Saturday, October 22, 2016

Dyeing and spinning results, and Duncan sits in judgment

I noted earlier that Duncan has to be removed from the vicinity of the Spanish merino roving, since he loses his mind around it, and I don't want kitty drool all over it.  Oddly enough, the Coopworth doesn't have the same effect.  Maybe Spanish sheep are more hotblooded than Kiwi ones?

Anyway, he's safe around the Coopworth, and aside from Marigold dying to help with the spindle, things are pretty calm.  He did take a bit out of the bag, though, to test his theory, but it didn't seem to have that kick for him.

So here's the current spinning and dyeing output.

The spinning is improving as I go, and the dyeing is always a surprise.

Here you see left  a ball of natural colored Coopworth, lovely creamy color, and a ball (I have forgotten again to measure lengths, must get into the habit) of merino in green, top right, which was the result of beet and red cabbage, go figure.  And the merino dyed with turmeric, unmistakably, top left, plus the latest, bottom right, black walnut on Coopworth. The yarn on the spindle is natural Coopworth.

These are all very delicate, really pleasing colors,with a lot of variation, unlike the flat color of synthetic dye, which has its place, but not right now. And I'm glad to say I remembered to label them. 
I have dyed using Koolaid in the past and got some vibrant colors, for different purposes. 

I'm thinking since I'm still a spinning novice, that I will try reversing hands and see how that works for me, before I get too used to a single method.  I do have mixed dominance anyway, and it might equalize the wear and tear on my shoulders if I can spin with either hand at will.  

It will also mean that I'll probably be spinning the opposite twist to now, which I'll have to note in case I ever get to plying, when it Will Matter.  Currently I spin counterclockwise, which is an s twist, if I've got it right.  Clockwise would be a z twist.  There are technical reasons for using one or the other which I haven't found out about yet, but I bet it's all in my Respect the Spindle book.

Next I plan to haul out the giant bag of iris cut up leaves from the freezer and see what color that gives me in the dyebath.  I also might use the iris pulp to make paper, and I think I can probably use it in the dyebath with the yarn, and then blend it in small batches to make a vat of paper pulp.  I need to get out my natural dyeing book and see what she says about the color from iris, but there are so many variables in natural materials that it's only a general sort of indicator.

I'll let you know how that goes. This output of homespun might go for knitting things to use, or it might be knitted into a wallhanging or two.  All the Things to Do!


  1. such a pretty cat you have. loving the delicacy of the wool colour. I have a little fuur cape that Dad bought for Mum in India in 1945, if I get it out when Alfie is here he goes mad for it

  2. I hope your kitty is doing better, Liz. At any rate, you're keeping him pleasantly entertained which Voltaire considered very important and so do I.


Thank you so much for commenting! it means a lot to me to know you're out there and reading and enjoying.