Curl up and Dye

So it is STILL cold in Wisconsin…I mean like 18 degrees in the morning…hafta start your damn car in the morning and let it run cause there’s frost on the windshield cold.

I needed to heat things up….so what else could I do this weekend but turn up the tunes…dance…..and DYE in the kitchen!

I have some lovely merino roving that I have been experimenting with spinning and decided that spinning natural colored fiber is WAY too boring (gives new meaning to sleeping at the wheel) so I invested in some acid dyes to have some FUN!

Acid you say? Hmm….sounds dangerous doesn’t it? Crazy scientist scary right? Walking on the edge of life I am…

But really, acid by way of vinegar doesn’t really sounds too bad now does it? I mean basically I made salad dressing…really really pretty salad dressing. And even the kiddos got in on the action….

Step number one, soak the fiber in water and just a bit of soap. This opens up the wool and allows it to ‘accept’ the dye much easier than if it were dry….

Since I wanted to ‘hand paint’ the fiber we laid out plastic wrap…which will make more sense in a bit as to why we did this (other than the obvious reason of trying to keep the kitchen from being dyed as well)

photo 1 (48)Step two….mix up your dye solutions and grab some syringes…then you are off to the races. Seriously these syringes are the shizzle….these babies kept the mess to a minimum and cleanup was a snap.

photo 2 (24)So easy a handsome 8 year old can do it

photo 3 (11)When we were all done adding the dye, you wrap the whole thing up in plastic like a beautiful snail and steam that sucker on the stove top for a bit. Heat makes the dye adhere to the wool and really makes the colors POP right in front of your eyes.

photo 2 (25)Then you set it out on the deck and let it cool cool cool (cause its hot hot hot). You know you’re done when any of the liquid left in the plastic is completely clear. That means all of the dye molecules have been accepted by the wool and they are now married for life.

Rinse that pretty lady and let her dry in the sun.

photo 1 (47)photo 2 (23)And wouldn’t you know… totally worked and is absolutely lovely ready to be spun wool.

A few areas of note to the process:

1. The Bruno Mars Pandora station is da bomb for whiling away an afternoon of *insert activity of choice here*. Get ready to shake yer booty….

2. If you find yourself in a room adjacent to your deck on a sunny (albeit cold) afternoon and have your window open cause its pretty darn steamy……it helps to have some female cheerleaders outside the window keeping you company. Yup, they hung out with me all afternoon….they are pretty happy to be out in the yard after 5 months of being locked up, and I realized how much I missed their little sounds…..

photo 2 (21)
That’s medicine on her comb cause she got a boo boo from one of her evil sisters



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