Dyeing To Use The Crockpot

21 Feb

I love color and recently I decided to try using (relatively) non-toxic dyes to dye my roving. Since the space in my apartment is so small, I have a curious cat who sniffs around everything, and, for some-odd reason my stove rests on an incline (I always have lopsided omelettes!), I thought that the crockpot would be a great solution for dyeing. I’ve seen a few websites which talk about rainbow dying with koolaid in a crockpot, but few that talk about how to use the hot pour method described by Lynne Vogel in The Twisted Sisters Sock Workbook.

My first attempt at crockpot dyeing (pre hot-pour method) resulted in a really pretty roving…

Crockpot 1 small

that spun up mostly brown…

Brown Roving

The first thing I realized is that I had a few complementary colors right next to each other which, when unspun, show up fine, but when spun together blended into various shades of brown. I also realized, after reading Vogel, that ideally the wool in the dye bath should be heated first (I had poured first) and then each dye should be poured individually onto the wool. (I had poured all my dye on at once, thinking that I could ‘paint’ it.)

So, my second attempt at the crockpot turned out much better. I put the wool in a bath of vinegar and water (not too much vinegar, since the first roving felted slightly), turned the crockpot on high for about 45 minutes until the wool was heated through, and began pouring my food-color dyes. Some of the colors did blend into each other, but in general, having the wool heated up kept them from blending too much into each other. Also, keeping to a consistent colorway helped as well. After I put on the first color, I turned the temp. down to low, waited for the dye bath to run clear and then added each new color.

My second crockpot roving turned out really nicely…


Between heating and pouring 3 colors it took a little over 2 hours, but it was well worth the effort. So far it is spinning up nicely, and I can’t wait to see the final product once it is plyed!
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2 Responses to “Dyeing To Use The Crockpot”

  1. katknit April 8, 2007 at 2:12 am #

    Hi, just realized you asked a question about mordants. You can get the kind of alum that’s used for canning at the drug store or grocery store – not toxic in small quantities. http://chef2chef.net/images/pic/kb/guru-a.gif


  1. The Cop From Hell « All In A Day’s…. - April 26, 2007

    […] all began when I had dyed some really beautiful roving (see blog header and this post) and thought longingly about how I wanted to use it. My hope, or rather, my desire was to spin […]

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