Monday, 13 July 2015

... and finally! Naturally...

The jumper is DONE!  Yay.  Thanks Mum for all that knitting :D
North Country Cheviot Hog dyed with natural dyes, spun up as a heavy "4ply" weight, navajo plyed.

Sunday, 12 July 2015

be(e)have normally

It's good to see in this dreary summer that the honey bees are still around to visit the garden.  I do worry for our crops this year with such unseasonal cold and wet.  The hay production (if it can happen at all) will be really down unless we're blessed with an indian summer in the next few months.

I had hoped to get some outside solar dyeing on the go but it's just not been consistently warm enough.  Meanwhile I'm still spinning with some ideas for weaving fabric for a jacket to follow.  Finally I think I've spun enough of the natural dyed fleece for the stripy jumper (pics soon).

Hope you're finding loads of enjoyable creative things to do this summer xxx

Friday, 12 June 2015

a little turquoise

A little turquoise always cheers me up.  Needing some new textured yarn for my cards I spun up some lovely tussah silk with a little merino and hand dyed it with the new acid dyes that I'd bought from Kemtex.  I do like their dyes... firstly they're from yorkshire ;)  always a plus, and secondly good results with inexpensive prices.  Up until now I've used the procion mx dyes which can be used on animal or plant fibres, but I opted for the specific acid dyes to try and achieve brighter colours on the wools and silks for my new weaving project... more of that later, but here's the turquoise to be going on with :D

Love and light x

Monday, 27 April 2015

Madder and madder

Well I didn't get angry at all... just a little madder :)

Again, like the Indigo session, I took the easy option and used pre-prepared and ground bought madder roots.  I wouldn't get the ground up version again as it's virtually impossible to remove from the fleece afterwards and they were such fine particles.  Another time I'd go for the whole roots.  The temperature with this again is important.  Indigo had to be kept around 50 degrees celsius and the madder under 60 degrees to yield brighter reds... above that and you get more browns I'm told :D

These are the various wools I tested, all together, in the same madder dye bath.

  1. Alum mordanted raw fleece (white)
  2. Cochineal on Iron - washed with no extra mordant (grey)
  3. Indigo - washed with no extra mordant (royal blue)
  4. Shallots - washed with no extra mordant (bright golden yellow)
  5. Cochineal on Iron - Alum mordanted (pale pink)
  6. Brazilwood - washed with no extra mordant (coral)
And the results...

I love the depth of colour but realise it doesn't over dye some colours as I'd hoped.  The experiments have been fabulous and engrossing but I know that I'm ever practical and some of these are just not my colours to wear... I have to do something with them after all as I can't just have a house increasingly filled with coloured fluff!

I took a selection of the dyed stuff and over dyed it again with a new cochineal dye bath... 

Pretty pleased and even more so as it's spinning up lovely... here's the first skein.

Now I need to spin another 13 hanks :D  see you in a while!

Sunday, 26 April 2015

fibre so far

Thought I'd knit up a little sample of the dyed wools so far.

The colours aren't in good combination and not any colour way I'd choose to wear but it gives me an idea of where I've got to go with it.