Monday, 21 October 2013

Microwave Dyeing

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Spring is in the air and there is a lot happening at the moment.  This week I got engaged which proves you are never too old for a bit of romance.  It's been lovely and we have spent a lot of time drinking champagne, catching up with friends and family and starting to plan a wedding and honeymoon.  It's been a very energetic week and this morning I woke up just itching to channel all this energy into something crafty.  

I thought I would spend the morning dyeing some roving before we went out in the afternoon to look at engagement rings.  A bit of craft and then a bit of romance - quite the perfect day in my opinion.

Lets get started ..  
  
Soaking the roving
Firstly, I made 6 plaits of roving (I decided on 6 as I have to do the dyeing in my kitchen so it's better to do it in bulk) and put them to soak.  I weigh down the roving with a large dinner plate so it is completely under water.


















Preparing to dye the roving
While it is soaking put on a pair of gloves and prepare your dyes.  I don't have too many at this stage but I wanted a few bold plaits and a few more muted ones.  Some of them I wanted a very obvious colour change as I love creating the skein as I spin and others I wanted just one colour.

I have a marble top island bench which is perfect to use.  I cover it in an old tablecloth and then I cover this with cling film.  Make sure that there is a lot of overlap with the cling film as this will stop the dye from leaking out.


Gently squeeze out the excess water from the first plait and lay it along the cling film.  


Soaking up the dye
Add the dyes to the roving in a pre-determined pattern.  When you are happy that the roving has absorbed enough dye (this depends entirely on you ..  If you want to saturate the roving with dye, make sure that you keep easing it in with your hands.  I don't mind the odd bit of roving that does not fully take up the dye as I like the colour variations during the spinning process).


Straight out of the mircrowave













Now it is time to COMPLETELY wrap the roving.  Start by folding the ends over and then rolling the whole plait of roving like a sausage.  Once you have done this, coil it around so it fits on a plate.  I have one (It used to be a cheese platter) that has a lip around the edge.  It is great just in case there is a bit of leakage.

Place the plate with the coiled roving on it in the microwave and microwave on high for 5 minutes.  Please be careful.  It is extremely hot when it comes out!






Leave the coils until they have completely cooled.  
















Roving drying in the sun

Remove the coil from the cling film and gently rinse until the water runs clear and hang out to dry.

There you have it.  The simplest way to dye roving that I have come across.

This batch is destined for Debs weaving loom and while I wait for it to dry, it's time to search for an engagement ring.

Happy Springtime ..
Louise

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4 comments:

  1. The coils almost look like cookie dough. Such scrumptious colors!

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  2. I think they look like bright sausages. Great post I had no idea you could dye in the microwave! Pinning!

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  3. Beautiful colors! Visiting via Craftionary link party. You can visit me at http://scrappybaglady.blogspot.com/ if you like.

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  4. What a great idea! Thanks for sharing it at Twirl & Take a Bow. Pinning this and hoping to see you again this week!

    ~ Brooke ~

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