I'm just dyeing to show you this

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These aren't the best photos ever taken, but I wanted to record my first ever dyeing experiment. If you can believe it, I started with some handspun cashmere. I know, loco.

But, lest you think I'm completely irrational, part of the reason I went with cashmere is that I knew it would just languish in a big pile of undyed lovely handspun I have sitting around and also, it doesn't felt, so it'd be harder to ruin. So there, method + madness = marnie.

Dyeing Cashmere
1. Undyed Cashmere, 2. Cashmere in Black Cherry Kool-Aid, 3. Cashmere dyed with Kool-Aid, 4. Overdyeing Cashmere, 5. Kool-Aid used for overdyeing, 6. Exhausted dye bath, 7. First go at dyeing, 8. First go at dyeing
Created with fd's Flickr Toys.

Specs

  • Fiber: Mongolian Cashmere
  • Yards: 168
  • Source: Chameleon Colorworks
  • Plies: 2 (using the Andean Plying method. Can you say, "hand cramp"?)
  • WPI: 12
  • First Dye: 2 packets of Black Cherry Kool-Aid
  • Second Dye: 1 packet of Ice Blue Raspberry Lemonade and 1 packet of Grape Kool-Aid

I found out the hard way that you need to tie your figure eight even looser than you think you need to. My first dye session didn't quite get around some of the knots and left a few white patches. I knew I was going to overdye the yarn so I figured it'd just add more interest, but it still wasn't my intention, you know? To make sure the second pass dyed properly over those spots, I reskeined the yarn to distribute the light patches, and tied really loose figure eights all around. Way more beuno.

The second go, I used two flavors and, what surprised me is that the yarn drank the grape way faster than it drank the blue raspberry lemonade. The water started out a deep dark, nearly black purple, but was pure cyan about ten minutes after dropping the yarn in. It took almost a full hour for all the cyan to be absorbed. So there you go, cashmere likes grape. Take note.

So dyeing went fine. I'm not sure it's my "thing" but I'm glad I gave it a go. Kool-Aid is a great safe bet for the uninitiated who has some wool lying around. If you want to learn more, yourself, you can check out this knitty article.

Keeping it simple

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As much as I love wearing scarves I really don't enjoy knitting them, but throw me in front of a loom and I can't stop myself.

My third scarf is a simple pattern: just a strand each of tencel and cotton in similar colors.

Simple Purple Scarf
1. Simple Purple Scarf, 2. Simple Purple Scarf detail, 3. Simple Purple Scarf, 4. Simple Purple Scarf
Created with fd's Flickr Toys.

The colors both catch the light slightly differently giving it just a little bit of depth and texture. And since there's no wool, it's a great all seasons wrap or scarf. I can see keeping this in my beach bag and throwing it over my shoulders once the sun sets.

Project Specs

Simple Purple Scarf and pup

As always, my quality control inspector was never far.

Twisted

| 7 Comments

As much as I love my wheel, there's something truly satisfying about spinning yarn on a spindle, and my spindles are quite lovely, don't you think?

IMG_0032

I wanted to play around with combining colorways and pulled out some variegated orange and pink fiber as well as some warm vivid red, both merino/silk blends. I thought the solid red would dominate. It's so intense on its own, but the finished yarn really just looks like an intensified version of the variegated fiber.

IMG_0019

I'm thinking it'd be pretty knit up into some sort of lace. I've only used about a third of the total quantity, maybe less, so I should be able to get a decent amount of yardage out of my stash.

Stats

Wanna watch?

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I love watching people spin.

Now, I'm no Abby or Beth or Janel or Jenny. I'm just a novice spinner, so definitely don't take this as a technique post.

But in the interest of doing unto others and blah blah blah, here's me spinning on my 0.9 ounce Golding Spindle.

If you are so inclined and technologically capable, I'd love it if you posted a video of your own spinning style too. Just leave a comment here and let me know if you do so.

Warped

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WEBS is evil. You think you'll buy yourself a little bit of inexpensive warp and then you realize that if you just buy a wee bit more of this and a little of that, and heck, you could use another shuttle, you'll get that discount, and well, then, you are cleaning out the ol' paypal account. Curses!

So I have a a few projects in mind. First up, a burgundy scarf worked in a strand of cotton warp and a strand of shimmery tencel. The colors are just different enough to give a lovely depth to the fabric.

Burgundy Scarf Warp

Unfortunately, I didn't plan my project well and used up three quarters of my supply of cotton on the warp.

Burgundy Scarf Warp

That wee little bit is all I have left of the cotton, plus some on the shuttle. The white is just there so you can see how much I used. I have oodles of the tencel, so no worries there. It should be an easy enough fix. Just order more, but (*sob*) it's on backorder. I'll just have to nurse what I have, until it arrives.

On an entirely unrelated note, we got hail here, the other day.

Hail Hail

The pups think it's fantastic, and I love listening to it ping off the corrugated roof of the overhang outside my office window.

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