Saturday, December 10, 2016

Speckle Dyeing Roving

I had a lot of dye left over after I explored how to speckle dye yarn with food coloring.  I thought it would be fun to use these remaining fall colors to create a speckled roving.

Now as I've shown in my two yarns from one fiber videos, the type of yarn you get from dyed fiber depends greatly on the spinner.  I could speckle dye the fiber and someone could still turn it into a really long gradient of color.  But, there is the potential to spin this into yarn with small repeats of color and some fun twists.

I'm not sure what I expected, but I certainly didn't expect the colors to spread as much as they did.  Even though the roving was still pretty wet the drops of dye balled up on top of the fiber.  Maybe there is a lot of lanolin in it?  I really like the effect of the spreading dye so I think that we'll end up with a really cute, pastel, multicolored roving.  Check out the video to see what I did!

I really like how the fiber came out!  I'm not sure how I will spin it up yet, but when I do maybe I'll film it so you can see how this fiber transforms into a yarn.

Dyeing Notes:
  • 100 g of 100% wool fiber (KnitPicks Bare Peruvian Highland Roving)
  • Presoaked the fiber in 16 cups water with 3 T white vinegar
  • 6-7 drops of McCormick's food coloring were added to 1/4 cup water.  (Colors were 6 drops red, 6 drops yellow, 3 drops red/3 drops yellow, 2 drops red/5 drops yellow, 1 drop red/5 drops green) See the Speckled Yarn video for the mixing of the dyes.  
  • Dye was set by steaming the fiber over boiling water with a large dash of salt for 30 min. 

Isn't it cool how the colors really sunk and spread through the fibers?  In yarn the dye didn't diffuse as much so the speckles were more defined and saturated.  

I hope that you've enjoyed my first trips into dyeing speckled fiber.  I have already explored this technique further so make sure you check out the ChemKnits Tutorials YouTube Channel to see what I'm up to!