Tuesday, 22 July 2008

More dyeing experiments

I dyed some more roving yesterday and would like to post a picture but my memory card adaptor and my computer seem to not be talking to each other at the moment. I'll have to try to get them off the camera using a different adaptor. Sorry!

I can at least describe what I did. I've been working with braided dyed rovings from HipKnits lately and wondered if I could make something similar. So I took a length of Romney roving and braided it to itself (the remembered skills of my seven-year-old self do come in handy sometimes!). I then soaked it in water while I prepared the dye baths.

I decided to dye the roving three colours, in sections. I mentally divided the roving braid in half and folded it over so that the centre of each half would stick down into a jar. I then prepared Berry Blue and Orange Kool-aid in two different canning jars. I put the folded fibre into the jar, leaving the ends and centre of the whole braid out. I let these cook on medium for a few hours, and then pulled them out and rinsed them.

Then I prepped a third jar with red (well, it was leftover red, I don't know which mix it was) and put the still-white centre of the braid into the red. I left that for a few hours as well.

This morning everything had cooled. I rinsed the braid, unbraided it and left it to dry. It looked really cool, and I took a picture to show you, but unfortunately I can't get it off the camera at the moment. I need to find my other card reader...

Edited - OK, I've gotten the photo sorted out now:

Saturday, 19 July 2008

New camera = new pictures!

I've gotten a new digital camera (Casio EX-Z1080, on sale at Jessops) and that will help me get photos taken and uploaded more quickly.

So here are some new photos!

The first is some of that Donegal wool that I mentioned in my last post. I took some of it and dyed it with blue and red Kool-aid, both colours at once in a slow cooker. I really liked how it's turned out but I can't decide the best way to prepare it for spinning - carding or combing. Suggestions?

The second pic is a collection of some of the handspun I've done in the last few months.

The two green ones are from a large Ebay lot of wool and they turned out surprisingly nicely, but I don't know for certain what type of wool they are. I will probably make a stuffed animal from them, as there seems to be enough of it for that.

The brown at the top is the first skein of my most current spinning project. It's Shetland Moorit. One single was prepared roving and the other (lumpier) single is from wool that I washed and carded myself. I have a whole bobbin full of the single from the roving, but am balking at carding more of the moorit...it's been very difficult.

The two multicolour skeins (well, one is a ball) are from home dyeing projects with Koolaid earlier this year.

The blue skein is some of the dyed roving I bought at Wonderwool Wales this year. It's very soft and is from the same seller as the pink yarn that is currently in my Etsy shop.

Sunday, 6 July 2008

Back from my sheepy holiday

I just got back from Ireland last night, and most of my checked baggage was wool! I really wish I had been able to take all the wool that was offered to me - it was amazing how it kept turning up.

I got some carded and coloured wool from Studio Donegal in Kilcar, which wasn't too expensive, and I got to go into their back rooms to pick out whatever I wanted from their stock. They literally upended big black bags of roving onto the floor for me to pick and choose from!

I also got a white and brown alpaca fleece from a friend of a friend who has an alpaca farm in Kilcar - once she found out I was a spinner she brought over a huge bag of wool.

AND one of the farmers in Glencolumbkille gave several fleeces to another spinner who was visiting, and once she had chosen her fill she offered them to me! It was painful to leave behind three or four nearly complete fleeces but I got as much as I could manage into my bag.

I also learned some Aran knitting stitches while there and am making a scarf from some locally produced donegal tweed yarn but I had to take it off the needles for the flight home, so that's on hold until I get it back on again.

Finally, a friend from the states brought me a bunch of Berry Blue Koolaid, so I am restocked for blue yarn dyeing!

And that's just the crafty side of the holiday! My Irish language skills are polished up again, and I need to work harder at keeping them from tarnishing this time....might have to update my Gaeilge blog!