I am starting another multi-step fiber art piece. It involves wet felting which I don't do a lot of. I am using thrifted wool sweaters instead of roving. I will probably finish the felting in the wash machine as I have a feeling the sweaters will need a lot of agitation to felt. We will see how it goes.
First, I used my new "Embellish Knit" machine to make a lot of knit tubes for this piece (plus some extra). I just got the little machine for Thanksmas and it worked pretty well. I typically did not put the weight clip (that comes with it) on it until the tube started coming out from the bottom, as the weight seemed to break the yarn if used at the start. I would just use my non-cranking hand to put tension on the yarn until the tube started showing, then use the weight. Also, I tried some thicker wool and also some two strand decorative yarn.They just became knotted messes so I don't recommend them for this machine. I also cranked out quite a few "necklaces" for my nieces while I was visiting with them over Thanksgiving. I would let them crank the machine, once I had the tube coming out the bottom and the weight clip on.
Back to the project. Two of the sweaters I had bought were ivory and I decided to dye them. I used
Jacquard acid dyes and/or Kool-Aid in a pot (used for crafts only) on the stove. I cut off the sleeves of one of the sweaters, and
wanted to dye these yellow, so I used Jacquard Golden Yellow. I dyed two sweater arms, some of the knit tubes, and some yarn. They ended up being
more Golden then Yellow.
So I cut off half the front of one sweater (it was a cardigan) and used lemonade Kool Aid to dye it ( I did include a pinch of the Jacquard Golden Yellow). That is more like the yellow I had in mind. Below, the sweater on the left was dyed with Jacquard acid dyes, mixing Sapphire Blue and Vermilion (1 tsp each) to make purple. This is much darker than I wanted. When will I ever learn that a little acid dye goes a long way? The rest of the cardigan sweater is shown on the right. I started with two packs of purple Kool-aid, but there was so much water in the pot, when I tested it with a paper towel, it hardly had any color at all. (I was out of blue Jacquard dye and purple Kool-Aid so I decided to improvise at this point). I added a Kool-aid Blue raspberry lemonade (which is light blue) and it had no affect. I added a red Kool-aid hoping it would make a purple with the blue, but it turned the water red. I already have two red sweaters for this project, so I decided to just make it completely different. I added Jacquard Chartreuse Green to get brown. That's what I got. In the pot it looked rather an ugly brown too. But when I took it out it was marvelously mottled. You can see it here on the right. I will try to take a better photo later on. They are still drying. Please note that Jacquard acid dyes require some vinegar, but Kool-Aid does not. If I mixed a Jacquard color with Kool-Aid, I added some vinegar as well.
I have to put this project on hold for a few days as I am going to be selling at a craft fair at Mark Twain Elementary in Littleton, CO on Saturday from 10-2. The address is 6901 S Franklin St if you can come. Today, I finished up my zippie coin purses that I started way back in August, see link here. I really need to work on finishing what I start, before starting other things. I finished about five of these way back when, and then got bored and moved to other things. I decided to finish them for the craft show, and really got in the zone. It still took me probably 6-8 hours over two days to sew them all.
I hope to finish a few more things for the show and plan to post them Friday.