Saturday, September 05, 2009

Crock Pot Dying and More

I was supposed to go up to Lake Winnipeg this weekend for Gimli. Gimli is one of my all time favorite SCA events because it is so laid back and so many friends attend too. But due to headaches expenses (new pillow, new memory foam mattress pad, new massaging shower head, visits to the eye doctor and chiropractor)and car repair (new tire)I found myself without the funds to be able to make it up there. And altho I'll miss seeing friends I am going to enjoy a quiet weekend getting caught up on my reading and fiber pursuits.

A gal (Hi, Fiberbrarian!)on the North Dakota Knitters group on posted about crock pot dying and I've always wanted to try it. I've done some other types of dying but not the crock pot dying. It looks much less messy than other methods. So I bought a beat up crock pot at a thrift store, got out 4 ounces of mystery wool roving and my four packets of Kool Aid and set to work.

It was pretty easy. After soaking the wool in water for a while I wound one layer of roving over the bottom of the crock pot, sprinkled some lemon-lime Kool Aid over it, wound another layer, sprinkled grape Kool Aid over it, wound again and added Cherry Kool Aid, Wound one more time and sprinkled the 2nd pack of Lemon Lime. I still had more wool and I was out of Kool Aid and room in the crock pot. So I pulled the excess roving free and set it aside. I added water and vinegar and put a lid on the CrockPot and let it go for 2.5 hours on low.

I poured a bit (way too much, actually) of some Country Colors "spruce" colored dye in HOT water in my mayo jar and shook it up to mix. I added the extra ounce of wool, screwed the lid on and let it sit as long as the crock pot. After the time was up I let the roving cool a bit then rinsed it a LONG time to get the excess dye to run out. Actually, there was no excess dye in the crock pot. The Kool Aid exhausted itself nicely. The country colors dye in the mayo jar, however, was still a dark teal in the water and a light tourquoise in the roving. I'm guessing that since I didn't apply heat to the jar the dye didn't take as well. So this morning I set a screen over a simmering stock pot and laid the wool on it to steam the color in. Hopefully that will work.

I hung the roving up in the bathtub to dye and this morning I couldn't wait to get started spinning. I think I'll make socks.

What I learned from my first attempt at Crock Pot Dying:
1. Sprinkle the Kool Aid carefully over the roving so as to not have a big pile of Kool Aid in one place.
2. Put darker colors on the bottom. The lemon-lime I used on the first layer of wool was no where to be found.
3. Don't leave the nice soft roving unattended unless you want your cat to think you've made her a new bed.


denyse said...

Nice job! I associate Kool Aid dyeing with the microwave - so this is good to see. In the meantime, I'm sold on my Lanaset dyes for the crockpot. I think we've both struck gold! Thanks for sharing - fiberbrarian

Anonymous said...

We should both be thanking Fiberbrarian! Looks like you had fun. I did my kool aid dyeing in pint canning jars in a circle and mixed the kool aid before adding the fiber...think I had spun mine up before I dyed it tho. I added too much KA and it didn't exhaust...I think I was afraid I wouldn't have enough color. I did get more vibrant (?) colors than you did tho. Shayne39.

setembrina said...

Merry says, "Excuse me but this has always been my bed. Nothing new here, move along."

Very pretty Ms, Maddy.