Tag Archives: roving

Handdyed BFL “green plums”

I oven-dyed some BFL roving with Acid Dyes – my first try with Acid Dyes 🙂

I mixed red from yellow and magenta, purple from magenta and midblue, and green from yellow and turquoise. The green turned into yellow unfortunately because the turquoise washed off completely. I Put the presoaked roving into the glass dish, mixed the colours first in a smaller volume of water containing mordant and then diluted it some more in water with mordant. I’m using Kenanthrol Acid Milling dye and Ammonium Sulfate as mordant (3g/L). Then in the oven, covered with tinfoil, 30 mins @ 180°C, i could see it boiling in the oven. After taking it out I left it to cool, then rinsed it in warm water (that was when nearly all the green came washed out, altho all the other colours were nicely fixed, the turquoise seemed to have issues).

I’m very happy with the results, apart from the nearly totally disappeared green. I’d love to use it for another Thorpe hat as a Christmas present for my flute teacher, so I better get going 🙂

The dyed roving coming out of the oven

dried and rolled up

and braided


Dyeing roving with onion skins

I soooo loved the  craftster post about dyeing roving with onion skin, the golden/yellow/peachy brown is a lovely colour. So I gave it a go yesterday! I had been collecting onion skins for the last two weeks, I ended up with about 50g. When I did some research i found that most people suggest to use as much onion skins as you have wool, so 100g wool need 100g skins. I just did not want to wait so long (going on holiday tomorrow for ten days – yay!), so i just went on and used 50g onion skin for 100g nice BFL roving. To avoid onion skin bit sticking to my roving I sewed a little bag out of muslin, it was easy to store the skins in it beforehand and I just threw the whole thing in a bit stainless steel pot, my dyeing pot. I covered it with about 2.5-3L cold water, added a gulp of white vinegar and boiled everything up briefly. Whilst I let it sit to cool down again, i soaked the roving in lukewarm water.

It seems that onion skin is one of the few dyes you don’t need a mordant for because the yellowish colour from the skin attaches to the fibre without any help. But you can use one and it seems that most people do. Note that different mordants seem to change the tone of the colour you get from dyeing with onion skin. I just used a dash of white vinegar. There is a whole thread on ravelry about dyeing with onion skins and outcomes and colour variations.

Back to my roving. When my onion broth had cooled down to lukewarm, and it was very very deep brown by that time, I added the wet roving to it. I left the onion bag in the pot as well. I just dipped the wool under, did not stir much to avoid felting, put the heat on and brought the pot to a boil again. As soon as bubbles came up i switched it off, put a lid on and let everything sit overnight. I did not weigh the fibre down, hoping to get a bit colour variation in it.

The next morning i took the fibre out of the pot, rinsed it once in a big bowl of clear fresh water and hung it up to dry.

It dried quite quickly overnight and the colours came out looooovely. Nice variations of some light yellow and bits of deep peachy brown.
I’m not too sure yet what i’m gonna do with it spin-wise. I’ll see how a single looks like and if I want to ply it with itself or with something else or just use it as a single.

First Dyeing Experiment KoolAid

My first try to dye roving a couple af weeks ago, and it even turned out ok!

I used Kool Aid to dye 100g BFL roving.  First i soaked the roving for 20mins in luke warm water. Then i transferred the wet rowing into an oval glass dish. I dissolved three bags of KoolAid each separate in about 50mL water and filled them in squirt bottles. The colours i used were Berry Blue (turned out red), Tropical Punch (blue) and Grape (purple).

I applied the dye onto the roving, squirted it into the fibre to get the dye through to the bottom. Then I popped the dish into the oven and heated it up to 180°C for 10 minutes, switched the oven off and let it sit in the heat for af ew more minutes. By then the water in the dish was clear. I took it out, let  it cool and drained it a strainer. Quick rinse in clear water and let it dry.

I was quite surprised how it turned out. I like the colours, they are really quite bright. There are still some white bits, but that is ok I guess.

So i spun it up. I halved the roving to try to get singles with similar colours to ply them together. I think it is fascinating to see how the spun yarn looks like compared to the dyed fibre. Since the KoolAid colours came on so bright on the roving, I expected to get a quite bright yarn out of it with strong colours. But the colours in the spun wool are so much softer, nearly pastel. Maybe that comes from the white/unstained that was left in the roving? I like the singles, I like them better than the roving to be honest. Lesson learned 🙂
The 2-ply was another surprise, it did get quite a bit darker than the singles. It is about worsted/bulky and feels wonderfully soft. It still smells like KoolAid tho!