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The Elegant Knitter

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Dye Day at Louise's
summer 2002

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One of my favorite activities!  I try to meet weekly with a group of spinners near my home, where we produce
marvelous yarns, teach others to spin, and gab about fiber and life.   Contact our spinning group

Two yarns.   I had a small amount of silk and wool laps which I painted, ran through my drum carder (one pass),then spun into singles on my Louet wheel.  The yarn was slubby, and I made little effort to remove odd bits that had been left by the drumcarder.  I had very little yardage (about 200 yds), so decided to ply it to a pretty merino/tencel singles which was fine enough not to hide the quality of the laps yarn.   The resulting skein (top) is 374 yards, bloomed nicely when I wet finished it. 
Bottom small sample skein is the laps silk and wool plied on itself--wish I had more!

Onion Skin Dyeing
I keep a bag in my kitchen for just for onion skins that I like to use for dyeing.   They require no mordant or special equipment, and I can have a dye-day indoors with all the windows shut tight during the winter.

When the bag is full to overflowing, I dump it into a pot, make a *tea* which I leave to sit overnight.   The next morning I strain out the skins, put in the yarn, and heat to about 180 degrees.  Hold the temperature at a simmer for wool, for about 40 minutes to set the color.

Here is a snip of *test yarn* I dipped in the pot and removed within a few minutes.  The color took right away!

And here's the finished skein of sock yarn.   You can see how loosely it was tied, but I must not have moved the yarn enough while it was in the pot, so got some areas that didn't dye as deeply.   There's a nice variation in this skein, and I think I will like my new socks!

These pages last updated March 19, 2013