Saturday, August 30, 2008

Sewing Woven Wool

I'm attempting to make a lined vest out of a nice gray wool that I've had for a while. I'm using a simplicity pattern and it's taking more concentration than the most difficult knitting pattern. I can't focus if someone in the house is talking to me. The kids started school this week so I did have a chance to work on it. All I have left to do is the button holes. I'm going to start searching for some buttons later today if I have time. Earlier this morning I was in Bozeman and I had a little time to kill so I stopped into the Montana Woolen Shop. The place is huge and it SMELLS like wool. If you can't get to Bozeman in person you can check out They had a great selection of wool fabric and I purchased 2 yards from the remnant bin. Outside they had a really cool metal sculpture of a woman weaving.

Friday, August 29, 2008

I Love Cormo

I have been spinning for a few years now and I have tried almost every type of fiber. I guess I saved the best for last. I love Cormo. I bought half of a fleece at the Montana Association of Weavers and Spinners Conference this summer. One of the vendors was selling it. The fleece came with a pamphlet from the American Cormo Sheep Association which you can find on the web at I carefully washed the aligned locks and used a salad spinner to get the water out. I didn't own a flick carder so I bought on from I like flick carding much more than regular hand carding. After the little locks were flick carded, I spun them into a 2-ply yarn. It's so soft, you could make baby clothes out of this stuff.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Black Eyed Susan, Part 2

Since I picked so many Black Eyed Susan flowers I decided to try making a dye using DECOMPOSITION. I filled a large jar with the flower heads, added water, and let it sit out for about 3 weeks. I did not stir it everyday. In fact, I found white mold growing. Last night I finally strained out most of the plant material and heated the remaining liquid to make the dye bath. I used a tin mordant on some hand spun wool. The dye bath was a murky brown and after 30 minutes I found a nice light yellow. I left one skein in the dye bath over night and in the morning I found it was the exact same color as the one that was left in for only 30 minutes. The last photo shows the comparison of the colors achieved with heat verses decomposition of the Black Eyed Susan.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Black Eyed Susan

This summer I took a class from Linda K. Shelhamer called Natural Dyeing Yarn: From the Yard, Indigo, and Cochineal. You can find out more about her at

I was so inspired I picked about 5 pounds of Black Eyed Susan flowers form the roadside. First I made a dye with HEAT. I flick carded some Cormo and spun it up into a 2-ply. Then I used TIN (with Tartaric Acid as Linda suggested) as a mordant and this is the color I got after only 20 minutes in the dye bath.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Hello and Welcome

Welcome to Fleece Love and Happiness. In the coming days I will start my blog about fiber projects. My obsession with washing wool, dyeing wool, carding, and spinning has lead me to the world of blogging. After reading so many other knitting and spinning blogs, I want in on the fun. My sister Jane designed my banner and set up this format for me. Thank you Jane! I'll be back with some natural dyeing photos soon. Talk to you later, Traci