Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Flicker - Flame fiber and yarn


I have lots of my former sheep's fleece dyed in a fuzzy heap in a basket and from time to time I card some and then make different colored springy squishy yarns.
Looking at the empty hearth (no fires needed right now in April) it somehow made me want to create a flame-like yarn from my dyed wool.
First I went for the red - then thought of the yellow and soon the lemon and eventually the navy-blue - since these colors are all seen in the flickering flames .
It's not complete yet - one jumbo spool of singles done - but I'll now upload some of the photos I'm taking along the way and hopefully then the finished yarn at another time.
Red, two yellows, blue and grey hand dyed fleece

 Blended on drum carder: (red, yellow1, red, yellow2, red grey) repeat X 3 then add blue.
(red, yellow1, red, yellow2, red grey) repeat X 2 then add blue. = 1 batt


First singles beings spun from 4 batts - a strip from each in turn repeating to mix it up.

First jumbo spool is nearly filled now - will make more batts for the second one - not sure whether to keep it to one solid color or use more (don't want so much color overlap that it all becomes mud when plied).
So - we'll see.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Merino Lilacs spun

I've spun about 145 gms of the Merino roving in lilacs and puples.
I decided to spin it in a color sequence - approximately the same amount spun of each color in sequence and then I chain-plied it to keep the sequences. There is about 313 yards wound off and now soaking in water to set the twist and remove any loose dye.
There was only a little bleeding on the first rinse and none so far in the second.
I'm hoping the sampling the hank and letting it hang-dry will even out some of the slobber parts.
Here it is on the swift before soaking:

Looking forward to test-knitting it when it is dry and wound.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Spinning Merino Purples

After getting hold of a bag of Merino roving (from Wingham Wool Work I think) with 13 shades of purples and mauves, I decided to spin sequential colors in the singles and then ply.

The idea is to draft each color , a half inch per draft and 200 drafts in order,  filling two jumbo spools and then then ply them. Each color would be about 100 inches long but as it is not accurate, there would be a lot of overlapping (Barber pole) but with solid plied colors in between.
Somewhere I read (I think in "Spin Off" magazine) that 3 - 4 inches of yarn makes an inch of knitting whatever gauge it may be, so I'd expect 2 feet between each solid color change - well, that's the theory anyway!

I stripped the roving into smaller slivers and wound the slivers loosely into nests then placed them in order in plastic freezer bags, with 1,2,3,4, written on the labels so I'd not mix the sequence up. But, disaster threatened because the roving was too free to rome in the bags and could easily get out of order!

The solution: chain the sliver nests together in order as each one is spun so it can't get away then put the chains back in the bag.
BIG DEAL - well it's a little deal but I like it :).

Anyway, it's working so far. So I'll see, I'll see…..


Monday, October 13, 2014

Halfway into October!!

The weather, the produce ( berries, fruits, greens) , travel (to France) have been so good all summer and September and indeed  October so far, have all been so good that I've neglected to do any blogs despite having doing some spinning and knitting. I am spoilt by the seasons recently and most of my photos relate to that so should (and will) be put on my "Love The Seasons" blog".
Huddie survived the dog kennel ('though appeared pretty deaf for quite a while after we sprung him) and continues to enjoy his retirement despite his 13.5 plus years.

I miss Rufus, the beautiful fluffy red cat who was brought down by severe fly strike (I din't know cats got this, 'though I had recently postulated that this could happen as perhaps I should shear him - careful what you let yourself think!). He was due his next dose of anti-parasitic meds. by a few days before "Lucy" got him. :( :( :(.

Let me look for any fiber photos that might have accrued during that time…. wow it's almost ll food and flowers and scenery….

must rectify that soon!


Sunday, August 3, 2014

FeltstudioUK BFL hand-dyed roving spun

The weather turned - rain and dark recently - but the spinning goes on.
The Blue Faced Leicester hand-dyed roving has become 193 grams of chain-plied Sport weight yarn.
I spun the singles on the new drop spindle and chain-plied it on my e-spinner.
It was nice work.
The color repeats are roughly aligned so that the blues, violet, green and earth are not too smudged out although there are areas of barber pole.
It is soft and moderately "drapey".

A Little bit of the singles left over:

A little of the roving left over

The chin-plied hand  with the new drop spindle

A very rounded yarn.


Monday, July 21, 2014

New Drop Spindle - a delight

In addition to the BFL roving I bought at Woolfest, I also fell for a lovely hand-made drop spindle (I will  find the makers name). It just suited my hand - such an opportunity to test-drive several spindles and find the one that suits.
Here is is employed in spinning the BFL roving into singles which I'm chain-plying on the spinning wheel to keep the color sequence.

Hope to ply the 180 gms then post its finished yarn in about……a week? We'll see.


Woolfest, Cockermouth

I was lucky enough to attend Woolfest in Cockermouth, Cumbria this June.
Really, really enjoyed all the stands, the sheep pens among the stalls, the demos in the mart ring and the general atmosphere.
Took many photos and have added some here :
I bought a pair of these Rovings from FeltstudioUK - it is dyed Blueface Leicester, one of my favorite fibers:

Many sheep breeds - a demo about Herdwick
Other breeds such as Soay, Jacob, Texel, Ryeland, Manx Loaghtan were represented in the ring and amongst the stands:

 Lovely wools and crafts

And that just a little taste