Sun Tea Wrap up

Sun Tea Aplaca

Those perfect little nests are dry and somehow I managed NOT to felt them!  Aaaaah, sweet success.

By the end of the day, the dye jars still had not exhausted.  This didn’t surprise me, since, it rained half the afternoon.  It was’t a problem, though.  I brought them in over night, and then popped them back out the next day.  They sat in the sun all day and the yellow and red exhausted quite nicely.  The green and purple, however, didn’t quite.  I’m not sure if they needed more heat, or more vinegar.  I’m still not so great at this.

Once they were in and they were cool, came the REAL challenge.  How do I rinse out the extra dye without felting it?  I really think that this is where I fail as a dyer.  We will ignore the fact that I have never measured in the past, and that I just add “a big glug or so” of vinegar.  I really think that I end up felting my fiber in the rinse stage.  How am I supposed to squeeze out the water over and over again without agitating it to the point of felting?  Inquiring minds want to know!

I tried 2 different rinsing methods.

Method 1: I set the little nests in the sink and let the water run right next to them so that they filled up with water.  I then pushed down on them to squish the water out and repeated.

Method 2: I cupped the nests in my hand, with one hand covering them so the water wouldn’t hit them.  I allowed the water to run over my hand and into the cup of my other hand so that the fiber filled up with water.  I then squeezed my hands until all the liquid ran out and repeated.

I really think that method 1 caused less agitation.  Either way, I was really heartbroken as I started to pull the nests apart to lay them out to dry.  They seemed all stuck together and it was quite difficult to separate the layers.  I was absolutely certain that I had felted them into perfect little ropes.

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Do not fear, dear reader, once they dried, they are still perfect and fluffy.  They are more compacted than they were before dyeing (which given their previous fly-away nature may not be a bad thing), but seem to draft out fine when I tested the end of each section.  Whew.  Big sigh everyone.

It is amazing how a little bit of success can make you a little drunk with power.  Having these perfect balls of colored alpaca sitting on my desk made me desperate to dye MORE!  Luckily, I got a new dye kit in the mail yesterday.

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