Wednesday, October 26, 2016

BFL Sock Yarn Dye

Dye Results for Blue-Faced Leicester/nylon (BFL) sock yarn purchased from The Black Lamb at the Woodstock Fleece Festival 2016. Colour of the undyed wool was off white or ivory coloured.

5 skeins of BFL sock yarn
1 skein is 115 g

Dye: Leftover acid dyes, various hues and depth of shade (DOS)
1 T citric acid in a pail of water

Tied figure eight ties to secure each skein in several places.
Placed in pail of warm water with 1 tsp TNA (like Synthrapol) for one hour.
Rinsed in warm water.
Soaked skeins in pail of water containing 1 T citric acid for 45 minutes. (Doesn't have to be this long, but I was busy. 15-20 minutes would be long enough.)
Squeezed water out of each one until I felt they were just wet enough.

Placed on a long piece of plastic wrap to be dyed so that it could be wrapped easily in plastic for setting the dyes.

I used the acid/water mix for diluting some of the dyes. Dyes were applied to skeins by either dipping parts of or whole skein or by syringe in different patterns.

I checked the underside of each skein to make sure there was dye all over the wool. When I was satisfied with the colours, I dabbed up any excess dye, then I wrapped each skein in the plastic it was laid on.

A couple of the skeins I microwaved to set the dye by microwaving for 2 minutes, with a few seconds break between, then microwaving in the same manner 2 more times. I let the skeins cool in the sink undisturbed.

The other skeins I wrapped and placed in a steamer for 45 minutes. I let the skeins cool completely before I washed them with a couple of drops of Dawn detergent. I rinsed the skeins in slightly warm water. No colour came out of any of the five skeins.

I'm pleased with the results.


Shades and tints of turquoise and blue

Turquoise with some red

Yellow with black and a few orange spots

Lighter turquoise, blue, yellow and a little red

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Spinning for Spinzilla 2016

Spinzilla 2016 was running from Oct 3-9, 2016. It is a worldwide event where teams and rogue spinners compete to see who can spin the most yarn in a week.

From the Spinzilla page: 5,507,622 yards of yarn were spun this year. More results can be found on the official results page of Spinzilla.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Woolstock 2016

This is my absolute favourite show out of the whole year.
My husband and I used to be vendors, first with a friend for a couple years, then with our own booth.

Now I like to take life a little slower, when possible.

The show was bigger than ever and T., my friend had a great time with me, even when we lined up at 8:30a.m. The wait was over very quickly and we were able to get to our favourite vendors very quickly and start checking off our lists.

I was looking for sock yarn in Blue-Faced Leicester and nylon and found them at a fair price at the Black Lamb, along with a grayish blue merino and silk.
Also found silk/merino/cashmere blend in undyed skein form.
Silk noiles, undyed at Gemini Fibres.
Beautiful mannish olive green sock yarn, mohair, wool, silk blend for my husband was found at the Wellington Fibres booth.

I went to Harrison's Alpacas and got some gorgeous caramel coloured alpaca rovings which I hope to use to blend for a contest entry early next year with the Ontario Alpaca group.

My favourite Icelandic sheep farmers had a 5 lb. dark brown ram fleece waiting for me to scoop it up and I did.

I scoured this one with Dawn in the first wash, then used Orvus Paste for two more washes. I spun out the dirty water before rinsing. I rinsed once in quite hot water, then gave it two more rinses, each a little less hot with vinegar in the third. I used my front loading washing machine to spin dry the mesh bagged fleece.

It's a very dark, grey day today with high winds. I jthought I might hang it outside on some hooks in mesh bags to see if I could get some wind going through it to dry, but I think it's about to storm, so now it's in the house. I will just have to spread it out on some screens to dry.

My friend bought absolutely gorgeous sock yarns from Red Sock, Blue Sock, I think it was called. I would have loved to have got some too. I hope they will be back next year.

I saw many fellow spinners I have come to know throughout the few years I have been spinning. It was nice to see them again.

Sadly I didn't take any pictures this year. We finished off the outing with lunch in downtown Woodstock.

Oh-I forget to say how perfect the weather was-sunny, warm and just absolutely beautiful.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Other Things

I have been doing other things too.
I have Almandine Socks in progress-one done, one to knit yet.
Almandine Socks
Featuring reinfored toes and heels. Jawoll Lang wool.
I think I really like these!

Bag o' Wool

This is a bag of combed nests from Canadian wool board fleece, the eastern division. This took about three weeks to comb in my available moments. It is going to be blended with alpaca I think, at least at this moment in time and quite probably another fibre in my stash.

It was quite dirty with vegetation, but worth the effort I put into combing.

The breed is 'unknown'.
Final destination: sweater.
560 g combed fine fibre
Alpaca might be nice as a component for blending with the 560 g of the fine combings.
alpaca preparation
I saved the short fibre from combing for another project.
I'm thinking I will blend with cotton for a summer knit top for next year.
Fibres to be dyed separately, protein acid dye, cotton in fibre reactive dye. I have a quill head for my Lendrum wheel which is nice for woollen spinning.
Colour I am undecided on.
Fine short staple for blending

Ile de France Sweater

It has been a little while, but here it is:
The Ile de France sweater.
Ile de France sweater.
Almost finished-just the buttons left to put on. My least favourite part is just attaching buttons. It's been sitting for three weeks just waiting for buttons. I promise I will do it today.

The design, Ribbed Cardigan, is by Carol Feller.

Chain plied.
Dyes: Yellow is osage orange, alum mordant. Violet is acid dyed. Green is acid dyed with some woad dyed wool added.

Other previously dyed fibres were added on the blending board too.

P.S. I have a cardigan, years old, that has never had buttons put on. I know, unforgivable.

Update: I actually sewed the buttons on and wore it to the Woodstock Fleece Festival Oct 15, 2016.

Also I thought it would would be good to see more about the fibre that made this sweater on the same post. So here are some pics of the yarn construction.
Blended batts, separate colours

My workstation

Making the rolags

CPW used

Plied fibre

Finished yarn

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Ile de France Undulating Scarf

Undulating Scarf
It is actually called: Undulating Scarf by Adriana Schoenberg in Knitting Scarf Patterns from Spin Off.

I made mine using homespun and hand painted the skeins. Turned out quite nicely, though not for anyone to wear right next to their neck.

I should still give it a steaming as the pattern suggests for more flattening. The patterning tends to cause ripples.

Half the yarn was dyed at.2% Depth of Shade (DOS) and the other half was dyed at .5% DOS.

The dividing point is at the half way point. I thought that for a scarf that would be more interesting than making both halves the same or all the same.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

A Little Update

I've been practising the Navajo plying technique. I've spun four bobbins of the Ile de France and plyed after finishing each one.

It has been an uphill battle, but by the fourth bobbin, I had the method down. That fourth bobbin was plyed quite well.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Project: Ile de France Sweater

This is the project I have been working on for awhile. It is a work in progress that has evolved from the starting point of the dyed fibres to blended fibres.

Blended in that nature dyed fibres have been blended with acid dyed fibres.
Blended in that Ile de France fibre has been blended with 'other' fibres.

Some of these other fibres are:
  • Border Leicester
  • Dorset
  • Bluefaced Leicester 
  • Merino
  • Nylon
  • and some I've forgotten because I just grabbed some colours
  • and some unknown fibres
  • all added to contribute less than 1% of the total
The total weight of fibre is 1048 grams.

I dyed the colours, both nature (osage, but very dark) and acid-very dark green and a dark violet.

After looking at the colours for a few days, I started changing the colours by adding in other colours on the drum carder. Finally I finished the batts yesterday.

The plan was to make a heathered yarn by spinning with three colours arranged in the palm of my hand and spinning back and forth.

This has changed to using a blending board and making rolags all in the same colour order, but not in measured amounts of each colour.

The wheel being used is my Canadian Production Wheel. Maker unknown. It has had the flyer repaired and the finish for the most part sanded off and has an oiled finish now. The Pittman has been replaced. It was purchased June 2015 from someone in St. Mary, ON.

It has a 30" wheel and spins like the wind on a blustery day! Double drive and single treadle.

Here is the work space:
Work space.
The batt colours.
Violet, Yellow, Green

Loaded Board

Dowels used to make a rolag
Rolags ready for spinning
Here is the wheel.
Canadian Production Wheel
Here is a bobbin of spun yarn.
Fine singles. Unmeasured.
As of this moment, the singles data has not been documented. I'm spinning it fine with a forward draw, but allowing some air to stay in the fibre as it is drafted. It is semi woollen.

I need practice doing Navajo* plying, so that's the plan. I will keep the colours separate with a little colour blending between the solid colours.

More to come in another post. More data. Plyed yarn. Knitted sample.

*This originally said Andean plying. I meant to say Navajo plying.

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Ile de France Sample

This is a three ply sample I dyed the other day left from the skein of 194 g painted yarn.
I had spun two bobbins for the two ply and this was leftover so I chain plyed it to get just enough for a two by three sample. 

I used 4.5 mm needles and garter stitch. 

I found out how lovely this simple sample would be for a cardigan. It's not particularly soft, but it sure feels like it would wear forever. I can't see this pilling at all or catching on anything. 

I'm really impressed with this one. I want to make a sweater in this yarn. 

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Fine Fleece

A Fine Fleece
I took 100 grams of raw fleece, scoured it, and hand carded it. I then spun it into a 2 ply.
It was sitting close by when I finished dyeing the skein below and I had some dye leftover I was going to discard. I decided to use it on this sample skein. It is a really pretty blue and very soft.

100 g of raw fleece after scouring became 66 g of clean fleece.
66 g of clean fleece became 61 g of plyed yarn, loosing some to second cuts, etc.

Ile de France 194 g
I had to dye a little more. This I prepared a little differently.
I flick carded the scoured locks to remove veggie matter. Then it went through the drum carder.
By now it was looking really nice. But I then hand carded into rolags and spun it using point of contact backward draw.
Before dyeing, I soaked it in hot water and TNA soap (like Synthrapol) and plenty of dirt came out still. I soaked it again and rinsed it, then it was ready to be dyed.

Exciting Package

I had this come in the mail today.

Then I opened it. 

I opened it further yet. 
Can you see the crimp?  Isn't that something special!!
Let's take a closer look...
Let's give a little lock a wash and see what happens. 

Now compared to one that's right from the box. 
Nice fleece. Very nice fleece. I lost count at 16 crimps per inch. 

What breed is it you ask?
I can only say it is from the fine wool category and that's all I know. And that it is Canadian grown.

I'm not going to take the whole thing out to look at until Friday, then I will give it a closer look and start washing it, but I'm very pleased indeed. 

Monday, June 27, 2016

Onion Peel Nature Dye

Ile de France nature dye.

June 19/16

Fibre: Ile de France
WOF: 312 grams (g)
Dye: Nature dye using onion skins and alum mordant.

Format: Scoured uncarded fibre. Used leftover alum mordant rejuvenated with one tsp. alum and half tsp. cream of tartar.

Added dry fibre in a mesh bag to very large pot of prepared alum mordant. Also added very small amount of dish detergent. Brought to a simmer and simmered for fifty minutes. Drained. Rinsed briefly. I did this the morning of dye day.

Nature Dye: Three year’s accumulation of onion skins. The previous day I prepared the onion peel dye. I placed two stuffed grocery bags full of dried onion peels into a large dye pot and added water to cover. I simmered for about four hours and then let it cool overnight.

The next morning, I drained the dye liquor into a couple of buckets and discarded the onion peels into the compost bin. I poured the dye liquor back into the dye pot and added the fleece which was encased in a mesh laundry bag. The dye liquor was a very deep, dark orange.

The fleece was completely under the liquid. I brought the temperature of the dye vat up to a simmer and simmered for four hours stirring frequently.

The dye vat was allowed to sit on the stove for two and a half days while I was at work. I then removed the mesh bag containing the fleece, drained it and then placed it in the sink with lukewarm water and some dish detergent to soak for twenty minutes. A lot of colour was still washing out. Washed four times, last with TNA (Synthrapol substitute). Colour still coming out and still smells of onions.

It was rinsed in a sink of slightly cooler water, drained, then rinsed again in clear water. After draining it was put in my front loading washer on the spin cycle.

From there it was spread out on mesh screening to air dry in a summery breeze and sunshine.

The resulting colour was a dark yellow orange.

When dry, I took fifteen g and drum carded it into three mini batts of five g each for a sample.

I made three rolags. I spun it on my Ashford Elizabeth Saxony wheel on the 8:1 pulley using the woollen point of contact draw at 40 wpi. Three bobbins of five g each spun Z.

I plied on the same wheel using a ratio of 12:1 in the S direction. The wheel was set to use double drive.

Fibre: Ile de France
Preparation: Drum carded rolags
Spinning Technique: Woollen. Point of contact. 8:1. Double drive. Plied 12:1. ZZZ S.
TPI: 4.6 tpi
Twist angle of plied yarn: 36°
WPI: 13
Bradford Count: 3/7s [1]
Finishing: Very warm water with dish soap. Rinsed in warm water twice. Wuzzed. Hung to dry.
Suitable end uses: Cardigans, mitts, hats, slippers, upholstery, rug weft.
Notes: This is a short stapled fleece. It is not soft.

[1] 8 yd / 5 g * 454 * 3 / 300 =