A Rainbow of Roving

A few months ago I sold some yarn and roving from our wool, and said I’d love to see what you’ve done with it. Renee Cox of San Clemente, CA sent me these photos of our white roving, which she’d sun-dyed. (For those of you who aren’t fiber fanatics…excuse me, fiber fans, roving is the material spinners spin into yarn.) Renee’s a member of the South Coast Weavers and Spinners Guild, and she dyed the roving as part of a summer challenge. I’m not in the Guild, nor am I a weaver or a spinner, but I say “Renee wins, hands down!”

Here are her directions:

Gather large canning jars or peach or pear glass jars (24 oz to 30 oz jars work well.) Set outside.

Add warm water about half way up the jar.

Add about one quarter teaspoon of Rit dye to each jar. Rit dye needs no mordant to set the dye when you are working with wool, so nothing else needs to be added.


Separate the roving or yarn into manageable sizes to fit into each jar.

Add more water if necessary to cover the roving. Cover the jar with lid

Leave the jars in a sunny spot (and where you can see how pretty they look) for

about one week.

When the colors of the roving are what you want, take the roving out of the jars, give it a warm water rinse and roll dry in a towel.

Then hang the roving to dry on a clothesline. Spin, knit or crochet as desired!

I have a huge bag full of white roving, and Renee’s sun-dyeing looks easy enough even I could do it. Dyeing the roving, of course, brings me one step closer to actually having to spin it….

But since I’m not yet ready to make my life a living hell, I’ll just hang the roving on my wall and admire the colors.

Thanks, Renee! These photos will get me through the upcoming MN winter…

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