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211  FIBER ARTS / Dyeing: Discussion and Questions / Re: Need To Know On Dyeing... on: December 31, 2008 02:54:41 PM
If you use a bright red dye, it will turn out darker because of the natural gray.  I dyed some gray wool yesterday with cherry koolaid, and it turned out crimsony. 

If you do test wool, keep in mind that the alpaca might take the color differently, just because it's a different fiber.
212  FIBER ARTS / Dyeing: Completed Projects / Kool-aid dye session! on: December 30, 2008 09:42:31 PM
I've been planning to dye some roving for several days now, and I finally made it to the fiber store to get the wools.  I picked up some white superfine merino and some gray romney.  I picked up the romney because I want a crimson yarn, and I don't have the setup for non-food dyes.  I also wanted to dye the merino with blues and greens, but the store didn't have blues, so I ended up with pink, yellow, and green.

The merino went well, except that the yellow got swallowed up by the green.  This happened partially because yellow is a color that is easy to overpower, but also because I did the dyeing in my bathtub, and it's slanted downward.  This caused excess green to roll down into the yellow sections.  There are a couple of very small yellow spots left, but they are hardly noticeable in the picture.  I'm kind of glad it turned out this way, though, because it will produce a beautiful watermelon yarn.

The romney went okay, but a lot of the dye ran out of the saran wrap when I was trying to close it up.  The wool was also not as wet when I began dyeing, and I think that the color didn't stick as well because of that.  The cherry kool-aid did not take, and that end is closer to the original gray than the rest of it.  It will produce a slight variation in yarn color when spun, and I actually think I will prefer that to a solid crimson.

Also, if you don't use gloves, here's how your hands will look...

But I had fun!  I'll post pictures after it's been spun up.
213  FIBER ARTS / Spinning: Discussion and Questions / Re: What's your dream wheel? on: December 30, 2008 04:57:41 PM
I like the looks of the Kromski Symphony.  Although the bobbin is small, I learned on a traditional-style wheel, and there is the option of switching from Scotch tensioning to double drive.  My Ashford Kiwi works just fine for now, so maybe one day in the distant future, I'll get another wheel.
214  FIBER ARTS / Spinning: Discussion and Questions / Re: Guinea pig yarn....? on: December 30, 2008 04:24:11 PM
In my experience, it is possible to spin just about any hair into yarn.  I imagine spinning guinea pig would be a lot like spinning angora rabbit.  Just make sure you keep the hair long enough to spin!
215  FIBER ARTS / Spinning: Discussion and Questions / Any tips for spinning a novelty yarn? on: December 30, 2008 03:40:02 PM
For years, I've just spun regular yarn.  I've tried to make it a consistent thickness (or maybe I should say thinness), and I've never really branched out.

Now, I'm ready to branch out.  I've looked around on various websites and at different yarns, and I'm excited to try it out!  However, I don't have a bulky flyer (in fact, my wheel is an Ashford Kiwi), so I can't go TOO thick. 

I think what I will do is spin up a single ply of wool and ply it with ...oh, I don't know what to call it, but it's a ball of thread with sparklies that stick off.  I've previously used it simultaneously with spinning, so that the sparkles are incorporated, but it never worked out well (maybe because it's meant for plying Tongue).

Anyway, I'm wondering if there are any wools that lend themselves well to being spun into novelties.  Ideally, I want to dye the wool myself, although I am by no means against pre-dyed wool.

Thanks in advance Smiley
216  FIBER ARTS / Spinning: Discussion and Questions / Re: Do you have a spinning blog? on: December 30, 2008 01:12:31 PM
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