From the Grays to the Blues

 After seeing the sweater Anne Field had in her Spinning Wool: Beyond the Basics book and reading that the gray wool had been dyed I made a blog comment.  Sweaty Knitter told me that she has died gray wool and it comes out quite nicely.  As mentioned, when I was on the Northwest Trip, I purchased all gray spinning fiber.  Sigh…..  Now that I am home in sunny San Diego I don’t want all of that gray! 😎 I did an experiment.  I took a two piece of gray wool, one from each gray fiber type purchased.  To insure that all of the parameters were equal I followed these steps:  1. soaked both together in vinegar-water for 30 minutes, 2. added a previously prepared blue dye to a black, plastic container (one that frozen food comes in), 3. put both gray wool samples side-by-side in the container.  Waited about 10 minutes and then turned both over, 4. put the container in an aluminum-lined, plastic shoe box, 5.  put the top on the shoe box and placed in the sun (behind the retaining wall so Hans could not reach).  I left the samples out in the sun for a few days; partly because the weather was drizzly or spitting, I wanted to make sure it heated up well enough.  When I took the samples out, the dye was almost all exhausted.  These are the results.

One sample was Gray Norwegian Top.  This fiber has some long, coarse black hairs in it.  You can see that the black hairs did not absorb any of the dye.  This has left this sample looking as worn denim.  A very pleasing color.

There isn’t a tag on the other gray fiber.  I don’t know what it is.  I asked my spinning teacher and she wasn’t sure either.  It is more of a brownish-gray color.  It has some white hairs sticking out from it.  It dyed a darker blue color, which looks like new denim jeans. Another pleasing color.

I’m only going to dye one of the grays.  I decided to spin both samples.  I found that the brownish-gray was by far the easiest for me to spin.  Remember, I just started spinning about 2 months ago.  Here is both of the spun samples.  Top: Brownish-gray sample, Bottom: Gray Norwegian Top.  So what do you think?

Ok, I’m a retired high school teacher and taught Computer-aided Graphic Design.  I just had to “play” with Lightroom since I went to the seminar last Thursday in Los Angeles.  I LOVE the clarify slider in Lightroom.  Had to combine what I learned in Lightroom and then use my old friend Photoshop to layout.

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4 thoughts on “From the Grays to the Blues

  1. I like them both … but I’m very partial to the heathery-look of overdying naturally grey wool. Try naturally very light brown fiber too … 🙂 I hope they work well in your project!

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