Thursday, May 10, 2007

A Day for Painting Roving

My eyes have been hungry to spin something with color. I do like naturally colored wools and often have a use for white, but I love working with color. I am in need of something easy to spin this weekend, so I decided to paint some roving yesterday.

I knew just what I wanted to paint too, two of the white rovings out of my Fiber Goody Bag from Judy. I chose the white Texel and the white Norwegian. At 100 grams each, they made good candidates for painting.

I'm really not set up for dyeing where we live now. I used to have a big basement to store things, a large kitchen, and a nice carport for mixing, painting, and my simmering dyepot. Now, I have no storage, a teensy kitchen, and an even smaller patio area. I didn't even know where my dye supplies were. Happily I found everything easily, even some leftover dye stock, mixed when I was dyeing the silk carrier rods.

Supplies gathered to paint the roving.I am not a scientific dyer. I suppose if I ever want repeatable results, then I'll start to keep track of things like measurements and amounts, but for now, I enjoy whatever I get.

My dyestocks are made from Cushing's acid dyes, which come in 1/3 ounce (approximately 10 gram) packets. I mixed these with about a pint of hot water each. Not sure what percentage stock solution that officially is however, let me think.

[Hmm. 10 grams of dye powder to one liter makes a 1% stock solution so 10 grams to 500 mls would also make a 2 % stock solution, right???, so I think 2% is it.]

My stock solution was about 2%. I think.

Applying color randomly with a sponge 'brush'.After soaking the roving first in warm water with a squirt of dishwashing liquid and then with a large glug of white vinegar, I laid them out and dabbed color here and there. I used Cushings Ocean Green, Sky Blue, and Lemon.

Roving painted & being wrapped in plastic wrap.I wrapped each up in plastic wrap,

Steaming away in the dye pot.and steamed them for about half an hour. After that they were allowed to cool and dry.

Dried, fluffed, & ready to spin.The result is a basket of pleasant colors, ready to spin. Happily, this will keep me entertained for hours.

Related Posts:
A Change of Spinning Plans - how this painted roving spun up
Painted Roving Yarn Swatches - how it looks in knitted swatches


Anonymous said...

Lovely Leigh,

Very springy all green and blue just like it is here today in PA. I think I will go finish up some fibre that I dyed like this, except mine makes me think of a rose garden, pinks, greens, soft yellows. Hmmm.


Anonymous said...

What lovely colors! having only used Ashford dyes so far, I need to ask: in the Wet pictures the colors are flatter and drabber than in the finished wool. Is this typical when using Cushing dyes?

Leigh said...

Tricia and Juuli, thank you!

Tricia, I love the colors you're describing. I would love to see it.

Juuli, yes, the colors did perk up quite a bit after setting and drying (especially the green.) I think there are two reasons for this. One reason may be because the dye stock was old; I mixed it up about 11 months ago. There was quite a bit of sediment in the bottom of the jars and I confess I was a little worried about the wet green. It was so grayish that I was afraid the dye stock was too old. Also, the wet picture was taken out of doors without a flash, while the last photo was indoors with the flash. That last photo is quite color accurate. I am very pleased with the results and can't wait to spin this!

Sayward said...

I am also a Cushing's fan. I have never dyed roving and will remember this page! Those are terrific colours!

Cathy said...

Oh that looks like fun! I can't wait to see what this turns in to!

Kathy said...

Very inspiring, Leigh! It reminds me that my own supplies of dyestuffs need to be checked just in case I have some time to do some dyeing - lambing is over, shearings done and I just have to skirt some fleeces and send them off for processing. as the days get warmer, dyeing in the basement would be great to do as it's quite a bit cooler there.
I can hardly wait to see the yarns you make with these colors!

Marie said...

I love Cushings dye, especially the Egyptian Red.
Your colors look so clean and fresh I can almost smell them!

Woolly Bits said...

hice colours, Leigh! and I can totally understand the need for colour. when I had just finished the 1.6 kg of white teeswater top, all the plying etc. - I jumped at some coloured top very late at night, just to get some colour going again:) do you have plans for the yarn already - or just a bit of colour therapy in between?

Leigh said...

Marie, I will have to get some Egyptian Red. It looks like a color I'd like to work with.

No plans for the yarn yet, Bettina, other than color relief for soul. Being a project person I can't help but think about what I might use it for, but it will depend on how much yarn I end up with. Will have to let you know!

Sharon said...

Oh so very very nice. You know what this means. We're all going to be waiting to see what you yarns you produce with your dye results. They really are nice results~

cyndy said...

Thanks so much for posting about how you used your Cushings dyes! I have a few packets that I have never used, and now I want to try this method that you describe!

MSilver said...

I am reading your blog about using CMYK to mix dye colors. I use Cushings Acid dye because I work mostly with protein fibers and am dyeing for the first time. Your experiments use fiber reactive dyes - how do you think the Cushing dye colors would relate to CMYK analysis using Adobe Photoshop.

Leigh said...

Marsha, I am not familiar with Adobe Photoshop, so I really can't answer your question. If it can analyze the hex codes for colors the same way Peter Forret's online Color Converter does, then you should be able to use it. I don't think it's so much the type of dye (acid vs fiber reactive) as it is in using the turquoise, yellow, and magenta colors.

The key is the purity of the dye color. Some colors aren't considered pure as they are made from a mixture of colors. This can give unpredictable results to the dyer. Not that this is bad, but with the experiments I was doing, trying to reproduce colors from photos, I needed pure color.

Paula Burch has some information about this on her website - You may just have to do some experimenting!