the latest experiment is with dyeing & blending rovings. i loved the feel of the hipknits blended merino/silk handpainted fibre, so i ordered a few different kinds of rovings & tops (silk, angora, cashmere & merino) from texere as well as some dye, with the idea of trying to do my own dyeing & blending of different fibres for spinning. i only bought small amounts to start with, since i have zero experience in dyeing fibre & very little experience in spinning it – so far, i’ve only been working from bought lengths of roving & haven’t even tried carding yet, let alone blending different types of fibres.
so here’s the first experiment: 75g of merino and 25g of mulberry silk, plus one tin of dylon dye in “cherry flame” (who thinks up these names? i want that job!). a “before” picture on the left, and the fibres cooking on the stove (safely contained in a mesh laundry bag, hopefully to avoid any felting!).
i have to let it cool down before i can rinse it out & see what it looks like. what i’m hoping (with no knowledge of whether or not this is how it works!) is that the silk will take the dye differently than the merino (sounds logical, right?) so that when they’re carded together & spun it will give the resulting yarn a slightly variegated look – all in the same colour, but with the slightly varied shades giving it a bit more depth.
the resident sock appreciator will be pleased to know that the kitchen has escaped unscathed (unlike during one of my kool-aid dyeing experiments, where i poured purple koolaid all over the white cabinet doors & it took about half an hour to scrub it all off). this dye is a bit more permanent, so i was very careful not to repeat that incident!!
the kitchen does, however, smell like a wet, cooked sheep fleece. hey, nobody’s perfect, right?