Today I headed north, to the Big Red Barn, for Dye Day, a workshop on dyeing roving and yarn.
I think everyone else purchased roving and yarn for their uses, but I brought along some of the BFL roving I have been spinning and several skeins of superwash merino sock yarn "blanks" I had accumulated along the way.
Things got off to a slow start, which was making me a bit anxious because I had "grandma duty" later in the afternoon, but once we got going, we all had a blast. A couple of people sampled dyeing with KoolAid and Jello, but most of us were more interested in using the acid dyes.
And use them we did, experimenting with different techniques for applying the colors: from squirt bottles, foam brushes, and syringes, and by hand. Once done with applying color, the roving and yarn samples were wrapped in Saran and popped into the microwave for a few minutes. After cooling, a warm vinegar bath for about ten minutes set the colors, and then a final rinse in cool water, and our samples were hung to dry.
I am eager to spin and ply the roving, to see how it turns out. I was trying to achieve a "self-striping" effect with one of the sock yarn skeins, by painting with four different colors. We'll see how successful I was.
There is nothing magical about the process, just the results. And the fun.