Tweaking The Multi-Color Dyeing Thing


I did the last of my roving, this time going right to sprinkling dry Kool-Aid mix onto the damp fiber.
I soaked the roving in cold water and a splash (I never measure) of vinegar for about an hour.

 It doesn’t seem to matter how long it soaks, as long as it’s for at least thirty minutes. While that was soaking, I prepped my counter…covered it with plastic wrap, put a BIG stack of rags aside, and gathered my Kool-Aid packs.  I used 2 Strawberry, 1 Cherry, 1 Grape, 3 Lemon-Lime, 3 Mixed Berry and 3 Ice Blue Raspberry Lemonade.

(Note to Self: Go back to Ebay for more Kool-Aid!)

I drained off the water, squeezed out the excess, and laid my roving out on the plastic-lined counter in a serpentine. I opened up a package of Kool-Aid, and spirinkled it onto the damp roving. I kept doing that, until I had the roving covered in stripes and swirls, some blotches, of color.

I wanted to make sure there was enough moisture, and vinegar, in the wool, so I took up my trusty spray bottle, added a little vinegar, and sprayed the whole thing with the vinegar water. Not too much! I did not want to saturate it, just help it along. The roving was very damp, but not running.

Next step, I wrapped it up, 

tucked in the ends, and coiled the roll.

It went into the same deep microwave-safe dish (A Rubbermaid catch-all container) for five minutes.  Then I turned it over and gave it another three minutes.  I wanted to make sure the color went all the way through. 

It had to cool off enough to handle, as that stuff gets HOT in the microwave.  So, I let it sit in the plastic roll, to cool off to room temperature, then…again, much trepidation here…I risked a peek.

It looked good! The colors are bold and bright, with just enough mottling.   That’s the new stuff, on the left.   I got Chauncey and Earl involved, to show off the colors.  Oh, who am I kidding?  They were bouncing up and down, hollering, “We want to play with the new wool!  We want to play with the new wool!”

I learned a few things. First, I learned that eight minutes in the microwave was too much for the plastic wrap. One of the edges melted a little, becoming One with the roving. That was easy enough to fix with roving, I just snapped off the stuck edges. If that had been yarn, though, I would have had an issue. So…nuke for three.  Wait.  Nuke for two.  Wait.  If necessary, nuke for a minute.  Wait…..

I learned that this method uses a lot more Kool-Aid. That’s okay! I also learned that this method takes more rinsing, a longer time under the running water for the water to run clear. That’s okay, too! Just have to be extra careful not to agitate the roving, or it will felt. 

I learned, especially with these multi-coloring methods, that the roving should go back into a water and vinegar bath, for no less than thirty minutes, to set the colors. Then, one final cold-water rinse. I used the bathroom sink again, with a heavy splash of vinegar, probably a half cup of the stuff.  I’m most likely using too much vinegar, but it doesn’t seem to be harming anything, so I don’t care.  Rinsed well, it doesn’t smell like a salad.

Now that this last piece was dyed, rinsed, set, and drained, I set it out next to the other one. They look good.   Chauncey and Earl are already bugging me to spin it and make them a new baby brother or sister.  That can happen!  Oh, yeah…note the tags?  They hopped up and down until I gave them their very own tag.  Who can refuse these guys?

I’ll let you know how the new colors spin out.  That is another post, the roving waiting for a new drop spindle…a custom one I just ordered from Spindle Me Right Round.   I can’t wait!  I promise, you’ll see the new spindle as soon as I do!

Oh, by the way…I did not throw out the poor old towel that absorbed The Great Kool-Aid Debacle.  I salvaged it!  I soaked it in hot water, detergent and Clorox, and believe it or not, it came white.  It’s only showing one grape-flavored battle scar.  What a towel!


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