23 July 2007

Experimenting with colour

You can do interesting things with KoolAid powder, wool, and sunshine.

Place wool in a zip lock bag with warm water and unsweetened KoolAid powder. Add a splash of vinegar. Mush the wool around in the coloured water, then set the bag out in the sun for the afternoon. Remove the wool, drain it, rinse it, and hang it to dry.

Voila, coloured wool!

For this experiment I used some washed fleece that I found lying around - I believe it came from the stash of miscellaneous fleeces that are in my shed outside. It's got some second cuts in it, so it wants to be spun up into something on the lumpy bumpy 'creative' side. (Second cuts are the little short bits of wool that you end up with when the shearer goes back over a section to get closer to the skin, somewhat analogous to the bits of hair that fall down your shirt when you get a haircut. They tend to make little lumps on the final spun yarn.)

I took the "strawberry kiwi" and spun it up into a reasonably lumpy thick-and-thin single, then spun up a very smooth thread from some commercially prepared white batting. The two plied together nicely to make a candy striped yarn that I'm attempting to make into ... something. Possibly a felted sunglasses/eyeglasses case, possibly a handbag ... I'll see what happens as I knit.

I carded the "cherry" and "grape" into fluffy bundles of fleece then spun them onto the same yarn, alternating colours. The end result is a fairly loosely spun pink-purple concoction that will probably also end up as some felted item. The openness of the spun wool should lend itself reasonably well to felting, and hey, at this point, it's all about the experiments.

Ahhh, I do love fibre.


  1. Anonymous5:14 pm

    WOW! with all the construction going on, I can't believe you still find time to dye and spin..Interesting that the Kool Aid really does work. I like the finished yarn. Should knit up into something neat.Has it spoken to you yet to tell you what it wants to be?
    Auntie Sharon

  2. Anonymous8:24 pm

    This is really cool! I will have to send your blog to my friend who loves to knit!

    Love, AC

  3. I did do an experiment with the pink and white yarn, but I think I misheard what the yarn wants to be. :)

    I will attempt something else ... something that will look good if it's all lumpy and bumpy!


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