Thursday was a beautiful sunny day in the 70s…perfect for picking strawberries and sunny enough to do some solar dyeing. I got my wool ready for the dye “bowl” before we left for the morning. I dyed 2 batches of the grey shetland that I bought in Ohio with Kool Aid…each was 2 ounces. For batch #1 I used 4 packs of Pink Lemonade and about 1/8 teaspoon of Grape. Batch #2 got 2 packs of Grape.
I love how the wool turned out! Because the sun warms the water slowly, the dyes aren’t absorbed into the wool uniformly and result in a naturally varigated yarn or, in this case, roving.
The other reason I love solar dyeing is – it’s so easy! Especially when you have a million other things to do and/or children who need your attention. #1 – soak fiber in warm water with a drop of detergent or Jet Dry. #2 – fill glass container with water, 1 cup vinegar and dye. #3 – squeeze excess water out of fiber and add to dye bath. #4 – put plastic wrap over top of bowl or container. #5 – place in sunny spot (I put some aluminum foil around it to reflect more sunlight onto the container). #6 – let it sit in the sun until water is clear (a few hours or all day). #7 – gently squeeze out water, rinse, set out to dry.
After I put the wool on the deck we got ready to go strawberry picking. Hannah and Noah loved it….Noah may have enjoyed seeing all the big trucks and motorcycles drive by on the road more. Hannah ate a bunch of berries there. After almost every strawberry she picked, she looked at me and said “Mouth?” After trying to tell her she can’t eat the all and that we have to put them in the basket, I gave up. She had a berry juice stained face by the time we left. I wish I brought my camera with me.
When we got home I made 2 batches of jam….yum!!