Guess I’m Not a Vanilla Type of Gal

 Yesterday I started spinning some vanilla colored Ashland Bay Portuguese Wool Top Spinning Fiber. After spinning about 20 oz I decided I could not spin that vanilla color one more minute.  It was so boring I almost fell asleep at the wheel.  Yawn.  I kept saying, “Dye it when you’re done.”  Didn’t work.  Pulled out the crockpot and some KoolAid.  I tried a new dyeing method.  Don’t you just love craft blogs?  I found this method at the do stuff! blog.  This should make kind of a “spotchy” yarn.  Filled the crockpot with water and added some vinegar, even though Kool-Aid has citric acid this is thick wool and I wanted to make sure.  Added the wool, poked it down, turned it over, tons of air in this top.  You can see air bubbles in the picture. Soaked for about 20 minutes.  Then turn crockpot to high; it only has a low and a high setting.  Let it “cook” for an hour.

Colors I used; Ice Blue Raspberry, Orange, Strawberry, Lemonade, and Lemon-Lime:

Sprinkled Lemon-lime color on one side and orange on the other.  Yes, the Kool-Aid package was torn open and sprinkled directly onto the yarn top.  I did have to poke the orange a bit so it would dissolve.  You can see some of the orange Kool-Aid chunks in the picture. I left a swath of neutral color in the middle since I know the colors will bleed together.  Kinda reminds me of the Italian flag!

Top back on and let it cook.  Had to show this picture of my favorite dying tool – the wooden fork!  It is the best yarn-poker, turn-the-wet-yarn-over, and lifter-out-of-pot tool ever!

After about 30 min the dye was exhausted.  I carefully turned the yarn over, making sure I kept the green side to the left and orange to the right.  This time, I sprinkled blue on the green side and 1/2 of the strawberry package onto the orange side.  Red is so strong it will just take over if a whole pack is used.  Blue + green = Blue-green; Red + orange = red=orange.  Yum! Last dye step.  After all of the blue and the red have been exhausted, look for any white spots and add yellow lemonade.  You can see that there is a small white line going around the yarn top.  Gently turn the yarn and add yellow to the back portion.  Now the yellow lemonade has been sprinkled all around.  After the yellow has been exhausted, I let the yarn cool down in the crockpot.  With spun yarn I dump it into a colander to drain the water.  This is my first time doing a top, it seems more fragile.  I did not want to agitate too much, so I turned the crockpot off and let it cool down slowly.

Ta Da!  The final product.  I let the top cool down in the crockpot, carefully lifted into the colander to drain for awhile, then gently rinsed in a cake pan. Now it’s on the boot tray to dry.  Love the boot trays from Target.  They are large, heavy, unbreakable plastic, with about 1/2 inch lip all around. Perfect for putting wet yarn on.

My husband said, “It looks like cotton candy.”  😎  Really is quite vivid.  When it dries, I’ll spin it.  Can’t wait to see how the splotchy colors turn out!!!  Easy peasy way to dye.

Off to sister Barb’s today.  What trouble can we get into? At least, how much trouble can we get into that allows Curls to sit with her sprained ankle up?

Fabulous Fractal Fiber

 Mariah was yelling at me this morning – spin, spin, spin.  Ok, time to do my spinning “homework”.  Spinning class starts again tomorrow.  It’s through Grossmont Adult School and the teacher is Margaret.  One homework assignment last term was to make a fractal yarn.  At the time I didn’t have a wheel and to be honest I never mastered the drop spindle.  So today is the day!!! Knitty has a great article on “Fractal Spinning“.  This is the yarn sample I’m going to work with.

Take the sample and divide in half.  Noting which color you start with, spin 1/2 of the yarn.

This is the first half which is spun onto the bobbin.

Next divide the second half into four equal pieces.

Start spinning with the same color as you used for the first half.  Keep adding the other pieces with the colors in the same order.  Below is my final project after plying, winding on the nitty noddy, and twisting.  Please don’t judge too harshly.  Remember, I’m a new spinner and this is only the second time I’ve tried plying!  The yarn is beautiful!  All the ends are the extra unplied yarn I used to tie the skein together.

Spinning class tomorrow, so it will be a late post.  for the rest of the day, I have to sew a carrier for Mariah.  Sewing time!

Fingering the Fabulous Fibers and Fabrics

q8~Raise you hand if your hands start itching and fingers start twitching when you even think of entering a fiber or fabric store!  Our hands are up, in fact, both hands are up.  Now, raise your hand if you’ve seen someone wearing a particularly wonderful looking textured fiber or fabric and you’ve actually asked them if you can feel the item.  Oh yeah, embarrassing.  Fiber junky, I admit it.  In our recent fiber/fabric run from Paulsbo, Wa to Missoula, Mt we got our fix.  This fabulous Angora came from my favorite yarn store in Paulsbo, Amanda’s Art Yarn:

The pattern is Peasant Ruffle Pidge knitted on Skacel Angora Fashion Color Twist.  It takes one skein.  This yarn is like holding a bit of heaven.  My only modification is that I’m not going to add buttons.  I found a beautiful pin to use instead.  The picture doesn’t due justice to the beautiful color.

As a newbie spinner, I was hot to see some roving, batts, tops, etc. At fabulously, wonderful, need-days-to-touch-feel-see, Paradise Fibers I purchased Grey Norwegian Top High Quality 56ct Top.  Yes, there’s that darn Scandinavian “thing” again.  It is my very first spin-a-lot-of-fiber try.  I’m pleased at how it came out.  This is 2 oz, I still have 2 oz to spin and ply.

I just purchased a Lendrum spinning wheel.  I’ve named her Mariah because she spins as the wind!  Tomorrow I’m going to my first spinning retreat with a visiting teacher, Cecelia from Alaska.  I’m enrolled in a spinning class through Grossmont Adult Ed and the teacher, Margaret Tyler help put this together.  I’ll tell you all about it.  So excited.