Dyeing merino braids

I decided to dye some roving in mixed colours.  So, I braided my merino roving, soaked it overnight, spun it dry in my washing machine until it was moist but not wet (I have to say I won’t do this again–it compacted the fibre a good deal more than I expected), and got out my Earth Palette dyes.  These dyes are made by a small business in a country town called Gladstone, in my state.  I’m pleased to see they’ve made it onto the interwebs.  The railway between Adelaide and Port Augusta used to stop in Gladstone and I had a holiday there once.  It’s not much of a tourist destination, but I was there for the fine company.

I had pre-mixed several colours and that is what you can see in the soft drink bottles.

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These dyes can be applied cold and fixed at room temperature–what a fantastic system.  So I applied dye, plastic bagged each plait, and set them in a warm sunny spot to fix.  I enhanced the warmth factor by putting the plastic bags in my dye pots and under a pane of glass since we’re expecting 20C maximums.  Ahhh, what a simple method.

I was really happy with the colours… but it turned out that as I feared, spin drying this merino roving, even though it was braided and bagged and cold and I’ve done this before without trouble… meant these braids needed to find adifferent use than the one I had planned.  They will never draft easily or evenly.  So I’ve been spinning them up after extensively fluffing them up.

Once again…not exactly what I planned, but sufficiently satisfying.


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2 responses to “Dyeing merino braids

  1. indiedyer

    I’ve done the spin drying once with some perendale roving – it also compacted a lot more than I thought. I fluffed it up and pulled this way and that and spun some of it on my spindle. But the biggest part of it was used for needle felting, for which it turned out perfect. Your yarn looks absolutely wonderful to me! Somehow velvety, and definitely soft. And the colours are great, I just love purples, lavenders, pinks and blues together.


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