Making Lemonade….

…..well sort of.

Many of you may recall that I am in the possession of about three and a half pounds of crap roving. This roving is so utterly bad that the only resemblance it has to the fleece we took to the mill is the color. No kidding. For the last several weeks I’ve been to disappointed to even look at the stuff, but today, I dug out a roll of roving and have been playing with dye.

Now, this roving is not spinnable, at least by no one I know, and so the thought has been that something would have to be created from the roving itself. Trouble is, the roving barely holds together, not enough to knit it on jumbo needles anyway. So the thought I’ve been playing around with has been to dye it, hoping that it will partially felt and then braid it and stitch it into a basket, bowl or rug or some such.

This morning I just launched in, I mean really, what’s the worse that can happen? I’ll have a pile of COLORED crap roving, right? First off, I placed some wool into a 2 gallon ziplock:


Then, I mixed 6 packets of Black Cherry Kool-ade, and a splash of vinegar with 2 quarts of water and poured it into the bag. After smooshing it around pretty well, I set it outside between layers of black garbage bag.

Next up, I decided to try red wine. I had a bottle that was opened last week sometime, so I put more roving into another baggie, poured in the wine and set it outside with the other bag.

Well, now I was on a roll, so I got out the food coloring, setting the roving into canning jars as well as another ziplock, and put three more batches in the sun, this time in my canner.

I realize that this is the quick and dirty way of dying wool, and really I have no idea whether it will work or not. What I do know is that I won’t be any worse off; what I started with was practically unusable, so I’ve really got nothing to lose. If it turns out the way I’m hoping, then I’ll have been successful. Even Thomas Edison had off days, and said “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”

Hopefully I’ll figure something out before 10,000 trys. Yikes.

While we wait to see what the results will be, remember to stop by Brett’s pledge page and make a donation for his MS Ride—coming up in two weeks. Every little bit helps, and if you click on the picture of the handsome guy in the sidebar you can make your donation easy breezy! If you decide to donate, leave me a comment and you’ll be entered for some sort of wonderful prize, (as if the good feeling you get from helping others isn’t reward enough 🙂 )

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7 Comments

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7 responses to “Making Lemonade….

  1. Cool idea, Lisa!

    I might have to do something like that with my share of “The Roving That Shall Not Be Named” as well.
    I’ve been thinking; maybe we can dye it a bunch of spectacular colors (like you just did) and then blend the colors in the carder and ultimately make some cool felt object?

  2. You’ll learn, you’ll have fun…maybe get a good laugh and might end up figure out what will work so you can make it into something. It’s all good.

  3. And if all else fails, you can open another bottle of wine and drown your sorrows! Or use the roving to stuff a pillow.

  4. Let me know what you think when you are ready to knit. I love solar dyeing roving – and the garbage bags really help!

  5. I’m looking forward to seeing how your dyeing experiments turned out!

  6. The dyeing looks like fun.

    My sister’s MS progression has been slow, but she can’t knit anymore. Hope your son has a successful ride.

  7. I posted about Brett’s ride on my blog today and also donated to his cause. Ride Strong, Brett!

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