If you want to have some serious fun, check out your local fiber fairs. I love going to purchase local fleeces to spin but ended up trying a whole new art... dyeing fiber. Here is the booth some ladies had put together. The large skeins are 250 yards of natural Corriedale. They were a squishy DK weight and soft to the skin. I passed by a few times, and the class tables were empty. Too many times, I have passed on opportunities to participate. I made a concious decision to change my way of thinking by pulling out a chair, putting on an apron (fashioned cleverly out of a garbage bag), and delve into the world of dyeing yarn.
As I lined up baby bottles filled with dye (which is an absolutely fantastic way to dispense it by the way), curious bystanders decided to check out the craft. I never turn down the opportunity to talk about fiber, and they happily joined in the fun. It only takes one to step out of their comfort zone, and pretty soon, you'll draw a crowd.
The ladies had the most intriguing set up. These tin roasting pans held two sheets of plastic wrap and a skein of your choice of yarn or sock blank soaked in vinegar. The trick of dyeing yarn in this method is to keep your colors far apart and work them with your hands back together. This creates a nice blend between the two colors. Being familiar with the color wheel, the possibilities in the dyeing process are endless... I was hooked! Can you imagine the possibilities?
Once the skein is to the liking of the dyer, the skein is wrapped up in the plastic wrapped and whisked away to have the dye set. The dye was set for several minutes in a microwave on hot. It was done in intervals, so the fiber was not harmed.
After the yarn was taken from the microwave, it was dipped in a bucket of water a few times. Then, the skein had the water squeezed out of it and draped over a hanger... with my name proudly attached. lol
As you can tell, I tried as many colors as possible on my first skein (on the right in photo). I even did some over dyeing. The blues didn't really draw me in, but all the others did! By the time I was finished, I commented to the girl next to me that it looked like a pile of fruit loops. lol
With the second skein (to the left in photo), I was much calmer and controlled... And it shows! It will be interesting to see how they both translate when knitted. The colors are bold and vibrant. A little less vibrant than my photo with the flash but bold just the same. :)
The fiber fest, and the group of ladies overseeing the dyeing booth, was the best way to experience this craft for the first time. The dyeing mini class was a memorable event. The ladies only charged $10.00 a skein. Such a small price to pay for the beginnings of a great adventure! :)