Friday, November 7, 2008

less fluffy, more dye

Finishing off a hat (to go with some fingerless gloves in the same pattern for my daughter ) is good I suppose but not as exciting as dying a whole load of fleece in different colors. This fleece has rested in the attic since last year, the year when I was left with my little flock of 19 and no shearer, and plenty of flies ready to strike them. I learned to wash and dry it so it's not nasty in any way but has more second cuts than my shearing efforts this year. This leaves me feeling free to do what I like with it without too much guilt if it gets ruined. 

So,  I've dyed several lots as fleece (rather than dying the spun wool as before) and dyed further, smaller lots in the afterwash with some vinegar. The results are nice and I've lost my fear of felting the fleece as I have carders at my disposal to straighten it out. This wool certainly needs less dye than the recommended amounts given on the dye pots (perhaps 2/3 the amount - and a reasonable pastel of the color from the afterwash).

For this reason, Fluffie's fleece is resting for a while - it's probably better quality (due to better handling) and could be put to more uses while the other stuff is likely to go into more rugs and cushion covers.
Thinking about using the colors is quite intoxicating, so much so that nothing will be done unless I quit thinking about them and decide on a fairly simple color scheme and get on with it. 

Went to the Knitting and Stitching show at the RDS last week and was impressed with the quality of the work on display - especially the quilts. Was happy to meet a lady at the Spinners group (Marie Shiels?) who was able to tell me about the Lumra Rugs and how they are made from rolags. At home, I found I'd been experimenting with the same technique a while ago using some non-slip rug backing instead of rug canvas. I'd not pursued it however, thinking I was doing something "wrong" - now I've  been given leave to pursue that. Strange how a person can restrain their own activities harmless activities for no good reason - except that it might not be acceptable (to the rug police?).

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