Spinning Show & Tell: Ready for Colour

It's been another spin-tastic week and I couldn't resist this scrumptious purple BFL/alpaca blend:

BFL / alpaca handspun

Spinning these lovely shades made me think about how to colour my fleece. To help me decide, I spun and plied 50g of North Ronaldsay to use for experimentation. This is how the yarn turned out...

50g North Ronaldsay handspun - undyed

It's a bit thick and thin - I've also been experimenting with spinning and plying, trying different hands (that's really not working out so well - my semi-ambideterity doesn't so easily extend to spinning) and basically messing about with different variations on how to hold it etc.  For now, the process is more important than the outcome which is really quite liberating. In the end this was plied from both ends of a centre-pull ball which was held in my left hand while flicking the spindle with the right (rolling on my thigh isn't going so well either)...

Spinning Show & Tell Tuesday

Next to decide which methods and colours to use to dye it! The Kool Aid tutorial from AYLM looks really simple and effective -  I might give that a try, although dyeing with natural ingredients is really appealing, so that needs more investigation too.

And so onto the fleece. For those missed my previous post, the plan is to see the entire process through 'from fleece to garment' and this week, thanks to YouTube, I figured out how to use handcarders and spun the first few grams (I have washed and dried only a small portion so far), to see how it would turn out. Turing the first tentative rolags into yarn felt like magic, although the carding was slow going - I'm sure there is much room for improvement - and at this rate it would be years before there is enough for a garment. This is what I have so far...

Spinning Show & Tell Tuesday

I'm hoping my friend Christine will help me to use her drumcarder (either the rollers are set too far apart, or I'm doing something wrong!) so that I can do it more efficiently. That should make for much quicker progress.

Thank you to the spinners who linked up their posts last week, it's great to see what others are up to and as I have so much to learn, I'm trying to read as many spinning posts as possible - I also discovered KnittySpin which has a terrific back catalogue of useful articles. If you'd like to link a recent spinning/fibre post, please use the Mr Linky below. Please link back so that your readers can find the other posts too. I'll be back tomorrow with a little knitting progress. Hope to see you then! 



18 comments

  1. I love the purple! I have done one lot of fibre from fleece to finished and I'm not sure that I can be bothered again without a drum carder. I was given some fleece but it was so dirty that it made me ill when I washed it - yeurgh! I think I need to get some Kool Aid - the last tme I used it was to dye a wool Didymos Wrap in 2008 and my whole house smelled delicious!

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    1. Oh now that sounds like a good reason to try some!

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  2. This are now easily my favourite posts on Tuesday! I love to see your progress, and the whole 'fleece to garment' thing is so interesting.
    You rock :)
    xo,
    wink

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    1. Thanks so much for your encouragement - it means a lot! xxx

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  3. You'll have such fun with dyes! Natural colours will in many cases fade more readily than acid dyes, although if you mordant properly and use the plants that gives the fastest colours you should be fine. If you dye in the wool using plant dyes you can do small amounts at a time and card everything together to get a colour with great depth. Have fun :D

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  4. It looks like great fun although hard work, I love that pink-purple! I agree regarding the fading but have to say that it was interesting to see the process when I dyed with black beans. It started out an indigo but has since faded to a dirty looking turquoise, still beautiful though!

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    1. I think it's nice when something has a life of it's own like that :D

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  5. I bought my first rolags this week. They look really interesting. I wish I didn't have anything on my Rakestraw, because I really want to try spinning with them.

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    1. This is why I had to get another cheap little spindle while I wait to afford some nicer ones - I really need a whole collection just to manage the WIPS and plying!

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  6. Your yarns are looking gorgeous! That North Ronaldsay looks so bouncy!

    I'm looking forward to seeing your experiments with dyeing, I loved the look of the tutorial on AYLM too!

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    1. Thank you Dani - one day I hope my spinning will look as nice as yours! x

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  7. The purple yarn! Stunning!

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  8. I love the thickness you got out the new fleece. I can't wait to see it swimming in dye. What does a drum carder do? Does it clean out the debris better than hand-carding?
    The colors of you new handspun is wicked!

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    1. A drum carder processes a lot more at a time with less effort - there is a handle that you turn rather than carding by hand and using wrist-power :D

      I have been picking the bits out before carding, although to be honest, the little bit I have been doing is a lot better after washing and not so bad.

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  9. Thanks for the Linky! Your work is beautiful, as always! -Anya

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  10. I'm enjoying these posts. Still haven't touched my spindle though ...
    I absolutely LOVE the idea of working through the whole process and I can see I am going to learn a whole lot vicariously :)

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