Friday, August 12, 2005

A tale of two fibers

Here are our two fibers, neatly spun onto bobbins. On the left, in my hand, is yearling mohair. On the right, on my Babe, is Blue-faced Leicester.

Here they are, plied and skeined, waiting for their warm soak.

After their soak, they went into the dyebath, or, rather, it went into them. They are dyed with Wilton's cake dye: Cornflower Blue, Royal Blue, and Brown, Ecru fiber reactive dye, and Silver-gray Jacquard acid dye.

I'm a bad dyer--at least production-wise. I don't measure my dyes exactly, and have been known to add more colors of dye to the dyebath after a while if it's not turning out exactly the way I want it to. This time, I started with the cornflower, royal, and silver, and added the brown and ecru later to dull the color somewhat. I was going for a yarn that would be easy to wear, not rainbow-bright, like Wilton's dyes tend to produce.

After 3 hours in the crockpot on high (A Goodwill crockpot, one I never use for food.), the dye was exhausted, and I rinsed the yarn in hot water with a little shampoo (wool has the same basic properties as hair, so washing it with a good hair shampoo is one of the safest ways to clean it), then gave it a few minutes of the spin cycle in the washer. And...voila:

It's damp in that picture, so the color will lighten somewhat. I thwacked it against the door of my bathroom at length to straighten the yarn, set the twist, and free up some of the mohair to create bloom. I like this colourway. It's a subdued peacock, which will go with many of the things I own. All in all, a successful yarn project.


Blogger Jeana said...

Very pretty. It's amazing how the yarn in the crockpot looks neon, but then is so much darker in the after picture. Is it just the lighting?

7:29 PM  

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