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I am working on Immersion dyeing right now and was having trouble getting even dyeing with my colors. So I spoke with Jesse Cushing at Cushing Dyes. He looked at some samples of my dyeing that I sent him. We decided that I might try adding more water to my pot (and therefore more vinegar) and to proke and probe more to get the dye to all the fibers. My colors are coming out much better and now the next problem. I am starting out with lukewarm water (on the cool side of lukewarm) and room temperature dyestock. I had soaked my Polwarth fiber overnite (Ivory dish soap and fairly warm water) Took the fiber out of the presoak, laid it carefully in my colander,did not squeeze it, then put it in my dyepot. I gently pressed it down and moved it around carefully to get the dye to all the fiber. Then I turned on the heat to about 315 degrees. As the temp of the water reached about 170, I turned the heat down to 200. Ilet it there for 45 minutes and pulled the plug. The dye was totally exhausted.  It was noon time. I let the lid on and came back at 11 that night. Gave it a rinse and laid it out to dry pretty dripping wet. The first batch was very compressed almost felted. The second batch is not as bad. Still very cobwebby in appearance. Should you stretch the roving out a tiny bit before putting it in the presoak? How do you get nice fluffy easier to draft roving out of the dyepot? According to the Book Of Wool, Polwarth is 75% Merino and 25% Lincoln. I have read Merino felts very easily. How does Merino perform when hand painting and wraping in plastic, then steaming? Has anyone had prolems with that? Christina have you ever had problems with Merino felting? How do you get that beautiful soft looking fiber? Thanks everyone.

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elaine - i took out some of the dye water from the pot and use it to mix up the citric acid and dissolve it. then i lifted the wool out and pour the citric acid in and swirled it around a bit. then lowered the wool back in and gently moved it around so the water coated all sides. i've found that i really like different dye brands because they do dye differently. jacquard dyes are more consistent, but are expensive. i also use Dharma and Country Classics - they both have lots of color variety and you get a bit more dye for your money. i've never tried cushing, but i've read good things about them.

wendy - our friend did have a good time out here but it was overcast so it wasn't too nice for his first visit. it's raining now so i'm glad he's going home to nicer weather. i haven't heard if my MIL went to Market Day - how fun! Ooo - what did the vendor say about achieving different colors? How cool! I'm always learning about color and how the dyes work (meaning which dyes break and which dyes stay pretty even).

that is so funny about you taking those photos!! yes, i've embarrassed my hubby a few times by taking photos. LOL!! most of the time it's because i've already taken a few dozen photos from every angle but then want to take more.  PLUS - if the light changes from a different angle then you have to take another photo! thank goodness for digital cameras. . .

The links you shared were very interesting.  And it gave me some ideas as well, now if I can only remember them when I need to.  You know, when I was trying to find links for Susan, I remembered, Dharma, but it did not come up.  Weird huh?  This is all very fascinating though.  Thank you for sharing the knowledge!

I'm glad your friend had a good time.  It was just plain hot here last week.  Stay inside hot!  We have screens on the windows already, and that has never happened before!  So overcast sounds pretty nice to me.  Hopefully this week will be in the 60's. 

I was looking for a way to lighten jacquard's spruce and was thinking of using a yellow.  The woman I bought some really gorgeous rovings from last year said "NO" it would turn it to mud.  She suggested using a green or blue base, which surprised me to no end.  But then I have absolutely no color mixing knowledge at all.  Hope my DD can help me with this aspect of things.  She said to look at the base color and go from there.  She even suggested using silver to lighten.  Hmmm,  interesting - no?

Oh yes, I do the same thing.  One picture is not good enough.  What if it's blurry?  Not composed just as you want it?  etc?  Lighting and angle always affect the final picture, so you have to cover all your bases.  I find that often times, the very last one I take is the best one.  I've been known to put my tripod in a stream, a time or  two - lol. 

OK, we're all nuts, but don't we make pretty fiber... Love your fibers... great job.

SOL! 

Where is the like button?  The agree button?  The SOL button?

Here are two pics of my dyeing adventures. The first skein is the Woodrose that I dyed a second time. It was so mottled the first time. The second skein is Aqualon Blue. This is from the roving that was super compressed. The next pic is roving that I dyed Thursday. It is nice and soft and definitely not compressed but is somewhat mottled.

Elaine, These all look nice.  Great colors. 

These are pretty!

those look really nice Elaine! very pretty.

hi all - my 'Adventures in Immersion Dyeing' blog is up! You can find it here. I'm looking forward to doing more immersion dyeing. how do you guys get different colors on the wool while immersion or crockpot dyeing? do you add one color at a time or in little spots on the wool?

One method I used was to put one lighter in the crock pot prior to inserting the fiber... then I sprinkle a tiny bit of the darker color after the fiber starts taking up the first color.  The results are more random, but I sort of like that.

My second method is to use two similar colors and don't mix them up too well... then add the fiber... different colors absorb differently in different areas of the pot.

thanks Susan! i'll have to try it out - how fun.

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