Sunday, November 8, 2015

An Experiment

I had some lovely downy type fleece given to me a few weeks ago. It scoured up just lovely and was a lovely bright white, but there was a section - probably that was down the animal's back that had a lot of veggie matter in it. It just had too much to use so I left it sit on my prep table and I kept coming back to look at it and touch it.
It was especially soft so it sat there still longer, til one day I looked at it and thought why not try?.

So I took my hand cards and went outside and started to card by hand. A great deal of the vm (veggie matter) flew out. I went through it all like that, then I went to the drum carder and carded this into batts. By the look of things I had enough for a hat or some mittens or such or a pair of gloves which I have been wanting to try. There was quite a pile of vm accumulating and I would brush it off my work table every time I carded.

I went to my spinning wheel and divided the batts into 3 piles and started spinning on my Norwegian wheel at an 8:1 ratio. It had a new flyer made for it and was needing some time spent spinning on it so I choose this wheel for a 'fast' spin. More vm flew off as I spun. I was spinning a very fine singles. Every time I finished for the evening I cleaned up more vm off the floor.

I spun up 3 bobbins of relatively equal amounts. I wound each singles off to a niddy noddy, did the ties and then set the 3 packages of singles in some hot water and dish detergent to soak. More vm floated to the bottom in the soak. 2 rinses and more vm out.

My downy type gloves.
I dyed the singles yarn in 3 different acid dye colours - a clear light yellow, a mixed green with some black added to make a mid granny apple green and a mix of turquoise and black for a dark blue.

More vm came out in the dye pot. Washed and dried afterwards. Then the singles were wound back onto spare weaving bobbins and I went back to the wheel and plied a 3 ply fingering weight yarn. The overall colour was a slightly darker mottled green because of the dark blue influence on the mid green. When it was plied I soaked it again, blotted out the water and hung to dry.

I went to Ann Budd's book 'The Knitter's Handy Book of Patterns' and searched for a glove pattern. I knitted up a swatch in 3 sections with 3 different sized knitting needles and choose 3.25 mm as the size I was most pleased with in the knitted and now washed swatch.

This is a very handy book to use because the patterns are for different gauges and sizes of articles.

The gloves knitted up so quickly they were done in a couple of days. I fitted each finger on my hand as I knitted along. Yesterday I wove in the ends, added a loop for a button to hold them together when I'm not wearing them.

This was a very successful experiment. I didn't give up on the 'dirty' fleece. Spinning very fine allowed the veggie matter to fly off as I spun and now I have a very nice warm pair of gloves.

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