Sunday, January 24, 2010

Before and After

My friend Michelle got a wheel this year. She is my partner in crime at the fiber festivals, and this year at Oregon Flock & Fiber she was heavily on the lookout for fiber to play with. I've been toying with trying out some fiber dyeing, but I'm not a spinner and so thus far resisted, despite the tactile pleasure of touching all that wool. Well, I resisted until we were wandering around and she asked if I could dye some of her favorite fiber into colors she was looking for (see Michelle, I blame this all on you).

Despite my care, I seem to felt the damn stuff regularly. It's gotten better as I try and isolate the variables that cause problems, but it's still not gone. It's all been kettle dyed up to now, but I'm going to try some direct application soon, since that seems perhaps less likely to felt. I just need to get the laundry room ship-shape so I can put down a drop-cloth. One thing that's nice about the kettle dyeing is it's really not much of a mess, at least compared to squirting dye around on a table.

Anyway, the before-and-after examples of the fiber I've been giving to her and what she produces are amazing. It's one of the reason I started, I'm fascinated with the way the colors combine. Long color runs are much easier to predict how they'll look once spun up, which makes me all the more obsessed with murky, spotty, mixed-up stuff. Fortunately Michelle is putting up with some of my weird color choices.

natural-brown BFL:

natural cream-brown mix BFL:

natural cream 20/80 silk-merino blend:

natural cream 20/80 silk-merino blend:

A view of part of the roving:

Isn't that last one interesting? None of the orange survived - it's all dusky blues and pale reds and pinks, except for the occasional flash of something. Here's a closeup:

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