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1  Re: Ongoing spin-along! (or fiber stash busting event!) in Craftalongs by k_cat on: April 04, 2011 01:53:26 PM
I had neither time nor energy to dye today... Don't know whether I'll continue the experiment the next few days, it'll probably take a while before I do that. (Need to test the ph value of my mordant bath, too.)
Instead I have tried the long draw method. Sometimes supported, sometimes unsupported. It's not really even and some parts got too thin, but it's REALLY fluffy and soft.
Anonymous sheep, spun from my first rolags...

Don't know whether this will be OK as a single - some parts don't have the right amount of twist yet. Maybe I'll ply it with a brown single. Or not. Don't know yet...

(New medication, too tired to write more - mmmpf.)
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2  Re: Ongoing spin-along! (or fiber stash busting event!) in Craftalongs by k_cat on: April 03, 2011 03:17:32 AM
LaughingLark, I love the colours. Smiley

When I woke up this morning, I thought about dandelions. Grin And I had an idea that I should have BEFORE I threw in the yarn with the acid. Why not test it without yarn first?
I almost ran outside, grabbed a hand full of dandelion leaves, cooked them in water (lalala, microwave) for a few minutes and put them in three different glass dishes. Pure, acidic, alkaline - I did not use any urine for this, sorry. Grin I also skipped the alum. This was just to illustrate the colour changes.

The pure dandelion "tea" is yellow-greenish. Adding an acid turns it into an almost colourless, only SLIGHTLY red thing. And YES, I said "EUREKA!" after I had put the first alkaline powder into the third dish.
So my thoughts a few days ago where right, after all. I GUESS you could get a soft pink with the acid, BUT it would take tons of dandelion. Using the alkali works better, BUT it can harden and/or affect your yarn, so it should be best to be careful and follow directions for alkaline dye baths based on a book or something, or just use it as a modifier...

I tested the ph value of my dye bath using litmus paper- it's STILL acidic! And I'm not going to add half a ton of sodium hydroxide to turn it around. So I'll probably get the yarn out of it and give it a dip in an alkaline solution...

AFK - need to play with the yarn. Grin Hope it works. And if it doesn't, I still have a lot of other plants that are waiting for the dye bath.
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3  Re: Ongoing spin-along! (or fiber stash busting event!) in Craftalongs by k_cat on: April 02, 2011 11:40:03 AM
I don't have good news for you. I tried the dandelion roots, I cooked that stuff for several hours, but it turned out beige (if you can even call it that)! Maybe I didn't use enough either, and/or I threw in too much wool, but... I did not even see a tendency of pink or something like that. Mmmmmmpfmmmmmmpfmmmmmmpf!!!!
Because this was NOT satisfactory, I threw in dandelion leaves a few minutes ago. At least one bucket full. This will surely be another colour than pink or purple, but I did not like the thought of "nothing" as a colour after I put all my energy into this. Might turn into a greenish yellow this way.
Now I wonder whether all those people who say that dandelion roots make a nice purple or pink have ever tried their own recipes.  Grin Or if there's some kind of special trick to do this...

edit: took some pictures.
the canning pot with the dye bath. (left: bag full of wool!!)

MMMMMPF. This will simmer till it gets colour. ANY colour. And if it doesn't, I'll throw in some tansy. Or I'll leave it to sit for the night, without heat. DYE, stuff, DYE!
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4  Re: March-long spin-along! (or fiber stash busting event!) in Craftalongs by k_cat on: March 29, 2011 08:14:59 AM
mullerslanefarm, my chin almost dropped down onto the keyboard. I love your yarns! Especially the bright yellow one! WOW!
And your turkeys + peacock look indeed very interested...
I was only eyed by chickens and our fat rooster. They seemed eager to get a chew on my yarn! (I know because they killed some of the garlic I planted last week. Bad chickens!)

LaughingLark: Thank you for the advice! I am going to have a look at this later on. I normally don't work with beads because they are so small and I somehow always seem to throw down an opened box of them...  Grin   

OK, so I ran out of beads with a few metres of yarn left. I simply stopped at that point, leaving a bit of beadless 2ply after the last bead. The rest of the yarn is going to join the other half of this dyelot.
Skein #7 (never thought I'd do so many!), Scarborough Fair - hand dyed Merino, black Nylon thread and too few beads.
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5  Re: March-long spin-along! (or fiber stash busting event!) in Craftalongs by k_cat on: March 29, 2011 06:51:49 AM

I don't know whether you can see it in the pictures: the beads are not really black, but relatively dark, metallic colours... AND I fear I'm running out of them!  Shocked I haven't really measured or counted anything, it's random. So I hope I can stretch the beads I have left till the end.
There is a second portion of wool from this dye lot. I could either ply it with another kind of beads I have in my stash, or with another, contrasting wool... Or just with the Nylon thread. Although I'd rather use another wool, I think.  Huh

edit: It took me a REALLY long time to thread the beads. My fingers just didn't want to work. Seemingly I just can't handle small things like needles anymore. Mmmpf.
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6  Re: March-long spin-along! (or fiber stash busting event!) in Craftalongs by k_cat on: March 28, 2011 05:04:14 PM
@mullerslanefarm: Thank you! I'm going to look for the supported long draw... I don't really now what kind of draw I'm using - it's more of a "traditional way", whatever that is. And, to be honest, this never really mattered around here. Wink

I mean... I learned spinning from my mother and my grandfather. My mother is amused every time I start something "new", like Navajo plying. Besides, I live in Germany, so - although I have very few problems regarding English - I sometimes have difficulties with English words for spinning stuff. And there are some things I never read in German books, only in strange translated versions of English books or in books I ordered via Amazon,  etc.. I got the impression that it was another spinning culture, and now we're gradually getting "flooded" by American trends, thanks to the internet. Cheesy

Anyway, I did a test ply with the first half of my Scarborough Fair yarn. Merino + black Nylon thread + beads!

This picture is too bright, the last one is closer to the original colours...
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7  Re: March-long spin-along! (or fiber stash busting event!) in Craftalongs by k_cat on: March 27, 2011 11:16:52 AM
I've started the yarn that will (or will not) be plyed with beads... I like the colours and the working title is "Scarborough Fair", because it contains parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme.  Cheesy It's Merino + Acid dyes...

Don't know whether it's going to be 2- or 3-ply... And I didn't pre-draft it or something like that, I just picked up a new colour whenever I liked to. (In fact, I normally never pre-draft...)
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8  Re: March-long spin-along! (or fiber stash busting event!) in Craftalongs by k_cat on: March 26, 2011 04:12:22 PM
@Belladune: The dog fur yarn looks fantastic! Does it still smell like a dog? I thought about doing a similar thing, but my dog's fur probably isn't long enough...

I finished the first brown skein today! #6 , First Brown Fleece 1, Navajo plyed.

Still got a whole bag full of carded wool (enough for at least one full bobbin) and an even bigger bag with uncarded (therefore compressed) brown wool. Hehe.

I'm thinking about building a bigger niddy noddy, but I'll have to make sure it's not too big for my umbrella swift...
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9  Re: March-long spin-along! (or fiber stash busting event!) in Craftalongs by k_cat on: March 25, 2011 03:58:15 PM
Yaaaay! I finished Ghost of the Navigator II. This took quite a long time, because I did so much other stuff.
I also repaired my mother's yarn ball winder. (The first skein I used on that was Ghost I, it looks a bit chaotic because I had to do some minor repairs on the winder while making the ball...)
Top: Ghost II, Bottom: Ghost I - this is probably enough for a pair of socks.

This has been skein #5, I think, if I counted properly. But I already started off with the brown fleece on my wheel today. Smiley
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10  Re: March-long spin-along! (or fiber stash busting event!) in Craftalongs by k_cat on: March 23, 2011 03:37:54 PM
Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah! Progress!
I carded part of the cleaned wool... A "small" bag full.

...and I had to try it. With a heavy drop spindle, just to see how the wool behaves, I made a 2-ply sample. (It's more than just this little bit. I just wrapped some around a small piece of kitchen paper, for contrast...)

This wool is probably best for outer garments or socks... Sturdy, not scratchy, but not too fine either. Not sure what I'll make with it. Either yarn for socks or weaving or something completely different. Cat toys? Because it still smells a lot like the sheep it came from. Wink
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