To tell you the truth, I have less than an ounce of fiber on my bobbin. Because I have been working so hard on the Hygge CAL, I haven’t been spinning much these last few weeks. The temperatures are finally more in line with the calendar so looking like a molting bunny doesn’t appeal to me at the moment. Just now I went into the kitchen to get the fiber to photograph and ended up splashing some cool water on my face so handling the fiber would have ended in disaster.
It has been a long time coming, but I have finally finished the bright rainbow singles that have taken forever and day to spin. The bobbin is plump full of mixed wool of lovely colors that must now be put into a skein before giving them several rounds of fiber abuse so the final kinks can relax. After torturing the skein with alternating hot and cold water, I will take out my frustrations as I whack the skein on the deck railing.
This might sound excessively cruel, but it’s how the springy singles settle down. As long as I don’t agitate the yarn while it’s in the hot water it won’t become a felted disaster. This skein is mixed wool and not something more delicate such as merino.
Oh, the trials of spinning! It’s always in the back of my mind. However, things have been happening lately that have prevented me from spending an afternoon (or even five minutes) doing what I love. Loki, my spinning wheel, has been neglected of late. Some of this has been his own fault and some has been mine. Relationships are a two-way street, even with a spinning wheel.
Natural dyeing was not something I thought I would have more than passing interest. However, I failed to realized that it taps strongly into my love of foraging. I love finding plants for the bun sisters to nibble on so they have a varied diet. But foraging to dye fiber or yarn? Ehh… Not so much.
Then came last Sunday. I spent the afternoon using plant-based dyes with my spinner’s group. Wow! That was incredibly fun! Though the yarn was not as intense as what I dyed in the past using acid dyes, the colors are …well …natural. Continue reading “What’s on My Bobbin? – Natural Dyeing over the Weekend”
Rain, Rain go away! With all this rain I expect there to be multiple rainbows once the sun returns. If not, there are several rainbows lying on the bed next to me as I write this blog post. Currently, it’s steadily raining and the poor chap just outside my window is vainly attempting to leaf blow the wet grass he just cut. I’d tell him not to even bother, but he doesn’t have much of a sense of humor.
Once again I am working with a particular Merino top to create a yarn I am calling “Rainbow Wishes”. The first skein of yarn I spun using this fiber is called “Muddy Rainbow” since the colors mingled together into a muddied mess.
Last year I entered two skein of handspun yarn into the crafting competition at the Burlington County Farm Fair. I was surprised when both did incredibly well, earning a first and second place. Competing is not my thing, but I was proud of what I had accomplished in such a short time.
Several weeks ago I started making my own hand painted fiber. After my heavy-handed first attempt at dyeing in a roasting pan, I figured I would have more control with this technique. And I do indeed. This is becoming an addictive part of working with fiber. I try to block at least one day a week to have fun and make a heck of a mess. This usually falls on Sundays so I can hang the fiber out with the week’s laundry.
Today’s “What’s on My Bobbin?” is the Embers colorway from Fuzzyfrog Fibers. I picked up this braid last September when I went to New Jersey Sheep and Wool. This is one of several braids, mostly named after locations in Middle Earth, that I was drawn to. Choosing something to spin this week was a challenge because I wanted to spin everything in my stash. I ended up blindly reaching into the box and spinning what came out. It turns out that this was a good choice.
Do me a favor, folks. No matter how much I beg, plead, and cry please don’t let me get me another bobbin. I have four bobbins and in typical spinner fashion, I feel I need about 300 more. The hard, fast rule in my home is that the fourth bobbin is ONLY for plying so it is off limits for singles. Otherwise, I would be in one heck of a pickle and my life would turn into a really hard logic puzzle. And I really suck at logic puzzles. LOL
What you see on the fat bobbin is purple Super Wash Merino in a lovely purple with sparkle. This is half of a two ounce roving. I like the fact that one half of the braid was dyed one color and the other half was dyed another. This would make it easy to spin all together and then Andean ply if I had chosen. But I will ply this as I normally do with the second half of the roving on bobbin #2.
Peeking through is the sparkly Wintery Batt I spun last month. I haven’t taken it off the bobbin because I wanted to add the green, sparkly Romney and do one big wind off onto the niddy noddy so I could full the singles all at once. However, since I am not in the mood to deal with excessive sparkle, it might be a few more months before I spin the green batt.
I spun the second color of the purple roving onto this bobbin. It’s a strange color and I’m not 100% sure that it goes with the purple. The best description is flesh colored which makes it sound rather macabre, but I’m going to ply it with the purple anyway. I tried to think of other colors to ply it with, but nothing really stood out in my mind. I’ll let you know how it comes out in the end. I’m hoping to be delightfully surprised.
Recently, I started dying fiber. This was my first attempt and though I was a bit skeptical while it soaked in the dye, I think it came out alright. I do have a problem with adding too much of an ingredient when I cook and it seems I did the same thing for my first round of dyeing. But I’m alright with that.
Originally, I had intended to make a bright rainbow gradient. I should have known better. The colors were muddied and incredibly dark in the pan, but I like the way it came out. I accidentally made chocolate brown and black but I don’t care. I like it. I’ll get better the more dyeing I do. (As a side note, there was not one bit of dye on my fingers when I was done spinning. Yeah me for setting the colors correctly!) My plans are to ply this with the second half of the same roving once I clean off the other bobbins to make a really dark autumn to winter gradient yarn.
What fiber is on your bobbins? Do you think you might need more bobbins or do you feel you have enough? Let me know in the comments below.
Have an excellent day!
Everyone in my immediate family has their own creative talents. Some of these talents overlap since Mom and I both crochet while I spin some of the yarn Mom likes to use in her knitting. My Dad takes over the mechanical aspect of things when hardware is involved like adding grommets to the sock yarn bags my Mom sews. Sometimes all three of us collaborate to create a true family project like the one I am showcasing today. This one became even more multigenerational as you will see below.