Dyeing for Color.

I have so much on my mind right now; I’ve been trying to gather my thoughts for a blog post for almost a week now, but keep getting distracted by my ideas. I have a stack of ‘to-do’ lists a mile high and more projects plotted than I can dream of finishing. Add into that my recent shoulder pain alternating with wrist pain (I swear they’re taking turns!) and you just have a very frazzled me, and a very long blog post in the making. I guess I’ll start from the oldest of my recent projects and work forward from there (warning! Super picture-heavy post approaching!)

I love spinning natural yarns, really, I do. But some times I itch to do something different, and pretty much since January, that’s where I’ve been at. Sure, I’m working on breed studies, too… but in the background, here’s where my heart’s been.

First… not super colorful, but January was the month of batts.

battlogJanuarySome Shetland, some white baby alpaca, some black alpaca, some black silk, some silk noil… It was a good month to practice carding batts with portions of my personal stash, and they’re all so soft~<3 Haven’t spun any of it yet… I’m saving them for a rainy day (or maybe the Tour de Fleece.)

February is when everything really started to go crazy; it started with buying a pound of colorful bits and pieces of Merino and BFL.

colorfulbattsAgain, it was great carding practice, and so. much. color! At that point I started buying not only colored scraps, but also raw fleeces to process and dye for the shop (these batts came out nice; I finally had the confidence I needed to take that leap 😉 )

So I bought some lovely fleeces on Ebay and washed and dyed; here’s a couple I plan on spinning up for the shop:

dyework(The upper is a Coopworth/Wensleydale X, while the lower is pure Cotswold)

I also worked on carding up that Lincoln X I mentioned before:

Lincoln X(What can I say? I like dyeing blues and greens!)

I also spun up a special braid of BFL…that I first tore up and re-carded to re-organize the color order.

Rache…which just made me want to spin colors even more, so I ordered a batch of Romney/Merino X locks dyed in a set of colors called ‘Sunset’ and carded them along with some white Romney to soften the color progression. I spun and chain-plied that.

Spin Me A Piece of SkyAround the same time as all of this, I bought a new, more precise set of dyes and started dyeing up a storm 🙂 Some of it I don’t have pictures of yet– I want to card ’em up first– but others…

For a while now I’ve been carding up that shetland roving into batts to spin into yarns for a blanket (which is a post in it’s own right, so I’ll save the details). I dyed some of the roving, and the resulting batts were these cool jewel tones:

spin a blanketThe test spins so far are really cool 🙂

I also dyed up some of my upcoming breed studies–

MagpieThe undyed one is Lonk, the yellow is Berrichon du Cher, the pink is Saxon Merino, and the blue/grey is some super-fabulous Gotland lamb that I couldn’t resist trying out (I know, I know, I’ve already done Gotland… but this Gotland is way better!) I fluffed up the Saxon Merino into a cloud, and carded the Gotland into crazy-silky art batts.

When I was picking out fleeces to dye for the shop, I did find one I couldn’t resist for myself– a beautiful BFL/Finnsheep lamb’s fleece with this lovely blend of crimp, lustre, puffy-fluffiness… After washing it up, I let my dyes surprise me (I was expecting purple, but those neons were a fun surprise!) and carded it all up.

BFLFinn LambSo what’s next? Well, remember that British Shetland fleece I’ve mentioned?

EmsketIt carded up so pretty! Anyway, I was helping out Magpie recently, and as a reward she sent me a second Shetland fleece, this time in lighter shades of grey with nice little blond tips. I’ve been gathering up fibers for a large project– maybe a hooded sweater? I don’t know yet–

something bigSome lovely grey-toned mocha (8 ounces), some purple mohair (4 ounces), that silver Romney that I love so much that I can’t decide what to do with it (!), and the bottom three pictures are my second British Shetland fleece, washed and drying. Portions should be ready to card tomorrow 🙂 Debating whether to card the mohair and Romney directly into the Shetland… or to card the mohair and Romney together and ply with the Shetland once spun. I guess I should do a sample… 😛

ALSO… art yarns will be coming to the shop soon! Specifically, I bought two POUNDS of white mohair to dye and spin into art yarn and list 🙂

CamilleEven though it’s adult mohair, rather than first cut, it’s super soft 🙂

…well, that’s all I can really fit into one post. If you made it this far, congratulations! Hope I didn’t bore you to death 😛

Catch y’all later!

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