Posts Tagged ‘dying wool’

To Dye For

October 4, 2008

Well, the dying of the stinky wool came off without a hitch… well, except for the unexpected colors.  We did two natural dyes, bougainvillea and onion skin, in addition to purple and red Kool-Aid.  The kids all broke up the bougainvillea flowers and we boiled them for 30 minutes. 

We strained out the flowers and simmered the wool for another 30 minutes.  We did the same with the Walmart onion skins. The night before dying I went in and cleaned up the yellow onion bins for the nice produce people at Wally’s World.  I gathered a whole bag of free skins!

 

The Kool-Aid dyes we cooked in the microwave for 8 minutes with the wool and then let them cool to room temperature.  Here are the masterpieces.

Guess which one was the hot pink bougainvillea?  The yellow onion skin?  The purple Kool-Aid?  and the red Kool-Aid?  Ok, the Kool-Aids were easy.  But the other two are the opposite of what you’re thinking.  The pale yellow one is the hot pink flowers and the deeper brown one is the onion skin.

So, why in the world did we do this?  And what in the world did we learn?  I figured out tonight that our wool is from a corriedale mixed sheep (whatever that is!). We learned that vinegar breaks down dye and makes it spread evenly.  We discovered that pink flowers make pale yellow die…. go figure.  The sheep and weaving unit is under the Godly character trait of Trust.  Sheep really do have to trust the Shepherd, just as we trust our heavenly Shepherd. We also got this wool business out of our systems so as not to have to go through it again.  Ever.  Forever.  Forever and eternity.

Actually, I’m addicted to pulling little balls of wool over my kitchen sink … it’s therapeutic.  And I have about 50% of the smelly wool left to wash the pick.  Yes, I’m considering it.  Remember, people, I said THERAPEUTIC!  And I fell in love with the brown dye from the onion and the passionate purple from the blue Kool-Aid.  Sorry, Jennie.  Now, to make a drop spindle and have at it.

Monotonous Job X 27 = Washing Raw Wool

October 2, 2008

If you’re sick of hearing about the sheep’s wool…. imagine how we’re feeling!  We’ve come a long way, baby, from the stinking fleece on the back lawn Monday night.  I realized at approximately 11:32 p.m. on fleece washing night that I had a book titled Back to Basics from the library with a detailed explanation and colored photos of the sheep-to-sweater process.  Whew.  So, the top picture is the semi-washed wool that only semi-stinks, but some of it is semi-ruined because either I agitated it too much or the water temperature changed too much during it’s 17 baths.  So it felted its way out of getting cleaned any further.  And I’m kind of glad… less IS more.  Another discovery was the hole in the bottom of the red tub.  Good grief, you should have seen the puddle on the kitchen floor.

This is not a new pet or a fur trim for a Bag for Zaza.  It’s a strip of curly wool that got felted into a row that is a semi-smelly neck wrap or a fantastic dog toy.  Trixie LOVES it.

This is my TA-DA picture.  The puffs of wool in the Walmart bag have been separated individually so the debris has fallen out.  The fluffs on the counter still contain vegetable matter and require separating over the kitchen sink until junk-free.  When you separate the fibers the ball of wool doubles in size… at least doubles!  The farm smell is still lingering in there just under the surface of the clean soapy smell.  I’m hoping that Friday’s dying in boiling water will cure the end of the stink.  Can’t you hardly wait to see the results?????  Me either.  Christy, I wish you were here to help me….. sigh.