itself is not containing dyes, you can rerun the same pot multiple times, thereby saving the water. I know that’s one of the big issues that comes up when I talk about dyeing. You can reuse the water in the jars a couple of times too but keep in mind that every round is adding acid, which can alter your outcome. If you’re okay with unstable/unpredictable dyes, than that’s fine.
A lot of words for a fairly simple process.
Here’s a solar dye:
The process itself is simple. If you’ve ever melted chocolate in a double boiler you can do this. I’ve found that the jar can hold about 3 packages of kool-aide without an issue.
Add your powder to the jar, then fill the jar about halfway with water. Wrap -dry- roving around your hand about five times (I’ve found that with the size of my hand, five wraps is about the maximum amount of wool I can get into the jar). You may have to really force the wool into the jar. Fill the jar with water to fill.
Yes, the top of the wool will most likely not be covered in dye. Hence the splotches.
Add the jars to a water bath (the double boiler effect) and bring to at least a simmer. Let it cook for about an hour (though I’ve done up to 45 minutes without an issue with striking). Pull the pot from heat, or pull the jars with a jar lifter, and let the jars come to room temperature.
Carefully take the wool out of the jars and unwrap the bundles. Rinse and let them drip dry. I haven’t had any issues with felting if I follow that process.
Again, a lot of words for a fairly simple dyeing process.
*The wool that looks like it didn’t take dye well in those photos, did. I ran three batches sampling all the reds in my collection, including the pinks which struck but didn’t necessarily photograph well. It’s not under the best natural light.
Bloggers-I have started a new group board on Pinterest. Open to all DIY, craft, food, or other creative blogs, I would love to have you join. Joining instructions are posted on the board-join here.
Please, stop by this week’s Inspired Weekends!