Well, I survived the first week of classes, despite the fact that my home internet connection and my computer refused to speak for most of the week. (That small inconvenience makes it rather difficult to answer student questions and keep up with blogs, I must say.)

But, I had something to look forward to.

Yesterday morning, I made small bundles (about an ounce each) of white BFL top. While those bundles bathed, I covered my dining room in plastic.

That’s a 2 mil sheet of plastic from the hardware store. It failed to make a good cold frame for the garden (too lightweight, and ripped in the wind), but it does a great job of covering my entire dining room.

Of course, the reason for covering the dining room was that I was planning to play with things that stain.

I mixed up stock dye solutions in four colors, and one in black, in case I needed to darken the colors to get what I wanted. The stock dyes were then diluted down appropriately. At this point, I realized just how much dye you get in one of those Jacquard bottles. It’s a lot. One tsp of dye powder makes 1/2 a cup of stock, and then 1-5 tsp of stock get diluted to 3/4 of a cup, which is a lot of dye. Good to know.

I did some test strips to check the colors.

I couldn’t really see much difference between the burgundy and the purple, but I decided to use them both anyway, since I had already mixed them up.

If you’ve never gotten top wet before, you will be sure that you have felted it. It looks very sad when it comes out of the sink.

But adding colors makes it look like happy felt, at least.

The burgundy is on one end, and the purple on the other. Can’t tell, can you?

I wrapped the top up into little plastic rolls.

And then steamed it for a long time.

When it cooled, it looked like this:

See those colors?

It must have steamed long enough, because the dye was exhausted. No leaking!

After its bath, it hung up overnight in the shower to dry. This morning, I had some very pretty fiber waiting (and it doesn’t appear to have actually felted…it just got really dense)

I can now tell the purple and the burgundy apart, but my camera still can’t. But we won’t hold that against it, will we?

Maybe my carrot for this week is getting to do some more spinning…