Monday, January 19, 2009

Something Red, something done.

I finished the Something Red sweater yesterday and wore it today. The shadows makes it look a little splotchy, but it's not splotchy in person.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

A week of trying new things

This week I experimented with embroidery using naturally dyed yarn samples. The pillows are all wool but feel pretty soft.

I worked up a sample of the purple cotswold. I'm trying to spin a thicker yarn.

This week I also washed 5 lbs of shetland. I'm really excited about this fleece, it's so soft! I washed it in the kitchen sink (which is really small) and it took two days to get it all done. This morning the glass lid of our top loading washer shattered. I'll be calling the manufacturer tomorrow. Can you imagine if glass shattered into a fleece?!? Yikes! Glad I washed this fleece in the sink.

I finally got to try out my new wool combs. I had watched some youtube videos before I tried them and that really helped.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Roving vs. Batts

During the past three years that I have been spinning, I have only spun one skein of yarn from processed roving. Yesterday I tried again and spun some 60% Merino/40% Bamboo from Sweetgrass Wool. I chose this roving because of the color combination and I thought it would be fun to try bamboo. I prefer spinning from batts or strips off of hand carded batts. My spun roving was very uneven and it broke a million times while plying. I'm sure it's something that I would get better at with time, but at this point I prefer spinning from batts.

Friday, January 2, 2009

The un-watched pot never boils.

On New Year's Eve I went down the road to the Brewhouse with my husband and 14 year old son. We had some food which included a glass of wine for myself. I was pretty sleepy afterwards. Before I went to bed at 11:30 (I didn't even wait until midnight) I turned the burners on very low to add heat to the dye baths sitting there. My plan was to add heat for about 1/2 hour then turn them off and let them cool all night. Well....

I fell asleep. As I slept, I kept smelling something that was like dog doo or cat poo. I was sure I'd have something waiting for me when I work up that would require carpet cleaner. My animals don't usually go in the house, so it seemed odd. For some reason, I didn't get out of bed to investigate the smell. I just kept on sleeping.

I awoke with a head ache. Could one glass of wine give me a head ache? What was that awful smell?

As soon as I walked in the kitchen to make coffee, I saw the steaming pots of wool. I had left them uncovered and on a low flame all night! What a stink! At first the wool appeared felted and burnt, but after a closer look I could see that there was still a little water in the pots. Holy cow! I can't believe the water didn't completely evaporate.

After the dye baths cooled, I washed the wool with Dawn again and found that the locks were not matted and the wool didn't stink. It was just the air in my house that reeked of chemicals.

Now I have a big pile of acid-dyed Purple Cotswold! I've ruined fleece with just a subtle change in temperature or a little friction before, but this stuff took heat for over 8 hours and turned out great.