Monday, July 20, 2009

Solar Dyeing

My plan was to dye some roving using tin foil to make a little solar oven. When I went to buy the roving at Sweet Grass Wool, Patti asked if I was going to use black plastic bags. Well, I think her idea was much better so I did indeed use black plastic bags. It's been in the 90's lately so not only is it hot enough to dye, everything dried quickly. First I made trays out of old card board and black plastic then laid the roving in them. I squirted on the dye and then covered the whole thing with another black plastic bag. I kept going out side and touching the black plastic to see how hot it was getting. It got very hot, even to the point that it hurt to touch them! I could feel the roving inside and knew that there was enough heat to process the dye. I tossed all the cardboard and plastic in the trash afterwards for an easy (and wasteful) clean-up.
I went with fall colors so I would have something to spin when I move in the fall.

Even though I said I'd just be doing fiber prep now and spinning later, I just couldn't help myself. I started spinning the sweater yarn that I recently carded.

I know my profile says I live in Seattle, but I'm actually in Montana now. The plan goes as such: my family and I are moving all our stuff to Seattle in a week or so. They will stay there and I'll fly back to Montana to work* until Sept. During the time that I'm in Montana without my family I will have a lot of time to spin. So I'm getting all my projects together now.
*As some of you know, I'm a midwife. I only have 2 births left this summer in Montana so I'll have a lot of time to sit around and spin and wait for the babies.


Anonymous said...

Hope you get some time to do some weaving on the RH loom before you leave the state! Your fall colors would look great as a scarf.


Anonymous said...

Traci I have a question or two since I know nothing about this subject but I really really wanna learn. I wanna know what is roving? What are the steps from the sheep to the knitting? This just looks like something I would really love to do and I have lots of time on my hands and lots of sheep and goats around here where I live.

Traci said...

Roving is commercially prepared wool (or other fiber) that is in long strips ready to spin. You can buy it at many places in person or on the internet. When I spin from "batts" that's fiber that I have prepared myself from washing the wool and running it through a drum carder. There's tons of information on the internet on how to do all this stuff. I watch youtube videos on how to do different fiber related things. Read the magazine "Spin-Off" and you will learn so much.

Anonymous said...

Well thank you so much! You have been so nice and helpful. The photos of your work are amazing....Oh if I could do what you do I would be quite content to live in the desert with camels and sheep for the rest of my days. I LOVE LOVE LOVE the colors you have used!