I’ve been doing some spinning lately… here are the last few skeins I spun.
In the spinning community there is a spinning competition during the month of July called the Tour de Fleece. It happens during the Tour de France bike race, hence the name. It was started in 2006, on a website called the Ravelry. So my personal challenge during the Tour was to spin a textured art yarn called Supercoil.
This is a plying technique that uses up a ton of yardage – the 20 or so yards of single yarn I spun shrank to about 6 yards after plying! To create any real yardage of Supercoil would use a lot of singles.
On Saturday I attempted hand painting a 50% alpaca/50% wool bulky yarn for the first time!
It turned out great! I used Jaquard acid dyes for this project. First I soaked the yarn in cold water with about 2 T of white vinegar, and covered the counter with a garbage bag while it soaked (it’s works nicely and we didn’t have any plastic wrap, which is what you’re supposed to use.) I then mixed my dyes with hot water, but they cooled down over the time I was dying. Probably not a big deal. Then it occured to me that the yarn might need to be hot, so I microwaved it for about 2 minutes, but that cooled down too. It’s the vinegar acid and the steaming afterward that sets the dye.
I spread out the yarn on the garbage bag and painted that dye on! I used a cheapie foam brush for the dye. I wasn’t too happy with the way it looked after I painted it, but the steaming was yet to come. I wrapped it in the garbage bag the long way, coiled it up like a cinnamon bun, and than put it in a steaming basket over boiling water. Once the water boiled, I turned the stove down to low for a half hour and let it steam.
I was a bit concerned about the garbage bag melting, but thankfully it didn’t. When I unwrapped the yarn it looked great! The steaming mellowed and blended the colors wonderfully!