Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Kool dyeing to spin

Last weekend was Guild weekend, a day I look forward to each month to spend time with other fibre loving friends. This weeks meeting was a spin and chat morning and a transfer dye workshop for the afternoon.

But before I write about my day at the guild I shall go back a few days. Earlier this year I spun some lovely superfine merino from Collinette which is still sitting on some bobbins waiting to be plied, lovely blues, lavender and purple. I have spun it quite fine and think it will come out as a 4ply weight yarn if plied with something of the same thickness single. Only I was unsure what I wanted to ply it with - have gone through several ideas in my head, then a couple of weeks ago decided I wanted to ply it with blue, but not just a solid blue.

I was going to do some indigo dyeing over the half term holidays, but as Imogen wasn't too well for a couple of days I didn't get around to creating a vat - had ideas of other dyeing with her so we'll do this some other time soon.

So the other night I decided I was going to dye some white merino fibre with some KoolAid I had and looked at some resources for a guide on what ratios to use to get the colours I wanted. I wanted to get it done so it would be dry to take along to the guild on Saturday. I'm going to write up more on what I did to achieve this and post separately soon, and to pop in the guild newsletter, but for now here is the fibre I dyed (ably assisted by Imogen). I was very pleased with it and it was finally dry on Saturday morning just before getting ready to go to the guild.

My new spinning friend kindly gave me a lift this month, and Imogen came along too as Alex was away for the day. We had a great day, although a little hectic at times - every time I sat down for a few minutes to spin something else came up - a quick chat here, a committee meeting there, a sales table to peruse and fleeces to squish and admire! Imogen had a great time too - chatting to others when I was busy and was very good all day.

It was almost lunchtime before I finally got my fibre out to spin.It had been sitting on my empty chair whilst I was in the committee meeting and when I returned I learnt that it was being much admired by friends. It was even nicer to hear that they loved the fact that I had dyed it (with Imogen! as she liked to remind me) in the kitchen with KoolAid - a few people had not heard of KoolAid but were very interested in how easy I said it was to dye with and the range of colours you can get, a newsletter article is in the pipelines.

I did get a little spun up at the guild, wound have done more in the afternoon but instead we all did some transfer dyed butterflies for the Naomi House project we are involved in as a guild this year. I blogged a little about it here, a wonderful charity helping families at a very difficult time. Whilst some members did a workshop, the rest of us did butterflies to transfer onto chiffon drapes, and to make butterfly badges. This was great as it meant Imogen could get involved too.

 Painting the paper with the transfer dye paints
 results of the transfer after ironing

These transfer dyes are lots of fun. We had a talk and demonstration on them previously and I was very taken with them then. Not that I need another craft, but maybe one day as I can see lots of potential with these.

playing with panoramic feature on the camera again!

We were out all day Sunday - a trip to the beach and catching up with family, but I did get a bit more spinning done on the evening and since then. In the picture above Imogen is wearing my jumper as the wind started to make her a little cold.
 Here is the blues on the wheel so far. (actually this bobbin is full and I'm onto the 2nd bobbin now but haven't an updated picture yet).

I'm just spinning it how it wants to spin, whether it separates some colours or mixes some and it's coming out exactly how I want it to and I think will ply with the other spun singles just perfectly. Will update again when I get to that stage.

Dyeing adventures will be following soon with updated pictures of the fibre spun ...


  1. I love the color! It is definitely on my "list" to learn how to spin...someday...someday...

  2. What a wonderful weekend, and it looks as if Imogen had a wonderful time too. The blue is beautiful, and looks really subtle, can't wait to see it all plyed up.


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