Kids of the King

My life as a kid of the King


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Coffee or Tea? Dying tutorial.

The other day I thought I would try dying some wool with some really old coffee beans and some tea that I didnt like! So I googled it and figured out it is just like any other dye! But I will share with you!(I also dyed other wool using some BLUE food colouring – you will see in the pictures)

First Step:

 Get some warm water and add some vinegar. Put your wool in and let it soak for a while.

Second Step:

Make the dye bath. So take what ever it is, Coffee (from the coffee pot is the easiest) or Tea (steeped and strained) and add some vinegar (Vinegar acts as an acid so help animal fibres absorb colour). You may need to add some more hot water depending on the strength of the colour or amount of wool you are planning to dye.

Third Step: 

 Add the wool from the vinegar bath (try not to bring all the waterover by gently squeezing some out) and heat on the stove. Make sure your wool is covered. *Do NOT let your pot come to a boil – it can cause felting to the wool).

Fourth Step:

When the wool is at the desired shade (it may lighten once rinsed) take out, rinse in similar temp water slowly making cooler and spin in a salad spinner. *Some may wish to add a bit of soap for a soap rinse as well*

Fifth Step:

 

Lay out to dry in the sun. You will know it is dry when it is not cool to the touch.

NOTES and TIPS:

I noticed that the tea and coffee did not turn out as dark as I had hoped. I think that will differ from different types and strengths.

All the colour did not absorb like other dyes do, so that was not a sign of it being finished. I think I left it for 30 mins.

I found dying with onion skins MUCH easier… with a darker colour. BUT it didnt smell as nice 🙂

I dont know if I will do this type much. Although I think it will look AMAZING carded with my onion skin dyed wool and natural brown wool!!

 


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Solar Dying

I tried solar dying the other day and it worked GREAT! This is an wasy way to dye your fibres without having to keep watch of it on a stovetop. You literally jusy put aside and forget about it! Here are some instructions for those of you who might want to try it! (It works with both raw wool and yarn)

 

 

I used a few different mason jars – but any glass jar will do. It works best if you wet the wool/yarn first before putting it in the jar. Then add dyes, wool, HOT water, and vinegar in any way you like – I tried layering a few different ways and each time it came out differently. Really fun to It was awesome how there was different colours and varying depths. LOVELY!

 

 

I rinsed, spun in the salad spinner and left out to dry! Ready to become a wonderful skien of yarn!!!

 

 The green and pink were done with with neon food colouring – the purple was with a fabric dye that I had laying around. Let me know if you try it!


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From a sheeps back to a dolls tummy!

So this past week I went to a local Cowichan Valley farm and watched 18 sheep get their wool sheered! It was sooo COOL! I learnt alot about the process as well as the sheep! Where they each came from, who were twins, moms, dads and other neat little stories. I also got to check out all the SWEET little babies!!! Including a 3-4 day old and a 1 week old little lamb! I also got to bring my two children (2yrs and 6yrs) to watch everything and meet the animals (which included 2 donkeys!).

So I did a bunch of research and “googling” on the process of skirting and washing a preparing raw fleece and I thought I would share with you what I did!! So I took a bunch of pictures!

STEP ONE: Skirting the fleece:

So I took all the fleece home in garbage bags, just because it was the easiest way to transport them. I ended up with 20 bags full!!! Yikers! The first thing I did was “SKIRT” (skirting refers to cleaning the fleece from unwanted parts) by laying it out outside up and pulled off all the poop and plant matter. It is a gross job, and I would use gloves!! once this is done you can store it in pillowcases or a sewn up sheet. That way it is breathing but safe from bugs.

 

 

STEP TWO: Washing the fleece:

I used big buckets, but use whatever you have around. You need to fill them with HOT water and add a lot of dish soap. Stir is gently so that you don’t make it to sudsy. Next I added peices of the fleece and pushed it down so that itwas fully submerged. Be very careful to not agitate the wool because it will felt together. Leave it for about 20-30 minutes. You need to repeat this process at least 2 times, 3 if it is really dirty. The soap and HOT water break the lanolin and grease up. Next you need to rinse it in HOT water again, but this time with no soap. And then again in warm water.

 

 

STEP THREE: Drying the fleece:

I used a salad spinner! We took smaller pieces and spun it around to get the excess water out. Then laid it out on some chicken wire and let it air dry in the sun! It takes a while but it is sooooo worth it. I found if I pulled the wool apart a but it dried better. I also used this time to pull out any plant bits that I might have missed earlier. When it was dry I stored it in a pillowcase!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Tomorrow…..

.…. I am going sheep sheering!! Wooo Hooo!

I am really excited! I am going to be getting a LOT of fleece from a local farm in the Cowichan Valley and I am going to attempt skirting, cleaning, carding it all. I do admit, I am a bit nervous because it is a HUGE and not easy job, BUT I am looking forward to the end result and how wonderful it will be to say “This product was created with LOCAL sheeps wool that I cleaned and carded MYSELF (well me and my mom!)

I will be taking lots of pictures and letting you all know how it will go! I have searched over the net for a nice easy explaination of how to di it but have some up with many complex descriptions of what to do! So I decided to do my own!

See you later! And cross your fingers it is a nice day!!