Dyeing Wool and Silk and Locks and recovering from furious holiday knitting...
Hi everyone! Long time, eh? I was so busy during the holidays and so burned out after that I sort of just melted and got nothing much done, including posting on blogs.
I finally got my butt back into the dye studio (ok, it's my kitchen!) because I had a couple back orders to catch up on and the usual happened...it's like sex, you know? Even if you don't feel like doing it, just DO IT and then you go...hey, I like this! This is fun! ha!
I managed to reproduce a favorite colorway that I had happened upon by accident one day. The original had sold but I vaguely remembered what I'd done and gave it a shot and came up with it! And I actually wrote it down :) I call it Summer Peaches because it reminds me of the inside of a really ripe peach...the darker reds are hard to see in this photo but they're there. This is some of the 50/50 wool/silk sliver that I cull out of the laps and dye for sale. It's amazing stuff! It's not in one continuous piece, but most of the pieces are pretty long and it's not a pain at all to spin like that. It's very open and kind of delicate after I do some post-dyeing pre-drafting, so I always roll them up into birds nests.
These are the same thing, rolled up. I don't do yellow a whole lot, but I love it ~ it just doesn't sell that well, which is a shame. It's such a great color! I always buy it when I see it at the shows because it's really kind of hard to find.
I do stir some, and try to keep the fiber moving around a bit while it's coming up to heat. The fiber reactive (which I use as an acid dye) takes longer to exhaust than the Sabraset or Washfast dyes I normally use. When the dye has exhausted, and I'm done adding dye to make sure all the locks get color, I turn off the heat and let it cool completely.
Then, I rinse once and put it into the washer to spin out. While it's drying, I tease it and keep flipping it around so it all dries and more of the VM comes out. I give it a good hard shake sometimes too, since with this fleece there was a LOT of VM. So much that I sent it off to a local mill to be scoured...it was way too hard to clean myself at home.
The locks are from a BL lamb and are pretty long ~ I found that they're best prepped by combing. The yarn isn't super soft, since it's BL but it's very lustrous and strong.
And finally, the same colorway in sliver, rolled up. It's really darker than it appears in the photo.
I figure all of this dyeing took me about 8 hours...there's more than this, but I worked on it for 2 days, just not all day. I have about 3 more colorways that I didn't show here
On the knitting front, I'm totally burned out but did pick it up last night and kind of half-heartedly worked on a scarf. Didn't last long. This whole Christmas burn out thing is NOT happening next year! I've actually started a UFO Knit Club, for which there will be a blog soon, and I plan to work in some sort of Christmas Knitting Club as well. One lady on the list said she tried to have all her holiday knitting done by Thanksgiving...what a perfectly lovely thought! I'll blog about the holiday knitting another time...I'm damn sick of it at the moment!
And I have to get to work around here...the buns need some attention and so does the house. We're starting to remodel and that's a whole 'nother post my friends! I haven't had much spinning time and that's starting to get to me, but I have been playing with some "spindle crack"...tune in next time for more info on that or read my post on the SSK Blog