Of course this happened

August 15, 2008 @ 2:09 am
posted by kris
Filed under: dyeing

Dyeing in Darmstadt

So I spent the last 90 minutes on writing a super long post about my Darmstadt weekend, I press the SAVE button and it’s gone. WTF? I don’t have the energy to type it again… :( Sorry, folks.

I’ll just post a pretty picture of the rovings that I did. I named them all after movie quotes. I think this batch is mostly from Tommy Boy. I could’ve gone on and on. From l-r, top-bottom:
“Chotchkie’s”, “Your brain has the shell on it”, “Fat guy in a Little Coat”

“The Shaggin’ Wagon”, “10 in the morning”, “My pretty little pet”

“Me want wingey”, “As you wish”, unnamed yarns

I also wanted to ask those who have dyed roving before:
1. How do you keep the roving “nice” after rinsing? We had a lot of dye runoff so the rinsing process was long and because we had to squish some of that dye out of there, it created a bunch of neps, especially in the superwash. Is there a way to avoid it?

2. Is there supposed to be a lot of dye runoff? Ok, we were lazy and didn’t blot away the excess, but didn’t think there was THAT much excess. Maybe the dye just didn’t take?

3. What makes a dye not take? I think it was either – not enough vinegar and/or not hot enough steam. Is that right? We had inconsistent results, but we got carried away and didn’t write anything down, so it’s just guesses. Is there anything we can do after steaming that will help set the dye?

4. Is there any way to get rovings to dry faster??? :) We are also worried because we are planning our next session in November and it will be a lot colder then.

For more info and pictures, visit Linnea’s post about our weekend here. Thank you so much Linnea for being a great friend and hostess and letting me play with all of your toys! I had a ton of fun!!!

Oh, and I just cleared off some bobbins, so I started spinning up some of this roving tonight!!! Stay tuned for the progress.

Comments (8)

8 Comments

Comment by Lauren

Made on Friday, August 15th, 2008 @ 3:36 am

Well those are all just beautiful! I’ve dabbled in dyeing and by no means am I an expert. My trick for getting it to dry fast – but it only works with a top loading washer – is to wrap it in a towel and put it on a spin cycle. It’s almost dry by the time it comes out and it doesn’t hurt it a bit. I always soak my fiber overnight in the vinegar water and haven’t had much problems with dye not setting, unless of course there is just too much.

Looks like you guys had a lot of fun! I love the names :)

Comment by loribird

Made on Friday, August 15th, 2008 @ 3:56 am

Wow, gorgeous is right!

Also not an expert, but I’ve dyed a bunch…
1. Be extra super gentle with the fiber when it’s wet. The top-loader spin cycle works well for getting the water out after the initial squeezing, just be careful about tangling and color bleeding…
2. When there is a LOT of dye coming out, it’s often because I used too much and the fiber really couldn’t take any more of it. Your colors are vibrant, so that may be the problem. Not enough vinegar or steam usually results in more pastel colors. Reds and purples almost always have some runoff.
3. Vinegar does the trick; so does citric acid (sold in crystal form various places. The benefit is no vinegar smell, which I don’t mind. So.) As long as you’re steaming your wool for 30 – 40 minutes it should set.
4. In the winter, I hang my rovings on dowel rods in front of the woodstove and/or heater. It fluffs them out nicely too. :D

Comment by Brandy

Made on Friday, August 15th, 2008 @ 4:40 am

It all looks great. I spin my roving after its been rinsed. Its like almost dry when it comes out and then I give it a little fluff and let it hang and dry over night.

Comment by Elemmaciltur

Made on Friday, August 15th, 2008 @ 9:26 am

You should get the book “Color in spinning” by Deb Menz. It will help you a lot.

Comment by Opal

Made on Friday, August 15th, 2008 @ 10:38 am

I”m not a dyer so I don’t have any tips, but your fiber looks fantastic and i think you did a fabulous job of naming them.

i can’t wait to see them spun up!!

Comment by Goldfishgirl

Made on Friday, August 15th, 2008 @ 12:35 pm

Beautiful colours, and I love your names for them! It sounds as though you need more acid and/or more heat (either hotter, or heat for longer). In theory, with acid dyes there shouldn’t be any run-off, provided the setting conditions are right, although with super-dark colours I sometimes do get a little. When I make a mistake and get a roving that bleeds colour, I just pop it in a pan with a strong vinegar/water mix and cook for longer, it usually does the trick. To avoid neps, dyeing to exhaustion (i.e. setting the dye completely) will mean you have to do less washing, but also make sure you leave the rovings to cool completely before washing, and then wash in cold water, that’ll help prevent the fibres from matting so much. Look forward to seeing your rovings spun up!

Comment by Sarah

Made on Friday, August 15th, 2008 @ 1:22 pm

I’m no help with the dyeing, but I love the results!

Comment by Amber Lee

Made on Wednesday, August 20th, 2008 @ 6:16 am

These look lovely, my helpful tip? A cheap salad spinner, you can even use it to get extra dye out before rinsing, as the little basket inside rinses easily. Good luck!



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What does bockstark mean (pronounced bok-shtark)? My crazy German friend, Matthias, made that word up to mean "really cool" and says that it is catching on in Garmisch. So I am helping him popularize the word! I thought if I ever opened a yarn store, I would call it "Bockstark Yarns". This blog is all about my projects, yarns and crazy ideas related to knitting and other crafts. Contact me at bockstark.knits(at)gmail(dot)com.