Friday, February 25, 2011

In living COLOR...

In lieu of our dreary weather, my dreary health and the previous Black & White post, I thought today would be a good day to share my latest fiber adventure:

I have done very little dying with my Shetland fleece because I so love the natural colors.  But, I decided that it was time to brighten up things around here a little...

I put some 'Rit' dye and a little vinegar and hot water in the bottom of a couple of large jars, than added four ounces of white, Shetland roving.

I then sprinkled more dye on top of the roving and poured hot water to almost fill the jars.
I also did the same thing in the bottom of the roasting pan that I was using to heat the fiber as it was soaking up the dye.

Then I covered the roaster and let it simmer, overnight.

I gently shifted the roving around in the jars a few times, to make sure that all of the fiber was exposed to the dye but I was hoping for darker and lighter areas from not mixing the dye in the water first.

I also did a small bowl, using left over dye.  In this bowl, I put red dye & vinegar/water in the bottom, then added a small ball of roving.  I added more red dye on top and then added another, smaller ball of roving.  Over that I put the last of the red and a little bit of the purple dye and then added water, almost but not quite to the top of the fiber.  I covered the bowl with plastic wrap and heated it in the microwave.  I heated it in one or two minute intervals and then let it sit overnight.

The results the next day:

I LOVE the darker and lighter areas of color!

On the top of this photo you can see the smaller sample that I did in the microwave.  There are areas of uncolored roving in that batch. 

The yellow surprised me with all the different shades it developed!

I can't wait to spin these up and see how the yarn turns out!

I'm not sure if I'll do any mixing of the colors in the yarn or just go for the multi-tonal shades of each color.  But I can't wait to start spinning!

I realize that the purple looks quite different in these two photos.  The actual color is about half way in between the two colors.

DREAM says...

"Speaking as a sheep, I prefer the natural colors.  But, I do think that you should knit a sheep of many colors out of that roving, Mom".

OOOO!  I like that idea, Dreamer!


  1. Wow, the colors really pop. Can't wait to see the yarn you get from your dying adventure.
    I love natural colors as well, but there's always room for brightness too.

  2. Definitely don't comb the colors into a more one-tone batt/roving - the colors already tend to blend into one another in the spinning. Having that subtle blending from one shade to another will give the yarn more depth, make it lovelier.

    Love the purple and light aqua mix, very nice!!

  3. I plan on spinning right from the roving as is. I definitely want the different shades to give depth to the resulting yarn. I may start spinning tonight!

  4. SOOOOOOOO LOVELY! Those are the perfect colors! I took one look and saw fields and fields of purple crocus, red tulips and yellow daffodils! yummy! I think you'd have to smile just handling such vibrant colors.
    HUGS! Katie in MN

  5. Those colors are lovely. My knitting daughter is looking over my shoulder at those beautiful colors and I'm sure she could think of quite a few things to make.

  6. I love the vibrant colours. Thanks for sharing the process. B

  7. What gorgeous colors! Anything you do with those will turn out wonderful! :-)

  8. Those colors are luscious!!!

    Nancy in Iowa

  9. I love the bright colors! What fun! And I must agree with Dream, a sheep-of-many-colors would knock that wizard of oz beast off his altar ;)

    By the way, you forgot to tell eveyone to wish you HAPPY HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! Yup, I said it :) Happy Birthday Mama, I'm so glad I'll get to be home with you soon :) Tanto Amore! (Lots of love), BBG, and Carter :)

  10. I love those beautiful colors!

  11. Nancy, the colors are wonderful! I love it. I can’t wait to see what you spin out of these. I agree, the natural colors are great but hey, we all need a little color in our life too :)
    Thanks again for linking with FFF!

  12. OMG, I'm drooling... BeaUtiful!

  13. Happy Birthday!!!

  14. Hi Nancy! I love the colors which are really beautiful and vibrant and needed, especially on days like today has been for me!

    I hope you had a happy, happy birthday too!!!

    Thank-you for your kindness, support and friendship Nancy!!!

  15. Fun! I think I'm going to overdye the gray scarf when I finish. Hoping for a heathered cranberry color.

  16. Absolutely beautiful roving, both natural and dyed!



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