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1  FIBER ARTS / Weaving: Completed Projects / Re: Black Opal Shawl on: December 12, 2016 01:42:22 PM
I really love this! So often with our handspun everything is really, um, colourful so it can be hard to actually match or wear out and about. With this you could wear it with so much of your wardrobe, I bet.
2  FIBER ARTS / Spinning: Completed Projects / Re: Black Opal on: December 12, 2016 01:39:05 PM
Amazing consistency on that - is that laceweight?! Gorgeous!
3  FIBER ARTS / Dyeing: Completed Projects / Gradient Dyeing Yarn With a Knitted Blank on: November 06, 2016 02:44:19 PM
One of my favourite ways to dye roving or top is in a single colour gradient. It's very easy too - I just dip the end of the roving into the dye bath and slowly feed it in. As the dye exhausts from the bath, the dye bath gets lighter so you get a slow change, subtle gradient.

But lately I've been branching into dyeing yarn and dipping the end of some yarn into a pot of dye and then feeding it in would result in a massive knot! So I got myself a knitting mill for making knitted blanks. I took 223 yards of worsted weight merino I had left over from a different project and produced a blank.

In one pot, I mixed my dye bath. My first dye in any experimental technique is always blue. Blue is hard to dye but it's also my favourite - there isn't a lot I can do to totally ruin a blue for myself. In the other pot I mixed water and some acid and set the blank in to soak for 15 minutes. This lets the pigment strike quicker and more evenly than if I dumped it in dry. When it was done soaking I wrapped it in a towel and walked all over it to squeeze out the extra water. I wanted it damp but not soaking wet.

Then I put one end into the dye bath and slowly feed the blank in, letting each bit soak about 5-10 minutes before I added more in. The trick to this method is making sure you have the right amount of pigment in the dye bath - if there's too much the whole thing will be dyed one even colour, if there's too little, it'll exhaust quickly and adding more in will give you a definite line of colour change. About half way through this I realized I had too much dye so I scooped out some dye bath and added in some water to dilute.

So the gradient starts a lot later than I expected. But! Not bad for a first attempt. Smiley
4  FIBER ARTS / Spinning: Completed Projects / Re: Verbeena Yarn on: October 24, 2016 01:54:56 PM
That's really lovely!
5  FIBER ARTS / Dyeing: Discussion and Questions / Re: pH meter for dyeing on: October 20, 2016 07:18:26 AM
For dyeing you're going to want a waterproof pH tester that's accurate to +/- 0.1, I think. I'm not sure if you can use a garden or aquarium tester, I just use the paper strips. Smiley
6  FIBER ARTS / Spinning: Discussion and Questions / Re: Can you tell me about my antique spinning wheel? on: September 30, 2016 03:15:53 PM
What a beautiful saxony wheel! There's an interesting contrast between the detailed turnings on the maidens and spokes and the rustic treadle. From what I can see, there's ansolutely nothing to stop it from working but could you take more pictures of the bobbin and flyer assembly?
7  FIBER ARTS / Dyeing: Completed Projects / Dye Inspiration Challenge Project on: September 28, 2016 09:23:48 AM
I belong to an online group and periodically they vote on a dye inspiration challenge photo and then you're supposed to use it as inspiration to dye from. This weeks was:

I was very taken with the colour of those petals and after a couple days of working at it, I have produced this:

8  FIBER ARTS / Dyeing: Discussion and Questions / Re: Dyeing Linen Coat? on: September 28, 2016 09:22:00 AM
Oooh... This one is going to be tricky. Linen is a plant material so you're going to want to use dyes for plant material.. riit or something better. But true black is really, really hard to dye, much less dye evenly. The only want I could think to do it is by detaching the lining and sewing it back on later. What an interesting challenge, I hope someone with more fabric experience will have some ideas.
9  FIBER ARTS / Spinning: Discussion and Questions / Re: Spinning wheel woes on: September 05, 2016 07:59:20 AM
Is that a Sleeping Beauty?? You lucky, lucky ducky. I believe that wheel is set up to be a double drive wheel with a tilt tension. See this website for a little more information: http://www.nzspinningwheels.info/sleepingbeauty.html

While it can totally be used with a rigged Scotch tensioner you may find better luck setting it up as a double drive - by wrapping a drive band around the wheel and flyer twice, putting one loop of the strong on the whorl and one on the end of the bobbin, where you currently have your scotch tension loop. Then I believe the wheel can be adjusted with the knob on the mother of all.

Here's a picture of my double drive wheel showing how the string works:

and a close up of the flyer set up:

Alright, onto your questions. The bobbin should be able to spin pretty freely on the spindle when not under tension - check and see if there's any gunk on the spindle or inside the bobbin? Can your other bobbins spin better? Did you screw the whorl on really, really tightly? Smiley

Drive bands can be made with almost any kind of cotton string or you can buy them commercially. You can tell they get worn out because you need way more tension to make it work. Here's a link about the care and feeding of drive bands: http://www.knitty.com/ISSUEff11/KSFEATff11glossary.php

I keep a couple on my wheel, one for the largest whorl I own and one for the smallest so I can get really sharp take up for the work I'm doing.
10  FIBER ARTS / Spinning: Discussion and Questions / Re: Spinning wheel woes on: September 04, 2016 09:11:19 PM
Heya! Could you show me some pictures of your wheel? Smiley I can give you better advice if I know what you're working with.
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