Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Dyeing Fiber with Fluffysgarden

I recently went over to my friend's house to learn about dyeing fiber with the steam method.  For those of you that don't know, I am immersed in a fiber hobby with a lot of enabling friends.  I have been knitting for a little while and decided that I wanted to try my hand at spinning my own yarn from fiber.  The next step of course is dyeing the fiber before spinning it into yarn to get the colors that I am partial to.  I have been taking a spinning class and have learned quite a bit but my friend fluffysgarden had a little tutorial and provided the dyes plus the process and lecture.  I brought 3 ounces of fine merino fiber in white and 1 ounce of silk fiber to dye.  After soaking all the fiber overnight with a drop of dish soap, we squeezed out the excess water and using three colors of washfast dye - blue spruce, deep meadow, and bright blue, I dyed both of my fibers by scooping colors in strips and spraying the entire pan with vinegar.  After wrapping the fiber in plastic wrap like a burrito, it was off to the stove for a 30 minute steam bath.  Since steam is hotter than then boiling water, fluffysgarden stating that you don't have to have a roiling boil to achieve the necessary temperature.

After the steaming and rinsing, the fiber was set out to dry.  Here is a photo of the finished product.
1 ounce of Silk
3 ounces of Merino

My plan is to card the two fibers together to get that blue/green color way that I love and hopefully to achieve a balanced blend of merino/silk as 75%/25% - my favorite blended yarn.

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