Kettle Dyeing Fiber

It’s snowing now.  Our first real snow of the year.  We have had a couple of dustings, but they don’t really count as they weren’t really trying to be snow.  This is real snow.  It’s been snowing since sometime after 3 am (that was the last time I looked). It is now 10:30 am and we have 2.5 inches already.  And it’s snowing those teeny tiny little flakes that indicate that it has no intention of wearing itself out right away with big showy flakes.  No, these flakes are in it for the duration today.

I thought this would be a good time to post some pictures from this summer.  We had a couple of what we were calling “Fiber Dyeing Sundays”.  This invloved a fire in the fire pit (an old cast iron tub that was in the middle of the lawn when I bought this house), dragging all of the fiber and pots and dyes outside. 

I was about to write about how much fun I had doing this, because that is the way that I remember it.  But if I gush about how much fun it was, I’m pretty sure that Fire Master Ug would leave a comment below reminding me that it was not all fun and games and pictures.  So, with regards to truth in reporting, it was kind of fun after I stopped grumping about the persistent light mist rain that was falling, which only started about 5 minutes after I dragged everything outside.  From the perspective of having a fire, it was perfect weather–damp and not windy, but from the perspective of trying to have fun and do this artsy project outside in the summer sunshine, not so much. 

I also had to keep reminding Fire Master Ug that we only needed enough fire to simmer water in the pots, not a fire that could be considered a fire pit fire. 

Some of the fiber waiting to be dyed. This has been washed and dried with the vegetable matter picked out.

It is good to have a friend nearby to take notes while you are dyeing.

Firepit and kettles ready to go.  Garden hose in background for safety’s sake.


Yarn and fiber in the dye pot.

Some of the fiber dyed that day.

You can see that it started out a nice sunny day.  Around about Teddy in his assistant’s chair it was still sunny.  After that, it quickly changed.  But I do think this was a good way to do a lot of dyeing in just a few hours.  With three kettles going, it would be  a big mess in the kitchen. 

In a later post I will show what I have done with some of these fibers.

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