Creating Yarn

I started dying and spinning the other day, and thought I’d share my process with you.

I knew I wanted to blend Bluefaced Leicester wool top with Alpaca and Mulberry silk so I layered the fibers in my steamer.

The steamer basket is placed in the sink with hot water and Unicorn Power Scour (a soap used to clean raw fleece) to help the water penetrate and get rid of any oils which may be on the fiber, using only enough water to submerge the roving.

I use Dharma acid dyes and mix the colours with citric acid before pouring them on the fiber. Brilliant Yellow, Caribbean Blue, Deep Magenta and True Black are the colours I use most. I also have Silver Grey but haven’t played with it much. Some colours are harder to mix than others but I’ve found that using boiling water helps dissolve the dye powder.

When dying, I don’t disturb the roving, especially when dying fine merino as it will felt very easily which is why I use a steamer and not a pot.

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After the fibers are dyed, I steam them for about 10 – 15 minutes, let cool then rinse. If the colours are too bright for my liking, I might over dye them with black immediately, this typically gives me more muted tones however, Dharma’s “True Black” has a purple hue so yellows turn green and magenta sometimes turn purple.

Once cool, I press the excess water out and lay the fibers on a drying rack with a fan on them.

I love how the same dyes react differently on various proteins, silk is the most brilliant followed by alpaca and lastly, wool.

Before spinning, everything is blended together on a drum carder.

It never ceases to amaze me how colours change when blended and spun.

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Felting

 

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This month I thought I’d give felting a try. I made a number of vessels, but what do I do with them all?

 

Then I took the leap into making slippers after watching a number of YouTube videos. I made my husband’s first, he loves them so much, the only time he takes them off is to go outside or to work!

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He convinced me that I had to make a pair for myself and I have to agree, they’re neither too hot nor cold, light and comfortable.  I purchased the non skid felted soles on Etsy from Joe’s Toes. Also, they’re faster to make than either knitting or crocheting!

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I really enjoy felting, I’m always on Pinterest looking for more ideas on what to make next. Any ideas?

Clasped Weft

This scarf took infinitely more time to weave, it wasn’t as easy as tossing the shuttle back and forth. The warp is Merino, the wefts are Corriedale, Shetland (from Quebec!), Camel and silk.

This will be the last woolen scarf for now, I’ll be moving back to cotton and tencel for the next few projects, whatever they may be.

Charmed Covert Robin

First of all, I just want to share this bundle of loveliness I scored at Pinked Fabrics, Vintage Modern by Bonnie & Camille for Moda.  O . M . G soooooo pretty! I was able to grab 3 charm pack all together and I think I’ll get some yardage & a jellyroll when it’s officially released. If you want some Vintage Modern for yourself, Amy still has some charm packs available in her Etsy shop! These are some of my favorite prints from the line (click on the images for a larger view).

       

Earlier this week I purchased a copy of “Quilting Line + Color” by Yoshiko Jinzenji. Although some of these quilts are entirely pieced and quilted by hand — something I don’t have the luxury (or patience) to do at this point in my life, there is a lot of inspiration in this book! I began to think of using various fabrics in a different way. When I was still sewing garments, I had purchased a few yards of cotton velvet as well as raw silk and think I’ve come up with a beautiful and interesting way of using it in my quilting. Here’s a sneak peak because this will be sent to my Covert Robin partner.

It’s so nice to see the sun again, this weekend can’t come soon enough, we need more long weekends!