Can anyone tell me: When using the solar cooker (or the crock pot, for that matter) for handpainted rovings (that are wrapped in cellophane), do I still need to put some water in the bottom for steam? It seems like it should work more like the microwave method, which, if I understand it correctly, doesn't require that bit of water in the bottom.
If I tried it in my crock pot with no water, what's the worst that could happen? I'm learning on cheap mill ends, so ruined wool is no big deal to me.
Ruined wool may be no big deal, but without the water, you'll short circuit your crock pot and then it won't work any more! From a crock pot cooking pov, you should never turn it on without it being roughly 1/3 full of liquid. This is because of how most of the elements are set up in them. Don't worry, the liquid won't simmer like it would on the stove, so your fibre shouldn't felt, but it gets sufficiently hot for a sufficiently long period of time that it will set the dye. You may need to set a plate or something on top of the cellophane wrapped fibre so that it stays submersed in the hot water though.
With a solar cooker, I don't think you would need the water, because it would be like baking a fish in aluminium foil, it would stew in it's own juice so to speak.
Let me know how you go, I've never tried tried dying either way!