Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Crockpot Dyepots

It began like a normal spin-in, folks arriving early just to chat, spin or knit their project dujour except, there were these crockpots. Ya know, those things we all used when we worked, and could walk in after a hard day and smell dinner cooking. It didn't matter what was cooking, just that we didn't have to do it. Of course, we had really done it...organized dinner and started the fool thing that morning, but somehow it did take the sting out of the nightly routine. And here were these CROCKPOTS.

Okay, we weren't there for a potluck, but for a dying lesson...how to dye in a crockpot. You have no idea the number of comments I have floating in my brain on that one. But I will be nice.

For the spinners' program, Dwight and Vicki Tardy described a "crockpot dyepot" method and demonstrated two techniques to dye roving, one using dry chemical dye, one using a solution of the same chemical dye.

It was very interesting if you compare the two.

The methodology was the same as for any dyeing, saturating the roving with a fiber specific solution, draining that solution, adding wet fiber to a dyepot, adding the dye, steaming/heating the fiber to set the color, rinsing and drying the roving, again, fiber specific.

In crockpot dyeing the crockpot served as a steaming agent which disperses the dye throughout the roving and the heat as a setting agent. The difference lie in how the dye was applied,one dry, the other a solution .

The roving produced was similar, yet there was a distinct difference in the color uptake. The solution produced colors which were stronger, less greyed. The sprinkled undiluted technique produced more muted colors-same hue, different intensity. Both were obviously the same colors, and probably could be plied together after spinning to produce some shadows, yet each was distinctly unique. It reminds me of dye lot differences, subtle, but you don't want to mix them row by row in any project. Check out the process shown below and compare these rovings.

Can you see any difference.

Crockpot Dyepot Method

Obviously if the steaming and cooling takes all night, we didn't get to see the finished products. I cannot wait to see the finished items, maybe next month.

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