Monday, August 25, 2008

Hand dyed/Hand spun! YUM!

Here is the first of my hand dyed/hand spun BFL fiber. I'm so pleased with how this is turning out! I love the colors, Okinawan Sea, inspired by my daughter's diving in the Seas of Okinawa. She told me of the purples,turquoise,and golds.

I'm using my Little Meggie Kick Spindle from . Boy, do I really love this spindle. The bearing on the base really makes it spin fast!

This is my Blue Face Leister fiber from . It's so fluffy and soft. I didn't have to comb it, card it. It's ready to go. This is 1 lb of fiber which takes up the whole kitchen table. I kept soaking it down with a spray bottle to wet it. (Yes, the table is covered in Saran Wrap.)

This is the dyeing process. I used Jacquard acid dye. I mixed 1/2 teaspoon in a 32 oz cup of water w/ 1/2 cup of vinegar. First I did the gold in the middle, then purple and turquoise. The turquoise and the purple bled into the middle more than I intended, but I like the effect. I poured the dye over the fiber and used gloves to gently squeeze the dye into the fiber. I still wound up with turquoise blue gloves!

I wrapped up my fiber in the saran wrap, and baked at 200 degrees for about an hour, just until it was heated all the way through, and about 30 mins to set the dye. I let it cool very slow. It's hard to be patient, but I was scared I'd felt the fiber. I then took it to the bath tub and rinsed in cold water many tubfulls! It's hard to rinse so much fiber at once. Next time I'll try dividing it into 4 instead of 2, and rinse individually.

I put the drying rack into the tub, and put the wet fiber on to dry. I didn't squeeze it out, I held it up to drain a section at a time and just let it drain enough so it wouldn't stretch out from the weight of the water. It took 2 days to dry, but it didn't felt a bit and now I'm happily spinning away!


doreen said...

Mary, as I commented on Ravelry, this BFL, Dye job, your spinning and your scarf are just awesome! You did such a great job with it all. Thanks for the dying instructions. I've dyed yarn before but never fiber. I think I'm scared of felting too. I normally dye in the microwave so your table pic and instrctions are especially helpful for me!
Of course Aidan is as beautiful as ever.

Crafty Nurse Mary said...

Thanks Doreen! I really love the BFL and I think it's going to be my favorite fiber. I just did the merino, but I don't like it as well.
I read on another blog to stuff your fiber into pantyhose to keep it from felting. I'm going to try this sometime. It must work, the Yarn Harlot had someone sub for her and that's where I read about it.
Aidan is a mess! The child knows he owns me! I love my Aidaness.