Tragedy to VICTORY!!!

One of my fibre-storage shelves is high on the wall, above where my bed used to be.  Before my bed was there, the cat litter was in that corner.  As those of you familiar with cats may know, the smell of cat pee is nearly impossible to get rid of.  I’ve tried pretty much everything I could think of, and the carpet still smells like cat pee.  Sigh.

Anyways, I was tidying up my ex-bedroom, current studio, and discovered that a small package of silk roving had fallen off the shelf onto the floor.  I picked it up.  I smelled it.  Woe was me – it had indeed picked up the scent of three-year-old cat pee from the carpet.  And it wasn’t just the plastic bag, either.  Well, it was a small bag and not too terrible if I lost it . ..   but silk!

So I decided to try what I could, and stuck it in a bowl full of water and vinegar to soak for a while.

A day later, it smelled like vinegar.  Yay!  But wait – here was an opportunity to play with painting some roving!  Usually I prefer to dye after it’s spun, but since it was already wet, then why not?  Plus, my mother was visiting, and she wanted to know how to do it.  So I dug out my plastic wrap, table cloth and syringe, and we played!  Guest photos courtesy of Mum.

img_2447aHere we have some stock dye solution (pre-mixed with vinegar) being applied to the roving.  It takes a LOT of dye to soak all the way through, I ended up with white spots in a couple of places even after shoving the syringe inside the roving.

img_2450aOnce all the dye is applied, the whole thing gets bundled up in plastic wrap, all ready to steam.

img_2449aMy home-made steamer:  A big pot partly full of water, a metal strainer, a towel around the package to stop drips from making a mess, and the lid to top it all off.  I steamed it for about an hour, and the dye was all taken up by the silk when I unwrapped it.

img_2454aUnwrapping to rinse – yay, it didn’t bleed all over the place!

img_2463aOne of my secret weapons, the salad spinner of DOOM!  Handy tip:  Pay attention at the store when you buy one of these, apparently some of them have holes in the bottom, which means you can’t put it on the counter to spin without making a big mess.  Handy tip #2:  Have a separate one for actual salad, unless you fancy the odd colourful bit of silk/wool/alpaca/whatever in your food.

img_2466aAaaand . . . VICTORY!  Pretty, colourful, non-scented silk!

Now I get to practice my spinning, I’m curious to see if I’ll be able to keep the singles the same length so I don’t get much weird striping when I ply . . .

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2 Responses to “Tragedy to VICTORY!!!”

  1. Batty Says:

    Pretty happy rainbow roving! And that pretty sheen… it’s gorgeous.

  2. Jolene Says:

    Nice bright colours! I’ll be watching to see what you turn it in to… have fun 🙂

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