Indigo and overdyeing
Here is a first dip of a small handwashed, carded and spun skein of Merino and some Merino roving. I'm not sure how many dips I've got planned for this wool, I'll probably do a range between four and ten to see what the variations are.
The osage and indigo are supposed to come out "bottle green" and the osage made a nice, strong yellow so I'm hoping for a clear green on these. I'm not sure if I'll do the same amount of dips for all three pieces of roving or try for a little variance. I think I might spin it as a single and ply it with a single of indigo dyed merino. I'm not sure yet. Its not as fine as the Merino I have so I'm still deciding what to do with it.
Here are all the handspun skeins lined up. And my the shadow of my pinky. Who knew my pinky did that when I took pictures. Its kind of regal don't you think? Again, the overdyed skein is at the top the the middle two skeins have had three dips and the bottom skein one.
I'm also spinning away those madder locks. I'm hand carding them a little at a time and then spinning them up on the Schaact. Some of the tips are a little felted but this is from the intensive washing I had to give them to get the notorious Merino grease out. Actually, I think I was rushed along during the washing process by my kids. (I've since learned to time things carefully, I can only do fibery things when they are both asleep. So, never-haha!) The felting is easily dealt with as I just save the locks for some later felting project. I am into the madder right now since I am reading The Root of Wild Madder. Its great, its the first real book I've read in a long time and I'm enjoying it. I like seeing all the shades from the same dyestuff and thinking about how its going to look plied and then knitted. I like the harmony that you arrive at so easily with natural dyes. And I like that garish is a near impossibility. I think that should be a seductive incentive for any beginning dyer.