I can't spin straw into gold ... but it turns out, I can spin copper pennies into yarn!
I had a jar of old pennies, so I put them in a big glass jar and filled it with ammonia. I didn't really check the pennies I had, but enough of them were from before 1981 to make this work. Since 1981 the copper in pennies change to be just a plating, I guess.
It is important to do this outside, because you can pass out from ammonia fumes! I soaked about 50g of white merino top in water, and then put it into the penny/ammonia bath and let it soak for about a week, maybe more. You can see why it is good to do this in the summer!
The dye bath was a bright, pretty blue. I thought, this will be such beautiful blue yarn!
The merino top had changed to a lovely, soft green .... the color of money! I loved it. So I let it dry and stashed it away to spin sometime. Years later, I had a stroke. Even more years later, I found this lovely green merino roving and spun it up.
Despite its age, the merino, which was all predrafted, was very easy to spin.
I spun it all in 5 days since it was only 50g and was easy to spin, and soon I had a wonderful, balanced skein of yarn. This photo was taken just before I put it in the bath to set the twist.
This photo was taken in natural light and is closest to the real color of the yarn.
This is my little skein of copper yarn: