Sunday, April 09, 2006

Plying , dyeing and sighing!

Seem to have done a huge amount of plying lately. I must, obviously, have done a double huge amount of spinning in order to ply it all but it's the plying I've noticed. Probably as I'm less happy with it. Today tried plying on my new wheel - wow, wow, double wow! Took a bit of getting used to on the spinning side but plying? A dream. When it came it had a whole full bobbin (on a Louet this is a lot of yarn) spun, I presume by the lady who sold it. Plus a bit on a second bobbin and a bag of roving in a pleasant moorit colour (a muggle(:-)) will ask - a dull, reddish brown. Sheep come this colour.) So today I decided It Was Time. (To try the new wheel.) I was pretty terrified at first as I am used to Ladylike Elizabeth gently hinting that you may like to feed in some yarm "but only if you're ready, I'm happy to wait." as she's a sweet thing and not at all pushy. The new wheel - Lou-Lou (well what the hell else did you expect??!) is a bit of a bint by comparison. Possibly a girl of negotiable affection. The yarn is hauled unceremoniously out of your protesting hands. She takes no prisoners. Sooo after a bit of breath holding and a lot of swearing it's OK. Lou-Lou and I have fought out a truce and a bit of mutual respect.
Back to plying, she's a star, all my plying will be done on her from now on. I've a HUGE hank of yarn to show off once it's set and dried. HUGE Those bobbins, gotta love 'em. All this hanging to dry is the result of this frantic plying I've been banging on about. Impressed? I am! Sevenish skeins of the blue stuff I bought back from Winghams to be my first 'spin and knit a garment' project. The light brown is a crappy beginner's skein that I dyed this morning with Walnut husks. Bri likes the colour so it must be OK. Better than it looks here anyway. It won't photograph but it's golden rich brown. The darker brown is wet, mentioned before. Close up of the blue, of which I am very proud. Can't see here but there are red bits, orange bits, green..... you get the idea, I'm proud. Also dyed some fleece with Logwood chips. This greyish stuff is the result. Was hoping for purplish, bluish. Grey. Weird stuff. The soaking liquid went brown in the pan and it said to add soda ash till it went purple, which it did. (It was ace - like Alchemy, just woosh - purple. Wonderful:-)) Dyed the fleece in purple liquid and got grey. Mordanted with alum if anyone reading this knows more than I do, which wouldn't be at all hard.... It is a very lovely grey actually which I'll use. Finished all the farting around - soak overnight, boil for one hour etc etc then saw "logwood is an extremely fugitive dye" oh big, hairy bum! As an eco-zealot I really want to get to grips with natural dyeing but I've a way to go :-( (In case anyone is concentrating this is the "sighing" in the title. See, I'm trying to tie it all in.....:-))
This oddity is my new sock! I think it looks like a giant clam :-) It's a pattern from "Socks, socks, socks" and is a slouch sock. I never pull up my socks so it'll suit me well but isn't it weird the way it folds up? Hmmn, I can forsee a folded "Giant clam" bag on the horizon!!!


Anonymous Emma said...

With alum I get purple,with a strong dye bath. It's a nice soft purple. With a copper mordant you get a really good navy. I have very soft water,which I think helps get good colours.
Now Brazilwood... the range of colours is astounding. Copper gives a very strong,dark purple. Burgundy is possible with alum. Ammonia after baths are interesting. I think [my memory is letting me down here !] that's what shifted it to purple. Experimenting is such fun. Just keep in mind safety,including safe disposal of dye baths.

9:15 PM  
Blogger dreamcatcher said...

The results of your spinning and dyeing look great. Love the ruffly sock too!

11:12 PM  
Blogger goodkharmabunny said...

Fab Blog, it's good to know I'm not the only mad fibre person in the uk. I'll get the handle on the bag asap, now I know I have an audience.
We seem very alike in taste of yarn shops. I've not quite figured out that bit in my blog yet.
al x

10:42 AM  
Blogger Holly @Home said...

Sal..Lorna's Laces roving just went on sale on the "Get Knitted "site.Hols.

1:58 PM  
Blogger Sue said...

I think my clown roving and your slouch sock pattern would be a good combination don't you? Maybe this is my chance to actually spin for a project rather than spinning and then trying to think of what to do with it.

Love your spinning and dyeing, the blue is really lovely.

7:50 PM  
Blogger Cherry Rolfe said...

Good luck with your natural dyeing Sal - I once had a go with onion skins - needed bags full of the stuff!
From the sound of it you and Lou Lou are going to have an interesting working relationship!

9:19 AM  
Blogger Holly @Home said...

Sal you are a scream..your post was funny.I'd love to have a go at natural dyes one day but it will have to go on the list .As an eco-girl ..can I suggest if you ever see Robert F. Kennedy jr's book "Crimes against Nature"in a library you loan it .Not that I have any love for that family ( cough) ..just my age I do remember where I was when I heard about J.F.K's asassination..hiding under the dining table not wanting to look at the news ! I love the to fondle the chuck-out half price odd-balls I got in John Lewis today .Angie .

10:51 AM  
Blogger Woolly Wormhead said...

You alright lass, you've been quiet for a while... is that Louet keeping you busy still?

Take care now ;)

6:46 PM  
Anonymous Annarella said...

I loved your story, you had me laughing on the floor!!! :D

Hope all is well xxx

10:09 AM  

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