Wednesday, April 8, 2009
I am so excited to share this with you; I can't believe it, but I just finished dyeing and spinning this huge pile of yarn. It's a generous three pounds, about 2,000 yards! I figure that's enough to knit just about anything I want to. It all started with the natural dyeing. I began to explore it about a year ago. Now that I'm living out in the country, there are sooo many sources of natural dyes, free for the gathering or growing. At first I was unraveling thrift-store sweaters to supply yarn for my ever expanding dyeing habit. Then I got turned on to spinning, and my muses danced for joy at the endless possibilities of color-making. Oh my! On thing lead to another, and last summer found me dyeing up pounds of BFL and Corriedale roving, along with some silk fiber. I found many shades of yellow, brown, and beige, experimenting with plants found around the farm. Then I got an indigo vat going, and over-dyed it all, to create all these shades of blue, green, and teal. To make the yarn, I combined three strands of drafted fiber, two of different colored wool, and one of silk. Drafted some more, and spun it all up. I love how the skeins look similar, but are extremely variegated. It reminds me of sun-light reflecting off of a forest creek. One thing I learned, is to handle the fiber oh-so-carefully when dyeing. I had some minor felting in my rovings, and it's not so fun to spin slightly felted fiber! I think the indigo vat was partially the culprit; placing the fiber in and out of the vat, which is quite warm, requires a certain amount of handling. Then it required a lot of rinsing, (more handling). Anyway, this year, I'm figuring out ways to reduce the handling of wet fiber while I'm dyeing and rinsing. I'm going to obsess over keeping the fiber felt-free.I'm planning on knitting up a poncho out of this flickering sun-dappled creek yarn. I've been so excited about this project, that I've continued to move forward with it, all these months. I'm still excited about it, so I think the knitting will happen soon!