Monday, March 30, 2009

photos of koolAide dyes yarn

Frekkie08 yarn dyed with Black Cherry (looks more orangie-red in real life) and Ice blue raspberry lemonade (looks a bit greener than this).

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Kool Aid and Frekkie

Jen's Kool Aid, brought at Christmas last year, was experimented with today. Some Frekkie 08 left over was subjected to Black Cherry (2 oz) and Ice Blue Raspberry (1 7/8 oz) and is currently drying in the airing cupboard. I used Barbara M. Harris-Pruitt's formula on the stove and it worked very well. Generally it's 1 packet/oz of wool but, I used only one pkt for the lesser amount above as it indicated that superwash wool took the dye up more avidly - and Frekkie is very superwash indeed. It includes a good quantity of vinegar (2 fl oz/packet).
The Ice Blue looks lovely and cherry is nice too but calculations suggest this would be a rather expensive way to dye large quantities of wool (compare to several commercial dyes).
Looking forward to adding the photos as soon as the hanks are dry. Don't know what I'll do with it yet - but I'd like to make something for Jen.
Still have 2 sachets each of Slasmmin Strawberry and Tropical Punch and one of Ice Blue. So I know Frekkie's fleece accepts the dye well - may add to her colorful store after she is sheared in May.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Combs and Alpaca

Lovely grey Alpaca fleece acquired Saturday last - mmmmm.

The dog comb is getting a little bent out of shape but new, big sturdy combs arrived (via a very circumcuitous route - thanks you just in time to work on lovely Alpaca fleece I got from a very generous lady (Thanks Irene).

They clean out the VM and separate the short bits from the longer fibers. This fleece is pretty clean after I removed some soiled parts pretty easily. Fleece is lashed to the stationary comb then combed vertically then horizontally.

Fibers pulled through a diz these are the long fibers (6 - 7 inches).

The short fibers make rolags - with the help of a comb handle.

Spindled some and find it spins fairly easily (when I remember it is a long fiber) and made a soft drapey ply. Blended a little with wool (about 30 - 40%) and that made it even better. I expect to have about 400 gms of prepared fiber from the grey. Then have to decide whether to leave it at that and spin it or blend it with wool - I'm tempted to blend it with dyed wool to see boost the color. Would need to be a strong color though as I tried blending a little light pink and it just disappeared. Ah, decisions, decisions...

Friday, March 6, 2009

Working on the Galway Fleece and a little Texel

Have it in mind to use some of the Galway fleece for a soft rug I fancy. Base color would be Sandstone, a golden yellow. I Combed out the tips and placed the locks on the drum carder, making batts. The batts were shaped into strips and dyed on top of the stove using Landscape dye. I tried painting it with a view to microwaving it to set the dye but it got too messy - it was just easier to put it in the pot especially as there is no color blending on the sliver.

It was spun worsted - ratio 9:1 over 1 1/3 inches. Started it at 8 - 9 wraps/inch ( as the fibers crimps at about 8 waves/inch) but that was too tight so reduceded it to about 7 wpi. Plied at the same.

It is very strong as it should be for a rug but still soft. Unfortunately it has lost its semi-luster during the dying (I've noted this with this dye color before - don't know if it's the method or the dye) .

I'm preparing more batts using the little dog comb to separate out the shorter fibers. After removing any noyles and neps, the short fiber is being made into rolags. I'm spinning the rolags at 24: 1 and light fingering weight. This yarn will probabaly be dyed a dark color when I have enough.

In between spinning my rougher fleece, its nice to spin some of the soft tops I have in store from my trip to the UK - supferfine Alpaca and Texel. Very nice to spin from the fold (keeps the hairiness down) - but I have to admit, I get a bit bored with it after a time. Seem to be addicted to wrestling with the raw stuff :).

The little Texel (wool that is, not a mini-maa)

Texel spun 9:1 over 1", 2-ply worsted spun, light fingerweight or 17 wpi. Soft and very springy.
Next some Border Leicester - oh I need more bobbins!
Waiting to receive wool combs - should make separating the short from the long easier. My dog brush is beginning to loose its teeth !