Saturday, January 19, 2008

Brambleberry

So I really liked the look of the 2nd handspun yarn and decided I was tired of spinning just plain cream colored wool. So I pulled out the dyes last Sunday and tried my hand at dyeing some roving. I more or less followed the instructions in Teach Yourself Visually Handspinning. I measured out about 4 ounces of the corriedale wool and loosely tied it in a few spots. I soaked it in warm water, then transfered it to a pot with a little water and vinegar and poured 4 colors of dye in quadrants. I used blue, purple, orange and black. Then I cooked the wool on medium low heat for an hour, let it cool, gently rinsed it and hung it to dry. I'm afraid I didn't take time to take pictures. I didn't have much hope it was going to be useable. When wet, the roving looked pretty hopeless. It took forever to dry, 2 days for the whole thing to be thoroughly dry. And even after it was dry, it was pretty compacted. But I gave it a try anyway. I split it into 2 pieces, then sectioned each strip into eighths. It took me all week to spin two bobbins full. I thought I was doing pretty good. There were almost no overspins this time. But I'm still struggling with keeping an even thickness. I'm sure it has to do with the way I'm drafting and will just require more practice. I plied the two bobbins together and here's the result...
I love the colors. I'm calling it Brambleberry. The yarn is a bit darker in person, but the colors are just fabulous. Doesn't look anything like the dyes I poured in the pot. That's one of the joys of kettle dyeing, the colors blend into very unexpected and usually fascinating results. I got 140 yds in 4 ounces. Still a long way from my goal of spinning a sock weight yarn. I'm feeling somewhat frustrated that I can't get my consistency down. I'm not into the whole thick/thin yarn so I'd really like to spin more evenly. Now I'm faced with the dilemma of what to spin next. I've got over a pound of the corriedale left. I could spin that as is, or dye off another hunk. Or I have the Hanks in the Hood roving I would love to spin. I wanted to try to spin that into sock yarn, and I know I'm just not there yet. Maybe I'll just take a few days off from spinning to think about it. The toddler sweater is coming along really well. I finished the body and have started the first sleeve. If I put some serious knitting time in this weekend, I should be able to get started on the yoke and possibly finish it by next weekend.

1 comment:

Knit Witch said...

Looks great! I have my first spinning lesson on 2/2 and I CAN'T WAIT!!! I'm really looking forward to it.