As I’ve blogged before, I bought a fleece at Maryland. Its a Blue Face Leicester and its been hanging around in my room for a few weeks. Although it was clean, it was pretty smelly, and full of lanolin.
I decided to dye it, so I’ve been buying things for the last week. I bought One-Step Country Classic dyes from Halycon Yarn, and they finally came. I went out yesterday and bought a stock pot to do it. So this morning, I got up nice and early and started.
First I cleaned it again in my sink using really hot water and 1/2 cup of Dawn dish detergent. It was amazing how dirty it was. I eventually cleaned it twice, and rinsed it twice. You could tell it was much better.
This was my first time dyeing with “real dyes”. I filled up the pot, added the dye, and waited for it to boil. And waited. And waited. Finally! Added the fiber, and cooked it for 30 minutes.
All of the dye wasn’t exhausted, but the color looked good, so I left it to cool. Next I rinsed it, and then put it outside to dry.
I love the way it came out – sort of. I like how the color isn’t uniform – the fleece was different shades of brown, so it makes sense that the dye took differently in spots. What is sort of weird is that some came out green. I’m not sure why – I don’t have a sense of where this is on the fleece (ends, middle, etc) because the fleece got pretty tangled up. Some of the green is pretty shiny looking (reminds me of a fly). Hard to tell what it is going to look like dry – or even carded or spun. There isn’t a lot of green and green goes with cranberry, so I think its ok. But I wish I knew why it happened.
I’m going to start carding it, and then spin it up. Not sure what I’ll make with it, but I think its very cool to have yarn that I’ve made from start to finish. But I have to say – the smell is sort of hard to take. Its still pretty sheepy smelling, and combined with the dye and the wet wool smell, its pretty bad. I can’t get the smell out of my nose right now – yuck! But I do like the colors, and am glad I tried this. (Although I can’t help but think how much easier it is to just buy hand dyed yarn!)