Jobo Designs

Letting the crafty creative juices flow. Knitting, spinning, crafting, dyeing, rabbits, sheep and more!

12. November 2014 09:53
by Jobo

Whatcha Working On Wednesday! Sampling with Samples

12. November 2014 09:53 by Jobo | 0 Comments

Trying to start something new...  I thought on Wednesdays I would just simply show you what I'm working on :)

On Monday, two of my lovely friends (Jo and C) came for a visit.  We had lunch, knitted, spun, and chatted for the day.  It was just what the doctor ordered, and VERY much appreciated too!

While they were here... C was carding some wool on handcards and inspired me to go grab mine, and some sample wool and play with it.  So I carded an unknown wool sample with some of Ruttiger's Soft Combings to make some soft fluffy Rolags.  I spun them up fine on my Phil Powell Jewel Russian.  I can always count on the girls for inspiration and enabling!

I chain-plied the sample and got around 40 yards or so of light fingering / heavy lace yarn.  The colors are really pretty... stretches of teal, blue, purple and sage.  I hoped to be able to show the finished yarn today, but alas, the dyer was enthusiastic about dyeing and not rinsing.  I rinsed three times last night, and the water was BLUE BLUE BLUE.  I soaked overnight and it's still blue.  This morning I've changed the water twice - still blue.  I'm glad I don't have a whole braid, I'd have been annoyed (and blue)

When the soaking stops, and the color stops bleeding.... I have a simple little idea for this teensy skein!  I'll keep you posted!

8. December 2009 08:00
by Jobo

Jobo's Favorite Things: Christmas - Day 8

8. December 2009 08:00 by Jobo | 0 Comments

Happy Tuesday All!  I hope you are ready for another installment? I've been just *dyeing* to show you this? hardy har!

Ashford Dyes

ashford dyes

Over the last year I have been experimenting with dyes and dyeing wool? So far I've tried natural dyes like Onion Skins, Blueberries, and some other Plant extracts.  Then I tried using Wilton's Icing Colors, which worked ok, but it really wasn't possible to mix colors or try working a color wheel because the dyes would separate and not take evenly.  Apparently cake frosting and wool are not at all similar? (go figure?)   My next attempt came with Landscape Dyes, which are easy to use because they require no acid to be added to the solution, but I have been less than impressed with the range of colors I have been able to achieve with them.  It seems that they are a "one-shade" dye.  I thought about trying to dye wools in a color wheel style exercise, but I am not convinced it will be worth my time, since the colors don't really seem all that saturated.

I want my next step to be with these:  Ashford Dyesdyeing_bk

After doing some research about the different types of dyes out there, I think I have officially settled on this brand for several reasons?  First off, I like that there is a limited number of colors, and that they are readily mixable and titrateable.  Some other dye brands have wider ranges of colors available by the pot, but I really want to go back to basics here and start with a good Red, Yellow and Blue just like I had when I first learned to paint.  Secondly, Ashford dyes are pure and concentrated - hopefully I will be able to achieve nice saturated dark colors!  I prefer dark/rich color to pastels any day, and dream of Navy and Deep Plum and Burgundy.  Last of all, and perhaps one of the most important points, I know that other dyers use this product and achieve professional looking, light-fast, fade-resistant, Vibrant colors.

Another nice companion to the dyes is this book:

The Ashford Book of Dyeing, now available in a revised new edition, which gives explicit instructions and recipes to use the dyes properly, and outlines dyeing techniques and methods suitable for various dyeing mediums.  Since I am particularly interesting in mixing my own colors, I am very interested in the exercises and demonstrations in the book :)

Expect to see more dyeing experiments in the new year? if Santa doesn't come through, I might have to invest in some of these Myself!

23. July 2009 11:14
by Jobo

Takes the cake!... erm Icing! - Dyeing with Wilton's Icing Colours

23. July 2009 11:14 by Jobo | 1 Comments

On the weekend I decided it was finally time for me to get back on the dyeing experiment bandwagon... so I dug out some goodies and got to work!

About 6 months ago I purchased 10 pounds of wonderful Merino top, for the express purpose of playing with and dyeing... and maybe someday when I get half decent at it, dye some to sell?  I plan on buying some more professional dyes, but the closest LYS that sells them is 2 hours away, so needles to say the plans are there, but I am still using food colouring dyes for the moment.  I also plan on trying some Kool Aid dyeing in the next few weeks.  I want to make purple yarn for my mom as a special treat, and I think maybe Grape Kool Aid will be one of the easiest ways since we know that Wilton's Icing Colours tend to separate depending on the colour you are in search of.

This partcular day the goal was just to play with what I already had in the house.  I decided to try a modified "kettle dye" approach.  I soaked my merino in water + white vinegar for about an hour, then poured the wool and soak into large glass pyrex baking dishes, leaving enough water to cover the wool.

Then I mixed up my icing colours with hot water and a little vinegar for good measure, and using a children's oral medication syringe, I squirted the colours all over the wool trying to keep the puddles somewhat separate.  I was hoping to keep a little of the undyed white areas, since I like the way these look in some of my past projects.  (I find the depth of colour is interesting when there is some "white" there to shade the colours... gives more variations and subtleties)  I know some spinners out there HATE seeing any undyed fiber in their finished braids.  I'm not so opposed to it, especially when I'm dyeing for my own use.

Once the dye had been applied, I popped each baking dish into a 350 degree oven, one at a time, for about 10 minutes, or until steam started coming off the water.  I kept each tray hot but not boiling for about an hour, and then left them to cool completely.  Once cool, I rinsed carefully in a sink full of cool water and hung outside to dry. 

This is one of the combinations I ended up with:

"Painted Daisies" - 2 x 4 oz. braids of 100% Merino Top

Excuse the dreary pictures... I took these after dark one night so I could start spinning it right away.   It rained cats and dogs last night in a big thunder storm.  We got completely soaked leaving the grocery store, the rain was coming down in buckets!  not the best weather for snazzy photographs exactly

After a little drafting and then spinning.... this:

became this:

... which was promptly 3 plied:  2 strands of painted roving and one strand of undyed white merino top (to try and tone down the colour a little bit, mellow out the Bright Yellow!)


Here is the finished yarn peeking out the top of my purse (in my drawer at work) it was just staring at me from over there so I couldn't help but take it's picture.  The yarn fades from yellows into pinks, into creams, but in a random fashion, so I'm not sure exactly what it will knit up like.  I am thinking I would like to make socks with it, since it is somewhere between fingering and sport. I'm thinking maybe another pair of jaywalkers?  It will be stripey, but not exactly solid stripes, more variations of colour floating by

This is skein number one... and there is a second waiting to ply at home tonight.  I just need to finish spinning the natural single and then the plying will be a fast job.

... one more gratuitous yarn pic :)

When I finally get around to finishing and knitting something up, I'll post the finished project!

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