Rocking Circle P

Rocking Circle P is my small farm in Northeastern rural Utah. We're a small fruit, nut and fiber farm.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006


All you adventurous fiber addicts need to try this.

We did this dyeing at our Winter Retreat and I just love the effects on the yarn. Let me see if I can talk you through this.

I did not make up the dye cups, but it was just like what is done at Easter time. Make up a bunch of cups full of dye for eggs. That's what we had only they were bigger cups and a syringe was put with each cup. We used RIT 39 cent dye from Wally World. You wind you're yarn or roving in a ball. So you have this nice little ball of fiber. Place a large piece of saran wrap underneath it on the table or counter. You are going to wrap the fiber in it so it must be large enough to cover the ball on all sides, or use 2 pieces. Then you pick the colors you want and suck up some dye and squirt it into the ball of yarn/fiber. Be sure to turn it over and inject the bottom and don't forget the sides either. You can be as crazy as you want to be, or not, if you are frightened of the outcome. Wrap it up in the saran wrap and nuke it for, I think they said 3 minutes, 1 minute at a time. We did not have access to a microwave so we steamed it for about 15 minutes, like it was the dinner vegetables. Bring it out and let it cool for a few minutes and then rinse thoroughly in warm water. You have to be real careful with the roving balls not to felt the fiber, but the yarn balls are less likely to felt, so we were pretty aggressive with the rinsing and squishing the water out of the ball of yarn. It was wound onto the niddy noddy to dry. I will be plying it tonight, but I'll take pictures of it before and after the 2 ply. I think it turned out really pretty. I did learn....... I went crazy with the injection process. There was a lot of dye at the bottom of the ball of yarn which made the yarn lighter on top and darker as you go down toward the bottom, but, because the yarn had been balled up by a ball winder, it goes light then dark as the strand of yarn passes from the top to the bottom of the ball. Hope the visual on this makes better sense than the words. I don't have any pictures of the ball before it was rinsed or even before it was wound on the niddy noddy. Oh, also, we presoaked our balls of yarn before we injected the dye in just plain warm water. You would probably get a different effect if you did not presoak. I'll try and put pictures on the blog this afternoon. Keep checking. Try it, it's great fun. Almost therapeutic.

After trying to ply this on itself, I decided I did not like the effects. It just turned it into a raglan. This yarn is plyed and balanced, but very fine, guesing lace weight. That's what we will have to work with.

Drying on niddy noddy.