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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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Or you can always make up your own combinations... remember there really are NO rules.

Elaine, I don't remember exactly where I mentioned something about steaming your fibers to help loosen them up before spinning, but last week I decided to give it a try on a roving I had recently dyed.  The fiber was KP's merino/silk, I used easter egg dyes, wrapped in plastic and steamed to set the colors.  Here is what it looked like just out of it's bath. When it was dry, I very gently pulled the fibers out and then held them in front of my steaming tea kettle.  I made sure not to hold them too close to the tip of it, maybe 1 1/2 - 2 inches away and held it there for maybe 10 - 20 seconds while moving the fiber back and forth sideways to make sure I covered all of it.  I did small sections at a time making sure to be careful handling it so it would not felt.  I then hung it up over two hangers making sure it was supported well and let it dry again.  WOW!  What a difference steaming made.  It is just a fluff ball.  Pictures don't really tell the whole story, but I will make sure to do this from now on.  I took a picture of it next to another KP mer/silk roving for comparison.  The dyed roving is very, very soft.  I cannot wait to spin this in the near future.  This is the fluffiest roving I have dyed to date.  In a nod to Christina  ~ "It's so fluffy!" ~ Agnes  :o)

It's so gorgeous! Can't wait to see it spun up and yes, Agnes, "It's so fluffy!".

WOW! Thanks for sharing the steaming technique. I will surely give it a try next time I dye. Yours looks so soft and fluffy.

I wish you could see just how fat this braid really is.  Last week, while moving it from one room to another, I'd carry it around like a pet, and found myself petting it - lol. 

ok - i would have liked to have seen that!!

Good thing you aren't a muggle!  lol  It's just like Agnes' unicorn! 

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