I guess I'm up way too late, cause I get to start this week!! It's very intimidating, I must say, I'm kind of tempted to wait till morning to post I didn't do a ton of spinning this week, but here's what I've got Blue superwash mill ends, 75 yards each, 1 skein plied with hand dyed silk hankie, 1 not, they're destined to be fingerless mitts, I wanted plain yarn for the ribbing, and I'll use the plied one for the hand.
My Sahara waiting to be born. Linen/Tencel. I REALLY like this one, because silk is just too hot for Florida, the Tencel gives it a nice sheen, but the linen will keep it cool, and also help it wear better. I'm debating whether to do the accent yarn in this color with beads, or to use a contrasting color. What do you guys think?
This next one is kinda neat. I took four colors of mill ends, pink, lilac, aqua, and green. One single I spun them all in sequence Then I carded together all four colors for the other single Then I plied them up Neat point- it's going to be self striping, but kind of heathered, since in the carded single, there are patches which are predominately one color, and those are much shorter than the color repeat of the striped single. Not-so-neat point- the aqua fiber was really full of neps, and the lilac was not quite as bad, but still not fabulous and I should have combed it out before spinning, since even just carding to blend isn't going to remove them all, so the aqua parts, and some of the lilac ones, are really not as smooth as I'd like 350 yards, sport/DK weight
This one I'm not so proud of. It's corriedale dyed with Kool Aid. The fiber is like, three years old, and I just found it at the bottom of my stash, and apparently, I hadn't rinsed it well when I dyed it, and the fiber was still vinegar-y smelling, and REALLY harsh. I figured, I'd overspin it, and full it, and it will be rug or bag suitable. So, here we have 128 yards of worsted weight fulled really rough corriedale. I have no idea what to do with it. I have the second skein of the Sahara yarn on the wheel now, and I just need to figure out what to do for the contrast yarn and spin that up.
2 dozen rose petals, 5 days, and over a pound of fiber!! I've left it all out in the sun to dry for 4 days, after washing it all in VERY hot water with soap, so it's at least relatively light and wash fast. I was massively surprised by the results!! I called the florist, and they swear they don't dye their roses or buy dyed roses, so I dunno how I got such good tones :-) On my bloghttp://yarnknotzi.blogspot.com/2007/05/bed-of-roses.html, I put a tutorial on how I got the colors. I'm planning on using the dye again tomorrow, to see if it is still good or if it has turned, so we'll see how it turns out.
So, I needed a hackle, and they're really expensive. I ordered the "spinner's choice" hackle from pacific wool and fiber, and what it is is just a pine board with THICK, rough nails stuck through every 5/8". I sent it back, and figured, hey, a board with nails I can do!! I got a 1x2 piece of red oak, 48" long, and cut it in half, so I had two 24" pieces. I left 2" of space to either side to attach the clamps, without nails. On the remaining 20", I first marked lines running the length of the board, 3/4" from each edge. That left 1/2" in the center of the board. Along one line, I marked every 1/2", and on the other line, I staggered it 1/4" off, so I had offset lines, and marked every 1/2". I drilled pilot holes, put 3 1/2" THIN nails through, and tapped them all the way in. Then I took the other piece of board and Gorilla Glued it to the bottom of the piece with nails, so the nail heads were enclosed. The finished piece
A drill press would have let me set the nails perfectly straight, but this one works perfectly well. What do you guys think?
So, I use red cabbage to get some great Robin's egg blue tones on wool (I primarily do natural dyeing)
I mordant with alum to get that tone, and that's a pretty weak tone. I got a deep denim blue on superwash wool, pale greyish blues on cashmere, every fiber takes natural dye differently. I HATE the smell of cabbage, so I dye outside when I work with it, but it's one of my favorite dyes.
Today I tried concurrent mordanting.... Not so good!!!
*************************************** This just in....... At a residence in Jacksonville Florida, a woman made a shocking discovery. "Well, I was trying to see if concurrent mordanting would work with a cabbage dye solution, so I added my mordants and pH modifier to the pot of stewed cabbage juice" said homemaker Teresa Hughes
What she got..... was a volcanic inferno of turquoise dye!!!!!
"First I strained out all the cabbage bits, then I added the aluminum sulfate. It turned the dyebath from pink to purple. Then I added the copper sulfate, to up the blue tones. Then, to change the pH of the dye and make it green, I added baking soda. All of a sudden, it EXPLODED" she reported.
Her dye turned bright neon turquoise, exploded 3 feet into the air splashing everything around it, turning the siding around the dining room window nook into a morass of chunky blue slurry.
"Everything was coated, it looked like a blue raspberry ICEE machine had blown up. I had to pressure wash it all off. Even up the window!!!"
The weirdest part?
"When I tried to touch the dye, it shocked me!!! I tired again, and sure enough, the dye solution now had enough electrical charge to make my hand go numb!!! I was outside, the crockpot was on the window ledge, and I had unplugged the crockpot before this happened, and the plug is on the other side of the window, so I know that there was NO current going in before I added the chemicals. " ************************************
I was minding my own business, trying to dye some roving for a swap. Red Cabbage usually gives these great Robin's Egg blues. It's a pH indicator, though, so by adding acid you get purple tones, and by adding bases you get greens. Last time I added baking soda to my dyebath, I got this great deep jade green. This time I wanted to shortcut, so I wanted to add my mordants directly to the pot. Bad idea!!!!!!
So, I loved Knitty's Belle Epoque. I knit it right after the pattern came out, in a lovely variegated earth tones hand dyed mohair blend. I swatched, made sure I got everything right, I lovingly chose a ribbon, blocked it out, and tried it on. I looked like a diseased Yeti. I'm a big girl, and the fluffy yarn, and furry colors, and loose fitting style combined to make me look like an animal storing up fat to hibernate. It was my biggest knitting disaster ever. I didn't knit for a month. But I loved the Crocus Bud stitch pattern, and how it looked with the 1x1 ribbing, and I like the way the stitch worked with a hand-dyed yarn, so I recently made socks from the same stitch :-) The pattern for the socks, made with a 1x1 ribbing "seam" down the back, with a combination heel and round toe, can be found at http://yarnknotzi.blogspot.com/2007/04/belle-epoque-socks.html
On Ebay right now, there is a guy selling 70% superwash merino, 30% Seacell, and I bought two pounds, but I was wondering if there is anything special about spinning it. I've knitted with the Seasilk and Seawool, and LOVED them, so I figured, spinning my own seawool would be good, right? But now I'm concerned about difficulties in spinning it. I've worked with silk, rayon, cotton, ingeo, tencel, bamboo, and blends with wool of all of the above, so I'm hoping it spins like just another wool/rayon type fiber. Any suggestions would be appreciated, though
*by the way, this is the first time I'm allowed to post an actual picture, not link, so I'm excited*
Free pattern available on my blog
These took about an evening to do, and only a little more than one ball of yarn. I could probably have done it in one, but the ball of yarn I had was all knots towards the end, so I just started a new ball to finish the second slipper. They stretch to fit most feet, even though they look small. What do you guys think?
So, I am trying to branch out with the dying yarns thing, and I'm wondering. Where do people get their natural yarns from, for the best prices? I mean, Henry's attic stuff, Knitpicks and so forth are great, but are there any good sources for high quality very inexpensive stuff? I am kind of on a budget, having just joined the ranks fo the stay at home moms, and putting the yarn store thing on hold till the kids arein school, still looking to keep my hand in by doing hand-dyed yarns for sale. Any advice for where to get dyes/yarns, and what types of things sell best would be appreciated!