What Not to Do When Dyeing Roving


OK, wow. It has been a long time since my last post. I have been VERY busy but things are calming down since Christmas so I will be writing a lot more.

A week or so ago, my sister and I went a little crazy ordering roving during the sale at Paradise Fibers and a lot of what I got was white roving of different breeds so that I could learn to do hand painted roving. I have dyed a lot of yarn and loved the results so I thought this would be a fun way to add to my spinning.  I need to say before I start that patience is not one of my virtues….

Here is a tip: Do not be either impatient or quick when you dye roving. Also, rubber gloves are strongly suggested. I don’t think I totally ruined 5 ounces of the South African wool but it was touch and go for a while. Next time I will certainly read the directions and maybe watch a video or 5 before starting. I have done this before, many many times with much success but it was with yarn. Roving behaves differently  and when I thought there wasn’t enough dye on it, I made more and kept pouring it on in a VERY random manner (leaving white areas that I figured would take up it excess …it did) . When I went to roll it up in the saran, the dye POURED out both ends all over everything. I finally got it under control and put it in the steam pot. I might have sworn then but I figured I was home free. (you know, I have done this many times blah blah blah)  Did I mention I couldn’t find any rubber gloves? Yeah. After getting it out of the steam pot. I let it cool and then ran it back to the shower to hang it to dry. It was at this point that I found all the dye had not set and was running all over the shower. With nothing to lose, I took the handheld shower head and sprayed it with warm water until it ran clear. If I don’t wind up with 5 ounces of felt I will be surprised.  It is now draining in the shower, looped over a hanger.  After rinsing, I liked the color better so maybe all is not lost.


This is what happens when you want to “just do a quick dye job to see how it looks” at the same time as I was trying to get things on my list taken care of (our power was out most of yesterday because of a wind storm so I was behind).  Next time I will set aside a whole day and do  nothing else, which is what I do when dyeing yarn.

Another thing I bought during the sale was 2 Louet S10 bobbins. They fit my Bea Classic spinning wheel very well and also give me different speeds (my wheel is 5:1).  My sister has a Louet and her flyer also fits my wheel, in case something horrible happens to mine. It is almost impossible to find parts for an old wheel so I am glad to have an option.

I hope everyone had a nice Holiday Season!



One response »

  1. Pingback: Wool Dyeing Experiments | Special Things

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