I started out not wanting to dye any of that Lincoln fleece. The white curls were so soft and shiny and curly that I did not want to lose any of that. Then I started dyeing. And I couldn’t stop. So now there is none of the white left. Oh…but the colors. So pretty. And they retain all of their shine and bounce.
The shine and luster that is coming through in this photo is exactly how they look. These five piles represent 3 1/2 pounds of fleece–or that is the weight I started with. I am curious to weigh them again once they’re fully dry to see what the washed weight is.
I wasn’t satisfied to stop at dyeing the Lincoln, though. I have lots and lots of alpaca, so I just kept on going. There is a little of another wool left over from a fleece I purchased several years ago, I think Coopworth. So that is getting dyed too. It was not gray and not white, so now it is prettier and neither not gray nor not white.
I am now limited only by my dye box, which is now in sad need of a restock. I’m down to blue and green mostly, with a little bit of a questionable pink and a little purple that I don’t want to use all of as it was more expensive than the rest. I have a couple of Jacquard acid dyes (sky blue and purple) but the rest are mostly Wilton food dyes. I really like using those paste dyes as they are easy to use, and have a much better range than Kool-Aid. Kool-Aid is what it is, crazy candy colors with not much in the way of subtlety to them.
Dyeing is an interesting exercise in letting go of expectations. You can have intention when you fill the pot with water and wool and add the dye liquid, but what you get as an end result has not much at all to do with what YOU want. It has everything to do with what the dye and the wool want. You can influence it somewhat, but then you just have to stand back and watch and wait. I do a fair bit of poking at it with a chop stick, which makes me feel like I am doing something, but really the wool is just tolerating me.
I want to dye more today, but I feel like I will end up with lots of blue/green and green/blue, so I think I will just wait for this lot to dry, label it and admire it. Everytime I walk by it, I fluff it up a bit “checking for dryness” but really just touching it.
I think what I am doing is really restocking the ingredients bins for a winter’s worth of carding and batt making.