Stasia's Place Of Grace


Thursday, April 20, 2006

My Dyeing Day

Thanks to everyone who so kindly shared dyeing tips with me! I spent this afternoon experimenting with OneShot dyes from

I never actually did find out how much total dye liquid was required per pound of fiber to be painted. It's easy with immersion dyeing, because the dye bonds to the fiber in the bath, and then you pour off exhausted, clear water. But with the painting method, you don't know how much "wastage" there will be. I wanted to minimize the dye that would remain for disposal, due to environmental concerns. I took notes so that next time, I won't mix up more than I'll need.

I started with primary colors: red, yellow, and blue. I also got a container of black, to darken shades. Theoretically, that should be all anyone would need... but perhaps dyes don't work the same as oil paints! They're much more like watercolors. I had some difficulty getting the secondary shades of orange, green, and purple, because yellow isn't as strong as red or blue.

But I winged it, and eventually got the colors approximately where I wanted them. I then divided the three shades into nine, dulling three with some black, and lightening three with extra water.

So without further ado, this is what took place.

Here we have about 8 oz. of Brown Sheep plain ol' roving soaking in 1 and 1/4 gallons of 110-degree (warm) water, with 1/4 tsp. of Synthropol, for 30 minutes. I've separated the roving into 1 oz. lengths, and loosely coiled them so they don't fall apart in the water.

I like the Brown Sheep roving because it's very inexpensive, it's easy for beginners to spin with, it's soft, and it holds up well under rough treatment.

The Synthropol is a detergent that pre-scours the roving (removing any carding oils) and prepares it for dyeing. You can also use dish liquid but the proportions are different, and you don't want to make suds. You're on your own there.

Here are my supplies: OneShot dyes in Cornflower, Cherry, Buttercup, and Raven; old towels; rubber gloves; a painting drop sheet; little paint cups with ounces and liters marked on them; foam painting brushes; Saran wrap, fiber scale.

Not pictured: dust mask, candy thermometer, plastic spoons, towels on floor for drips.

All equipment is dedicted to dyeing use only!

Extra precautions taken: dogs fed and watered, walked, and put away; fishtank covered. Hair put up (I had an incident with a cordless Dremel tool last week which left me extra paranoid of my long hair getting into anything.)

Here I have mixed my dyes. The center row is the "base" mix. I started with 1/4 tsp. each of two colors mixed together (1/2 tsp. total), and added 2 c. hot water: 1/4 tsp. of yellow with 1/4 tsp. of red to make orange, 1/4 tsp. of yellow with 1/4 tsp. of blue to make green, 1/4 tsp. of red with 1/4 tsp. of blue to make purple. I then made a plain black solution of 1/4 tsp. dye to 1 c. hot water.

The purple came out fine. The orange and green needed more yellow, so I added 1/4 tsp. more each, and a little more after that. The yellow took a long time to combine with the other colors - when I tested orange and green on the paper towel, some yellow had still not mixed in all the way. So I waited a bit longer.

So each of those center cups held 16 oz. of dye stock. I took each one and poured off 4 oz. of dye and added water to make 12 oz. for a light solution (top row). Then I took the original (center row) dyes again, and poured off another 4 oz. of eac, and then added 1/3 of 8 oz. of black to each of those to make a dark shade of each color. (At least, I'm pretty sure that's what I did - I began to lose track of ounces about this time.)

I'm going to tell you right now that I ended up with much lighter colors - the black mixes included - than I'd have liked. Next time I would use more dye (probably 1 tsp. per cup of water) and I would make the shades darker when mixing... when the paper towel shows you what the solution will look like, believe it and don't assume it is showing a bit lighter. Wet fiber (just-painted) always appears darker, and the dye looks darker in a cup.

Here I have painted the roving in strips ranging from light to medium to dark of each shade. The roving is laid out on a piece of Saran wrap (hint: make your rovings no longer than the length of the surface on which you'll be painting them!) I didn't use a ruler to measure the repeats - I just made them two foam paintbrushes wide so they'd be consistent. In a dyeing book I read recently (I believe it was Deb Menz' "Color In Spinning"), the author states that she usually uses between 12 and 24 colors when dyeing, to make a very interesting yarn with a lot of depth. She paints the roving in short repeats like this, never longer than three inches, so that the colors can be mixed well when being spun to make an exciting, vibrant yarn.

Here I have wrapped the Saran wrap lengthwise to encase the fiber, making a good lengthwise seal. I then rolled up the Saran wrap to make a HoHo out of my fiber.

Into the steam pot goes the roving. The fiber is placed on top of a rack, above the water surface, and left to steam at a low simmer for 30 minutes.

The fiber is allowed to cool to room temperature before being unrolled.

While the fiber was cooling, I cleaned up the dyes. I had used a total of approximately 24 oz. of water, times three colors for a total of 72 oz., and I ended up with 9 oz. of dye, times three colors for a total of 27 oz., left over after painting slightly more than 8 oz./230 grams of fiber. As I said, next time more dye powder, and less water.

I was distracted by this visitor to my garden. No, this is not a normal sight around here, though I've heard him calling for a couple of weeks now.

The rovings weren't cooling fast enough for me, as dinner time was approaching, so I uncurled the Saran wrap to make them cool more quickly.

Once they had cooled to room temperature, I rinsed the dyed rovings in several changes of room-temperature water, being careful not to agitate them so that they would neither felt nor fall apart in the water.

I then spun the rovings somewhat dry in my dyeing-dedicated salad spinner.

About this time, we had another visitor. A later inspection tells me she is making a nest in our chives. I expect to see some babies in a few days. The dogs will, of course, be walked on the other side of the house from now on!

Remember what I said about trusting the paper towel? If I had paid attention to it, I would have known I was going to end up with PAAS colors!

Here is the finished roving drying on the line.

I am looking forward to trying the blended color vs. preserved color spinning techniques I posted about here.

This took a lot longer than I thought it would. Those people who sell painted rovings deserve every dang penny they get, especially if they don't just do three shades of a single color. I may try some hot-pour method dyeing tomorrow. Then again, I may be in bed all day tomorrow. In any case, I hope your tomorrow is a good one!

Animal Breed Zip Code

Welcome To Stasia's Blog

Stasia is a knitter, spinner, weaver, writer, reader, and musician from Wisconsin, USA.

Join her here as she journals about beauty in nature, the joys of fibery pursuits, special people and pets, and great places to shop. It's her hope you'll leave spiritually inspired and creatively motivated. Thanks for visiting!

Mini Me

Recent Comments

Fab Fiberarts Rings

Knitting Bloggers
Previous | Next

List | Previous | Next

Previous | Next

Previous | Next

Previous | Next

Previous | Next

Buds' Blogs

Need To Mellow Out?

Daily Zen

Light A Candle

Need An Excuse?

My Fiber Pusher

The Knotty Sheep

Download Me

Subscribe To This Blog

Subscribe with Bloglines

Subscribe to Stasia's feed

Hear Me

Stasia's Place Podcast

Past Entries

Dyes And Philosophical Musings
So Glad I Planted
Even More Color
Fun With Color
Pet Projects
Just A Quick Post With Some Links...
Something New With Sock Yarn
Stop Feeding Your Dog Diamond Brands Dog Food NOW
Just What The Doctor Ordered...

July 28, 2002 August 04, 2002 August 11, 2002 August 18, 2002 August 25, 2002 September 01, 2002 September 08, 2002 September 15, 2002 September 22, 2002 September 29, 2002 October 06, 2002 October 13, 2002 October 20, 2002 October 27, 2002 November 03, 2002 November 10, 2002 November 17, 2002 November 24, 2002 December 01, 2002 December 08, 2002 December 22, 2002 December 29, 2002 January 05, 2003 January 12, 2003 January 19, 2003 January 26, 2003 February 16, 2003 February 23, 2003 March 02, 2003 March 09, 2003 March 16, 2003 March 23, 2003 March 30, 2003 April 06, 2003 April 27, 2003 May 04, 2003 May 11, 2003 May 18, 2003 June 01, 2003 June 08, 2003 June 15, 2003 June 22, 2003 June 29, 2003 July 06, 2003 July 13, 2003 July 27, 2003 August 03, 2003 August 10, 2003 August 17, 2003 August 31, 2003 September 14, 2003 September 28, 2003 October 05, 2003 October 12, 2003 October 26, 2003 November 09, 2003 November 16, 2003 November 23, 2003 November 30, 2003 December 07, 2003 December 14, 2003 December 21, 2003 December 28, 2003 January 11, 2004 January 18, 2004 January 25, 2004 February 08, 2004 February 22, 2004 March 07, 2004 March 14, 2004 March 21, 2004 March 28, 2004 April 04, 2004 April 18, 2004 May 09, 2004 May 16, 2004 June 06, 2004 June 13, 2004 June 20, 2004 June 27, 2004 August 01, 2004 August 08, 2004 August 22, 2004 August 29, 2004 September 05, 2004 September 12, 2004 September 19, 2004 November 21, 2004 November 28, 2004 December 05, 2004 December 19, 2004 December 26, 2004 January 02, 2005 January 09, 2005 January 23, 2005 January 30, 2005 March 06, 2005 April 03, 2005 May 08, 2005 May 15, 2005 May 29, 2005 June 05, 2005 June 12, 2005 June 19, 2005 July 03, 2005 July 10, 2005 July 17, 2005 July 31, 2005 August 14, 2005 August 28, 2005 September 04, 2005 September 11, 2005 September 18, 2005 November 06, 2005 November 13, 2005 November 27, 2005 December 04, 2005 December 11, 2005 December 25, 2005 January 01, 2006 January 08, 2006 January 22, 2006 March 26, 2006 April 09, 2006 April 16, 2006 April 23, 2006 April 30, 2006 May 07, 2006 May 14, 2006 June 04, 2006 June 25, 2006 September 03, 2006 November 05, 2006 November 12, 2006 November 19, 2006 November 26, 2006 December 24, 2006 January 07, 2007 January 21, 2007 January 28, 2007 February 11, 2007 February 18, 2007 February 25, 2007 September 30, 2007

About Me

My Home Page - Updating

I Support...

The Tibet Fund
Citizens For A Free Tibet
Monadnock Humane Society
The National Primate Research Exhibition Hall (NPRX)
The Primate Freedom Project

Your Click Helps At...

The Animal Rescue Site

I Believe...

I'm Involved...

I Listen To...

Important Note

We have a new ISP and my web pages are being moved. My old URLs will not work unless you go here and type them in to get an archived copy. As I upload the pages to the new server, the links in my sidebar will become clickable again. Sorry for the inconvenience.

My Patterns

Knit Koigu Kersti Shawl
Gaugeless Toe-Up Socks
Knit Beehive Hat
Knit Fingerless Mitts
Knit PodPocket For iPod Mini

My Websites

Dyeing Experiments and Instructions - Updating
Textile and Fiberarts Pages - Updating
Beekeeping Pages - Updating
Take The Spindle Quiz!

My Amazon Wish List

...Is Here

My Froogle Wish List

...Is Here

My Photos
This is a Flickr badge showing public photos from jeffnstasia. Make your own badge here.

Pet Rats Rule!

To The Ratlist
Image By Ophelia

Send Me E-mail


The Weather In Eau Claire, WI

The WeatherPixie

moon phases

Give My Dog A Bone

Adopt Your Own Virtual Pet!

Hosted By

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Stats By