Misc. Monday – Fine Weekend for Dyeing

It was a fine weekend for dyeing
It was a fine weekend for dyeing

The weather finally decided to get with the program so it was a fine weekend for dyeing fiber and yarn.  I have been itching to pull out the colors for weeks, maybe months.  However, it has rained more days than not so trying to get anything to dry would have been next to impossible at best.

But this weekend…  Oh, this weekend…  What a fine time to be alive if you are a skein of undyed yarn or fiber!  There is nothing like a good makeover to bring you out of the doldrums.  Okay…  Maybe not.  I don’t wear makeup and no one is allowed near my head with a pair of scissors.

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What’s on My Bobbin? – Natural Dyeing over the Weekend

Henna, Cutch, and Madder
Henna, Cutch, and Madder – the three natural dyes we used this past weekend. (Please ignore the horrible spinning. These were my very first skeins from Loki, my 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”

Another Fiber-filled Weekend Full of Fun

The Family Collaboration
The Family Collaboration I showed off this weekend

Good grief!  Are there enough F’s in that title for you?  🙂  It truly was a fun fiber-filled weekend.  The anxiety I felt most of last week has subsided now that I am taking Monday to recover.  The blog should be back to normal with daily posts during the week.  I had to take a few days off for my own mental health.

The weather (I must be British) was doomy and gloomy, going from hot to cold with almost constant rain followed by humid days that made me melt like chocolate on the sidewalk.  It was a bad week if you wanted to remain cheerful.

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What’s on My Bobbin? – Some of My First Hand Painted Fiber

The Chocolate and Mint Spin
The Chocolate and Mint Spin

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.

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The “Sequin Diva Cowl” using the Muddy Rainbow Yarn

The Muddy Rainbow and the start of the cowl
The Muddy Rainbow and the start of the cowl

Have I told you how much I like the way my first dye project came out?  Well, if you missed all the other posts recently, let me tell you know that I really like the way the Muddy Rainbow looks.  Something this interesting needed an equally interesting pattern so I chose the “Sequin Diva Cowl” by Sara Sach of Posh Pooch Designs.

The Pattern

i really want to show off the gradient of this skein so the increase of a triangle wasn’t going to cut it.  I decided to go with the Sequin Diva Cowl because it has crazy “teeth”, but the stitch count remains the same across each row.

The gradient of the cowl so far
The gradient of the cowl so far

The pattern is an easy four row repeat.  I memorized the instructions quickly even though they are not written in convention terms.  Just keep in mind that you stop five stitches from the end on the same row you did the extra half double stitches and you’re all set.  My brain took a left turn somewhere as I was crocheting the third set and I had to frog to the beginning of the sequence.

I also altered the pattern and did five stitches less that the 35 per row because I’m not sure I would have had enough yarn.  With 166 yards my cowl may still be a little snug in the end, but it should be just fine.

How It’s Going So Far

I started with the chains this morning around 9ish and I had finished eight four row sequences by the time Mom showed up at 11:30.  I’ll get back to this project as soon as I am done publishing this post and  I expect that it will be completed early this evening.

The sharp contrast between the orange and the maroon
The sharp contrast between the orange and the maroon

Though the fiber is not next to skin soft, it is draping very nicely.  I imagine this would go well over a winter coat with a collar.  I just love the way the gradient goes from deep orange to dark maroon with brown, then to black and finally dark teal. My only concern is the sharp contrast from dark teal to deep orange when I sew the ends together.

Do  you have any projects you are working on today?  Let me know in the comments below.  I’d love to see what you are working on.

Have an excellent day!

Nose Bumps
Nose bumps from the Bun Sisters

WIP Tuesday is Cancelled for the Day

I’m sorry to say that there isn’t much to discuss in my world of crochet so WIP Tuesday is cancelled for today.  After staying up way past my bedtime last night trying to get a Minecraft server together for my Mom and me, we skipped knitting because she had a doctor’s appointment.  Bad us. 😉

Now after being out all day, my lack of sleep is catching up with me.  I’m yawning and my eyes are bleary.    The forecasted rain doesn’t seem to be helping  Even Yuki seems to be feeling the change in barometric pressure as she just did a DBF (aka:  Dead Bunny Flop) at my feet.

One Lonely Crochet Project in the Works

My first dye project
My first dye project: an interesting dark rainbow gradient

I did manage to cake up my first dye project in preparation of putting it on my hook.  This is such an interesting gradient that I wanted to see how it really changes from one color to the next.  It looks even better as a cake and I can hardly wait to start turning it into something nice.  I had hoped for a corner to corner scarf, but with only 166 yards it will have to be something less grand.  Perhaps a thin cowl if I work it in the round.

New Toy

Contrary to what Yuki might be thinking, this new toy is not a birthday present.  Though it might be made of wood and tempting to chew if you are a rabbit, this is far from being for a bunny.  It’s a new blending board so I can play with even more fiber.  My fun isn’t going to end anytime soon.

My new blending board with its foot
My new blending board with its foot

It was a “factory second” and thanks to my Dad it now has a working foot.  Even if the rolags look less than stellar, my upper chest will be getting a workout.  LOL

There is a pile of fluff sitting in a bag that I desperately need to turn into spinnable fiber.  It’s all an experiment at this point so if it turns into mush, oh well.

How was your Tuesday?  Did you do what you needed to do or did you play hooky too?  Let me know in the comments below so we can swap stories of how bad we are.

Have an excellent day!

Nose Bumps
Nose bumps from the Bun Sisters

Spring has Finally Sprung

The four skeins finished
These are the four skeins I finished recently.

It’s wonderful that spring has finally decided to show herself.  I wonder what happened to her.  Someone must have insulted her pretty bad for her to wait this long to come out.  I’m glad she’s finally back because the weather this weekend was wonderful.  I had all the windows in my home open, letting in the fresh air.

My lilac bush is starting to sprout leaves and I can’t wait to smell its flowers’ fragrance.  The jury is still out as to whether or not the sage and lavender made it through the harsh winter.  It’s not looking so good for them at this moment.  I still need to plant the willows I got in late February, but they should take easily so I can cut sticks for the bun sisters to enjoy.

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What’s on My Bobbin? – A Mixture of Colorful Fiber, That’s What

All four of my bobbins
This is what’s on all four of my bobbins today.

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

Bobbin #1

Bobbin #1
Bobbin #1

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.

Bobbin #2

Bobbin #2
Bobbin #2

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.

Bobbin #3

Bobbin #3
Bobbin #3

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!

Nose Bumps
Nose bumps from the Bun Sisters