Kim's Blog

A fibre-filled day….is a good day!

Today I am juggling a few fibre balls in the air. There is: a shawl soaking so I can block it, I have started scouring skeins of bare yarn for the workshop I am teaching at Kalamalka Guild in September (I need 1080 grams, so I start well ahead of time) and I just finished plying some high twist yarn for a friend who is experimenting for a collapsed weave project.

Scouring non-superwash wool
Painters tape at 12 o’clock indicates the yarn is pre-soaking before scouring.

I thought this tip might prove handy for those of you, who like me, do a lot of dyeing during the summer months. The painters tape at 12 o’clock, tells me at a glance that the yarn is pre-soaking before it is scoured. When I finish the pre-soak, I turn the lid so the tape sits at 3 o’clock to indicate I am bringing the yarn up to my target temperature. Then once my target temperature is reached, I turn the lid so the tape sits at 6 o’clock and I set the timer for the allotted scouring time. Why do I bother with this mind jogger? Because it allows me to process four pots at once and know at a glance where I am at with each one.

The yarn I am scouring is 100% non-superwash wool. I pre-soak 100g of wool yarn for a minimum of 45 minutes in about 6 litres of water to which I have added 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of a neutral detergent (the amount depends upon how much spinning oil there seems to be in the yarn). I bring the pot up to a target temperature of 140 degrees Fahrenheit over 40 minutes and then keep it at the target temperature for 1 hour. The yarn is allowed to cool down to 120 degrees, before it is transferred to a pot of clear rinse water which is also 120 degrees. Once the rinse water is completely cooled, I remove the yarn and lay it out to dry.

Happy dyeing all! Now I must get to my spinning wheel to test some fibre for a project I have in mind…..

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