I dye small batches of fibre in a slow cooker. Using the crock pot method means less worry about boiling the dye pot too hard or too long. Also I am less likely to poke and prod and stir -- too much agitation will felt the fibres together.
Linda's artwork requires many shades of colour so that she can achieve the depth and texture she wants.
In order to get the widest range of shades out of one dye pot, I need to ignore all the dyeing rules aimed at achieving smooth even colour. I don't pre-soak the fibre, and I cram it into the dye pot so that there is little room for it to move. Different natural colours of fibre go into the pot for an assortment of heathery tones.
This batch started out with a medium grey and some white fleece. When it was nearly done I added some more white fleece to absorb the last of the colour. This low immersion method of dyeing uses little water, and all the dye ends up in the fibre. When the fibre is removed the dye pot is clear and ready to be re-used for a different colour.
Again, this pot of orange/gold dye held both grey and white fleece.
The two examples above are commercial acid dyes, fixed with vinegar. Here is a sample of white fleece dyed with goldenrod. The colours from natural dyes are so wonderfully soft!
It's always exciting to see the transformation of colourful fluff into something unique and magical.