Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Wool Days

Well, I have a bit of catching up as usual but her it goes:
Not so long ago I decided to try an experiment with my new drum carder. I started with some brown "mystery wool" that I think is Romney. Then I cut up bits of yarn (leftover thrums from the Sheep To Shawl) and sprinkled them in.
It worked. Sort of. 
I like the look of the color interaction but I am not sure how well the bits of yarn will stay in with wear. So next time I think I will card up the little yarn bits first.

This last Sunday I declared it a "wool day" and spent most of the day playing with wool in various forms. First I was updating my spinning notebook with a fiber blending project I am working on. Here they are all blended, spun, skeined and stored in recycled jelly jars:

I also have issues throwing things out so the scraps from the blending got spun up into a little mini skein that I knit into a sock for my key chain and had some left over to put into my spinning notebook.
I also wanted to get some wool washed so I could spin. The fleece I bought in April was Romeldale, a fine wool that I wanted to treat with care so I washed the locks one by one in the sink. Here they are dirty, ready to be washed:

A dunk in hot soapy water of the first 2/3 of the lock, then flip it, do it again and repeat in the rinse water. 

Here they are sitting to dry on the drying rack all nice and white:
Then they were flick carded one lock at a time and set in my spinning basket waiting to become yarn:
And then some spinning on the wheel - going for lace weight so we'll see how big it gets when plyed and set.

The kids wanted in on the wool fun and because I really loved the way the colors of my scrap bits behaved together I decided to dye a larger batch and see if I could make a batt that would get me similar results. Here is the wool all dry and ready to be carded on the drum carder.
After running each color through the carder individually I separated them into strips and layed them on the carder in a sequence I hope will gain me the desired yarn. 
 Here is the pretty batt all rolled up. I ended up with two of these as I did not want to overload the carder.
Yesterday I still had the wool bug so I spend some time carding some more of the mystery brown wool that I used in the skein in the first picture (Just a plain brown batt, nothing exciting to look at). I also carded up the remnants from combing out the locks of wool for my spinning basket. That yielded 3 rolags that I soaked in water and vinegar and then dropped some food colors into.
After the color had set, this is what I got:
A bit more muddled than I wanted so I am going to have to play around with the way I am dyeing things to get the desired results.
And last but not least is my current knitting:
A companion scar for my most recent hat. I love how soft this yarn is!

Sunday, February 05, 2012

I have been knitting

Even though I have not been posting lately I have been knitting. I finished the mitten I was working on and I made a hat for myself. I will be making a companion scarf from the remaining yarn.
I have also been spinning and I finished an experimental yarn using brown wool and cut up thrums from a weaving project.
I also made a new spindle using a pretty jade green donut bead I found some time ago. I was not sure how I was going to feel about a bottom whorl spindle but it is now my favorite spindle.