A Dyer Necessity

Gasp! I ran out of colored fluff this week.

How did I do that?! I don't even know…But, I was watching a spinning video on Craftsy that happened to be on sale at the time that I had downloaded it called Spinning Colored Fibers by Felicia Lo of SweetGeorgia Yarns.

Let me just say that she is a teacher after my own heart! Once she started talking about the color wheel, I almost kissed my iPad screen! I love how all of the various art forms “talk” to each other. 🙂

As the title suggests, the discussion centers around multiple ways of organizing color in your spun yarn. At one point during the video she shows this GORGEOUS pair of leg warmers where the yarn had been spun in gradations that flowed from one block of color to the next, in a graduated value scale (light to dark with all the steps in between). They weren't made from a fractal spin which also tends to do this in the sense that one color melts into the next in an FO. This handspun was accomplished by the spinner breaking the fiber supply (I believe it was top in that instance) into blocks of separate colors and then spinning it in the order desired-something I have yet to try. 🙂 The difference is YOU as the spinner get to order the color in the yarn rather than the order of the fiber supply dictating how it will be spun. Methinks that kind of control can come in handy…And the legwarmers? WANT! I felt those legwarmers needed to be on Girl Child this year. So, I immediately went to my stash to try that technique, and lo and behold, no more colored braids! What the??? I immediately dismissed the idea that someone had raided my stash since nobody else in this house spins. Nevertheless, I was shocked beyond belief.

What I did next, I can only say came out of desperation. I painted on my own fluff! (screams in horror!)

This I say knowing full well I still have walnut hulls soaking to dye more wool this week, lol. Thankfully, I had two choices of undyed fiber in my stash. I had better re-up that for these kinds of emergencies…

I can't say what is so scary about painting on fluff. Well, aside from the fact that I man-handle things and I am always sure it's going to felt like crazy. But, I love painting on just about everything else. I suppose I usually like to leave the dyeing to the dyers. 🙂 But, I can see the beauty in both.

Take this braid, for instance, results in dyeing for me tend to be unexpected. That is fun in its own right. On the other hand, when I select something dyed from a fiber artist, I know what I'm getting, and I can get right to the spinning (like in the cabled yarns). Case in point, I don't necessarily know I can use this for the legwarmers. But, I can use it just for the joy of spinning something colored until I find something else to order.

I have dyed using Kool-Aid (plus some turmeric here) before on commercial yarns and as my friend from Greenbank Mill, Laurel told me, I could dye my own fluff at home with it in a snap just the same way. It's a good quick fix and I probably should learn more about the dyeing processes available because the ladies of the mill tend to all know how to do it, lol.

Meh. I figure, if I'm going to try out a new technique, I definitely don't have to use my good stuff! 🙂 But, man! I have got to get some color in that stash!


  1. Awesome post and I too love Felcia’s Craftsy class!

  2. Looks like it turned out good. I’ve been meaning to learn more about dyes as well.

  3. grayseasaylor says:

    Brave woman! It will be fun to see how your yarn shapes up. When I was a teen my mom painted my bedroom a mellow yellow and then made red and white gingham checked cafe curtains for the windows. I loved the combination of colors and your braid of yarn reminds me of that happy combination. Have a great week, Stacey 🙂 xx from Gracie

    • Thanks Gracie! I think it’s going to be interesting too. I’ve been messing with it. Carding it again and what not. I just want to see if I can still find a way to get something close to that gradation! I’m just a meddler sometimes. 🙂

  4. indiedyer says:

    Bravo, I love your kool aid painting and think you’ve done very well. Yes, dyeing fluff is scary at times, but the results are so rewarding. I feel the same way about spinning, which I mostly leave to real spinners because my dusty wheel scares me. I only twiddle my spindle now and then, for meditation rather than yarn production… 🙂

    • LOL! I think I spin for the joy of it. But I LOVE using the yarn afterward too. I usually don’t know what I’m going to use it for while I’m spinning. And then, once it’s finished, I find a good use for it.

      Now dyeing is a whole other matter. I would probably have to dye a few more samples before I felt comfortable that I wouldn’t felt this stuff up when I have to do it myself. It’s an extra special effort and it comes with much anxiety, lol!

  5. Oh, I love your color choices here. So bright and happy!
    I keep coming across gradient projects that make me want to give it a whirl. Soon…soon…

    • I know! There is always something new to try, isn’t it?

      I think they remind me of the sunsets I’m no longer seeing. I REALLY miss summer! It’s only October, not even mid-October, and I’ve already taken out scarves and gloves. Brrrr!

  6. caityrosey says:

    Huh. Breaking up my colored braid of fiber was one of the first things I did when I started spinning with my drop spindle. I was curious to see what the singles looked like when I blended colors and when I let them go in sections. Of course, It’s all buried in the little ball I wound now, and will be until I learn to ply. Very interested to see what it looks like.

  7. Great color, you did well…..

    • Thanks Maria! These colors are so close together though, they kind of come as a family. Really difficult to mess that up. It’d be like trying to boil eggs. If you mess that up, you really should stay out of the kitchen, lol! Unless you didn’t know you can’t do that in a microwave (I was a teenager). Then, you can have a second chance. 😀

  8. Love the colors you’ve used. Can’t wait to see how it looks as you spin.

    • Me either! I’m hoping to have enough carded to be able to use it at the spin-in tomorrow at the mill. Or maybe the walnut dye….It’s like trying on jeans. I’m still trying to figure out which I’m taking, lol.

  9. I’ve never been brave enough to dye roving/top/etc. for the same reason as you. I love dyeing yarn though! Also love the pun in your title. 😀

    • I will try almost anything once. If for nothing else, just to get the willies out. 🙂 But next time, I just hope it doesn’t feel like I’m under so much duress! Looking into my spinning stash and it being only browns and white for me is just unacceptable. I think I actually had a near panic attack! LOL!

      Thanks! Can you hear me laughing and snorting like Steve Urkel? Lol!

  10. I think this is some beautifully dyed “fluff”. Gorgeous!

    • Thanks Libby! 🙂 I like these colors too. Can you tell I miss summertime? 🙂

      You know, I’ve heard that NC has snow for like a half an hour during the winter months. I think I know where I’m going to retire…

Leave a reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: