Tag Archives: wool

WIP Wednesday Jan 12

Now with the yarn all dyed I of course could not wait to get started on the Whippoorwill shawl. I love how they wool came out with the colours. And it feels marvellously soft, too.

I’m at about 370 stitches per row, it is torture!

Whippoorwill scarf WIP

WIP Whippoorwill


Back to the wool and more dyeing

I want to make the Whippoorwill Wrap-Shawl for me, and it took me ages to find some colours. Finally I decided to go for some grey and pink. The pattern asks for some really nice but expensive sock-yarn or fingering weightish yarn, but they are all so dead expensive, so I had to dye my own. I ordered some organic merino 2-ply sport yarn (they happened to be out of the 4-ply I think) from Yarnundyed, it feels so lovely soft. I wanted to get one gradient from grey to pink into the wool and also get semisolid colours to make the shawl a bit happier. To get one gradient I could not dye the skeins as they were, I wanted one end grey and then pink and the end grey again. So I wrapped 2 undyed skeins of each 100g/375m over my elbow into 6 skeins each. I presoaked them in warm water, squeezed out excess water and then layered them into my pyrex dish. The grey skeins to the left side, then a few pink skeins to the right side, and the last two skeins to be grey again back to the left side. I had quite dilute dyes in squeeze bottles, soaked the wool with grey and pink, splashed a bit pink into the grey, squeezed them all with my fingers to make sure that the dye is fairly good distributed and all the way to the bottom of the dish. Then i covered it with aluminium foil, popped the dish into the oven and baked it for about 40mins. After I had taken it out I left it to cool, the colour has been completely absorbed by the wool, i gave it a rinse and hung the skeins up to dry.

I love how they came out:

skeins of pink-and grey oven dyed wool

and wound into balls

Felted Swirly Beads

I had some leftover merino and what not fibres lying around, so I started my first wet-felting experiment. My only previous felting experience was needle felted gorey eyeball (it really looks cool, haha). I saw some of those beads on etsy, and I finally found a good tutorial on craftster (where else!). I layered some of my fiber and tried to start rolling, but it did not really roll that well. I rolled them on the flatter side of the bubble-wrap, and I’m thinking maybe I should have tried the bubbly side. Maybe then it would have not slipped so much. To get it rolling properly I just used my sushi-mat instead, and it worked brilliantly. Since I’ve never done that before, I had no idea when to stop to make sure that it is felted enough. I just stopped when the cigars felt fairly dence. The I let them dry and cut of a few bead-slices. They seem to hold together ok, but I think I’ll know for sure once I’m using them for something. That’s my problem now, I’ve got no idea yet what to do with them, I’m sure i’ll find something 🙂

felted swirl bead-cigars

felted swirl bead-cigars

Handdyed BFL “green plums”

I oven-dyed some BFL roving with Acid Dyes – my first try with Acid Dyes 🙂

I mixed red from yellow and magenta, purple from magenta and midblue, and green from yellow and turquoise. The green turned into yellow unfortunately because the turquoise washed off completely. I Put the presoaked roving into the glass dish, mixed the colours first in a smaller volume of water containing mordant and then diluted it some more in water with mordant. I’m using Kenanthrol Acid Milling dye and Ammonium Sulfate as mordant (3g/L). Then in the oven, covered with tinfoil, 30 mins @ 180°C, i could see it boiling in the oven. After taking it out I left it to cool, then rinsed it in warm water (that was when nearly all the green came washed out, altho all the other colours were nicely fixed, the turquoise seemed to have issues).

I’m very happy with the results, apart from the nearly totally disappeared green. I’d love to use it for another Thorpe hat as a Christmas present for my flute teacher, so I better get going 🙂

The dyed roving coming out of the oven

dried and rolled up

and braided

FO: Granny-style Tea Cozy

I love how it turned out. I have to admit I hated to knit it, but I had to keep going because I so wanted it to be finished. So I knitted like mad. I still think the colours look like a football strip (from the seventies), but I love it. And it really does keep the tea warm.

For the flower on top I only made one big one with tow strands held together and then I added a little I-cord loop.

Again, the pattern can be found here.

Tea Cozy in morning sun

Tea Cozy with flower on top

WIP Wednesday nov 10

Granny Tea Cozy WIP1

Granny-style Tea Cozy to use some of the stash. Got lots of random acrylic wool 4ply-DK I want to get rid off but don’t want to throw it out. Wasn’t too sure about the colour combination when I started, but now I’m quite ok with it. I finished the first half, quite tedious knit, takes longer than it looks like, uses more wool than i thought, need to keep three strands untangled, quite different but I really like how it comes out.

Franny Tea Cozy WIP2: One half done!

Morning Surf Scarf with my KoolAid Handdyed Handspun lace/light fingering yarn is coming on very slow. Like the pattern, but the dropped stitch rows seem to take ages. About 40cm/16in done. Thinking of hibernate this until I have nothing else to do.

Morning Surf WIP

I’m washing a fleece!

I’m not too sure what came over me, but I found a farmer not too far away who sells whole Zwartbles fleeces. So I bought one. I’m not too sure if I thought that all through totally. The fleece is sitting in our bathroom (no windows) for a while until I could get started, wrapped up in three garbage bags, still stinking! I don’t have a garage or garden, not even a balcony where I could leave it outside. So I better get started soon.

I started looking for info on how to wash the fleece, different people do it different ways, so I tried to find the one most suitable to me. I knew i had to do it in small batches. I don’t even have space to spread out the whole fleece for the skirting. I don’t have an American top-loading washing machine with vertically mounted drum, just a European front-loading horizontal mounted drum. So decided to scour the fleece in the bathtub. I didn’t know how fuzzy this is gonna be, so I make sweater bags out of thin muslin like Amelia suggests in Ask the Bellwether (great information on the page, you should bookmark it). Then I read a lot in Alden Amos’ Big Book of Handspinning. He recommends a bathtub, too. He says lots of water is important. He also tell you to move the fleece very very slow through the bathtub, up and down, to get the water stream slowly through all the fibres in the fleece. As for detergent I think I found somebody on Craftster recommend just plain Fairy dishwasher liquid, since it is the best for dissolving fat and also cleaning out the dirt.

I started by packing about 350g fleece into the one muslin-bag and put it into the hot water (about 125°F) with a good dash of green Fairy (quite a lot of fairy, added after the tub was filled a bit more than half, until the water appeared slightly green). Nothing happened at first, but when I started to slowly move the pack up and down the length of the tub (with a speed of about 40 seconds per tub length), all the dirt came out and I had diarrhea-brown water. I was quite surprised how much dirt was in the fleece, because when I picked those few handfuls out of the bag to put it into my muslin bag, I thought that I must be lucky because there was no VM and hardly any other visible dirt on it. Oh well. I emptied the tub, and filled it now with fresh water, hot enough to dissolve the lanolin and another good dash of Fairy. I added  put the fleece in again, let it sit for about five minutes, then super-slowly moved it up and down the tub 3-4 times (with a stick cause the water was too hot), pulled it out at the shallow end of the tub and let it sit on the rim to let it drip out a bit.
Then I filled the tub a third time, hot clear water only, no detergent, and rinsed the fleeces in clear water, again slowly moving the fleece up and down.
I put them into my washing machine for a quick spin and then spread them on my kitchen table (covered in layers of newspaper) to dry.

The locks feel nice, I only think that sheep had quite some dandruff. Most people say to throw a scurfy fleece away, but after they were completely dry and i shook the locks open a bit, lots of the dandruff came out. It only looks as if the dandruff is in the middle of the length of the lock and where the most dandruff sat there seems to be now a lighter and thinner spot. You can even see it on the photo. Oh well, I have no idea what that is and how bad it really is. I’ll see how much I can get out and if it is too crappy I can maybe use it for some felted  coasters or so.