There are some days when, because of the slowness of my internet connection, I select the photos to upload, walk away for a few hours to do other things and then come back to write the post. Every once in a while I have a specific topic that I want to blog on and over the course of chores it goes completely out my ears. Some days I wait a while and it comes back as I putter but other days it is so completely gone that my post intended for Sunday morning isn’t even attempted until Monday morning. Not that I really have something life-changing and profound to say but it was the hope that the idea would return that has now been dashed. * Sigh *
So lets talk about my fun before Easter. Like anyone who has dyed yarn or fiber before, the sirens song of leftover egg dye is just too strong for me to resist and I couldn’t help myself. I had 6 mugs of dye in the standard egg dye colours of red, yellow, green, purple, orange and blue. Since I really hadn’t planned on doing this dyeing, I hadn’t thought much about how I wanted to dye. I’m a planner and scheduler by nature and my master dye book is incredibly detailed about where the dye is going and why. My inspiration and my dyed skein look quite similar for a good reason…I’m neurotic that way. So for this experiment, I really had to let go of that particular neurosis for the rest of the afternoon. Never having dyed roving before and having a good deal of natural Coopworth to spin but no designs on it made my choice of fiber to dye easy. Instead of focusing on colour placement like I have in the past, I focused on the folding of the roving. As a feltable fiber, I had to make sure that during the dyeing process I would handle it as little as possible to prevent felting before I had a chance to spin it. So I folded each 0.25 ounce strip a different way. The blue in the cup was wrapped in a spiral and then fixed with a tight rubber band around the centre. The fiber immediately to the lower left, which will be green, was folded starting with one end in the cup and then out and back 6″, fold into the cup and then out and back again…kind of flower like. To the left of that is two lengths that was to be dyed in orange and yellow. I folded the one in the back the length of the container (a pyrex dish) and then around itself and the one in the front was folded back and forth to the length of the container. The to become red roving was folded first and then stuck into the dye cup kind of like the green and the to be purple was just flattened and poured over. After cooking (the only sensible use of a microwave which I pulled out of the cupboard just for this) for about 5 minutes total and the dye was exhausted, I pulled the roving out of the micro and let it cool in the sink before I handled it to rinse. Rinsed and then squished as dry as possible in a shammy and then taken to rest and dry in my laundry/boiler room. It was pretty neat to see how the fold worked both for and against me. You can see very little difference between the yellow/orange roving and their colour repeats are pretty darn close to twins. The red and green, while both segments of colour with white in between, splash in different times. I folded the red at a lower frequency so there are shorter bursts of colour while the greens are longer. The blue, despite the rubber band, is uniformly dyed and completely saturated. The purple went the way of most food-grade dyes purple and ‘broke’. You can see it in the picture above and then in this one too. That light section is actually blue and there are spots where the colour is much closer to pink than anything else. This happens because purple is really blue and red blended together and sometimes the red affixes itself to the fiber first or the blue may which causes sparks of intensity and uneven colour results. Professionally, this is not what most dyers go for and I, professionally personally, would never sell it as perfect. Personally, I LOVE how this turned out because I fully expected it. My first egg had splotches of pink and blue on the purple field so I was really hoping that it would do the same thing on the roving and I wasn’t disappointed. Everything is now dry and waiting for me to finish my current spinning project and as soon as I finish it, I’ll start on my Easter roving, just for the heck of it. It will become a potholder or a pan handle cover because there is only 1.5 ounces and I don’t know what else it could possibly be because its just such a small amount of fiber.
As a side note, if I were to dye roving again or do it professionally, I would do a few things differently. #1: Not use Easter egg dye. Not knocking people who do but the colours are just not what I like. #2: Put roving into a nylon before dyeing. This would prevent fibers for pulling loose and sticking to my fingers or felting to each other. #3 Have a plan. Neurotic, but I’m happier with my results this way. #4: Remember to wet the roving first! I totally forgot this step because of my fear of felting and wanting to handle it as little as possible. Ooops.
In other WIPs…
My main focus is my Ivy sweater which I am in mad, mad love with and am up to working on the neck shaping on the left side. The yarn is Peace Fleece DK in Kamchatka Sea Moss and I really like working with this yarn. It feels rough and unlovely before being washed but it blooms, softens and is one of those yarns you MUST swatch because of the insane amount of changes it goes through once it gets wet. Yes, I know we are coming into spring and summer but a wrap sweater is one of those things that you can wear anytime and already I can see myself reaching for this to go over everything.
In good, foodie news I was very lucky to have people from work come into town and they brought fruit. Words cannot express the extent of my happy. Fresh, RIPE fruit from Costco, tasting like it should and being the highlight of my week month.
Also in good news: Me. In my new jeans. A whole size smaller. No wiggling, holding of breath or tugging used to draw up the jeans and button them. 22lbs lost since the end of January and more to go. I’m excited beyond words and so proud of myself and really, for the first time in a very long time, am looking forward to going shopping…
WITH MY MUM AND SISTER IN JUNE!!!! I am going to MI at the end of June for 3 weeks to see my nephew 2 days before his 1st birthday and my family for the first time in over a year. To be able to show off a new body in desperate need of new clothes…wow. If you look over at the side bar you will see blue text that says Countdown to Michigan (or something like that). If you click you will see my countdown in weeks, days and hours. No, I’m not excited or anything 🙂