sarahbird spins

(and does other stuff, too)

Coming out of a Rut June 8, 2008

Filed under: dyeing,handspun,roving,spinning,yarn — sarahbird @ 2:57 pm

I’ve really been stuck in a fiber rut the past few months. Being at school, with no spinning wheel and no place to dye fiber really cut off my creativity and lessened my desire to spin. But now that I’ve moved into my own house, where I have my spinning wheel and I can dye whenever I want, I feel so much more creative and productive. I currently have six (!) freshly-spun yarns hanging outside to dry. I feel like this summer is going to be very experimental and productive, fiber-wise, so with that in mind I’ve assembled a list of some of my fiber-y goals for summer.

*Try solar dyeing
*Spin candy-striped yarn (two different colored rovings drafted together to produce a striped single)
*Dye yarn after spinning.
*Knit with my handspun (I’ve actually never done this – weird, I know)
*Unravel thrifted sweaters, dye yarn.
*Use concentrated dye paste spread onto roving with a paintbrush to produce very dark colors.
*Dye with Kool-Aid
*Learn to dye a good brown color.
*Spin more yarns with bead.
*Spin bamboo.
*Start a yarn series – I’m thinking maybe zodiac.
*Dye roving in the oven.
*Splatter paint roving – just to see how it turns out.
*Spin corespun yarn.

Think I’ve got enough?

I got started on my list a few days ago by dyeing yarn in the oven, following this tutorial from Hello Yarn. I picked up all the supplies (except wool and dye) at the dollar store that morning for about $7, and in less than three hours I had dyed over a pound of wool in 5 different colorways! I don’t know how long it takes most people to dye roving, but that was super fast for me. I like this method of dyeing sooo much better than my old method, where I would wrap the roving in saran wrap and steam it on the stove. It’s quicker to apply the dye, you can just stick it in the oven and forget about it, and it doesn’t involve any waste – no using up (and throwing out!) half a roll of saran wrap every time I want to dye.

Here’s a few of the rovings I dyed, still in the pan right after they came out of the stove.

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And all of the finished rovings (and a random skein of yarn) hanging out to dry in the hot June sunshine.

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Hope you’re all enjoying the start of summer as much as I am!

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2 Responses to “Coming out of a Rut”

  1. Liz Says:

    gorgeous rovings! I get stuck in fiber ruts sometimes too- glad to see you’re pulling out of yours!

  2. Natalie Says:

    Hey! I just found your store/blog by looking through someone else’s favorites, and I got all excited to see another Etsy spinner located in Chicago! Your rovings look amazing- I love being able to hang them outside to dry, too (it goes 1000x faster, doesn’t it?) I need to try the oven thing; I’m doing the saran wrap roving burrito method now, and it does suck throwing out all the plastic- at least the foil trays are reusable (and cheap!) Your list of fiber goals is almost identical to mine. There is so much out there to try and summer always seems the best time to let loose and go for it.

    – Natalie aka Cloudlover šŸ™‚


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