Tuesday, December 17, 2013

More Spinning News-The High-Whorl Spindle Fascination Continues

The other day I wanted some colorful wool to spin so I set up my dye supplies on my back patio. It was 18 degrees (8C) so after a time I couldn't feel my fingers, but hey, when you want to do some dyeing the cold doesn't really matter, does it?

I dyed some Merino top for a hat for my son, Seb, who has a bright blue microtherm down jacket that he likes to wear. He asked me to add some black and gray so that he could also wear it with his black wool peacoat. So I dyed this using a medium blue dye, and three different strengths of the black dye solution (full, half and quarter strength). I've been spinning this into a soft singles on my Greensleeves spindle, which I recently discovered is a Mastiff and not a Lady Barbara like I had previously thought. I talked with Elizabeth, who creates the lovely spindles on her lathe, about my spindle and she mentioned that due to its weight, around 50 g, that it is a Mastiff. I just custom ordered a new spindle-oh, happy day!-a Katherine's Cup, with a whorl made out of claro walnut and a shaft of bird's eye maple. I can hardly wait to see it and to use it :-) Thanks Marshall for an awesome Christmas gift! If you're interested in learning more about spinning with a spindle, you might want to read Respect the Spindle by Abby Franquemont. She does a great job of covering the subject in depth.

I spun some variegated grays into another ball and then plied that with the blues/grays/blacks for Seb's hat. I haven't tried plying on a spindle yet as it just seems easier to use my spinning wheel for plying. I've been reading threads on Ravelry after joining several spindling groups. I see that I'm not alone in my fascination with spindles....
I started knitting Seb's hat last night and I think that he's going to be happy with this one. Photos to come.

Speaking of hats, do you remember me posting about the turquoise/blue fiber that I had been spinning for a last minute Christmas gift for someone?

I decided to spin another ball of cream Merino to ply with this yarn, but once I had finished spinning this it just felt too quiet to me. It needed more color, so I took my liquid blue food coloring, squirted around ten drops of that into a small microwaveable container along with a glog of vinegar (no, this isn't scientific, is it?) and four cups of water. I placed the skein of Merino into this turquoise dye solution and zapped it in my microwave. Why did it take me so long to try food coloring for dyeing wool/fiber?? It's such an easy way to add color without the hassle of working with the dried dye powder. I just finished knitting up the hat and I don't think that the recipient reads my blog, so I'm safe to share this with you.  Here's the handspun beanie with the amount of color variation that I wanted.

Back to my dyeing day, I decided to dye another batch of wool top for me to play with using turquoise, bright blue and gray to go with various winter jackets that I like to wear. This Merino top from Paradise is wonderful to work with as it's easy to dye and simply a joy to spin.

One more batch before my fingers and toes told me that they were done with the cold. This time in crimson, bright blue, plum, and gray. I think that I'll have plenty of color to play with now!

The other night I noticed this sunset and just had to go outside to snap a photo before the light changed.
I need to see if I can capture those colors with textile paint for a special quilt.

Here's hoping that you have time for fiber/fabric today,


Teresa in Music City said...

Wow! Thanks for giving me my color fix today :*) Love the aqua beanie, and the yarn for your son's beanie is perfect!

Blackberry Lane said...

Such pretty colors! Glad you are enjoying this wonderful time of year. Merry Christmas!

Lin said...

Love your dyed wools and the gorgeous colour of the hat.xx

Sheila said...

Interesting read Judy , lovely yarns and great hat!

Jennifer said...

What a beautiful sunset! Love those dyed cheerful on a cold snowy day.

Edith Bieri-Hanselmann said...

Judy I love your colors, wool and yarns so much. Great job.
Greetings from Switzerland

KB Design said...

Hallo Judy
Gratuliere, das sieht ja wunderschön aus und du bist so fleissig!
Viele Grüsse aus der Schweiz


Theresa said...

Beautiful colors and lots of fun spinning and knitting in store for 2014. Who wouldn't love the hand spindling with SUCH beautiful tools. Very special.


Wow - mixing colours to make yarns looks like so much fun - I'm sure I would find this as exciting as you seem to! Gorgeous results! Have a happy Christmas Judy! xCathy

Blackberry Lane said...

I keep meaning to share my blog friend in Australia's blog with you.