Monday, August 11, 2008

Another dye day

Got all of the new pots scrubbed up and I'm going to dye the remainder of the wool bells that I purchased from Sheep Shed. I've formed my dye base formula and will follow it from here on so that I can replicate colors. Bout time! So far all roving and batts have been OOAK.

I need to establish colorways that will be always available. Wish I could replicate the "Spill the Wine" roving that I did a couple of months ago. Who knows - I may be able to do so in the future.

Today I'm going to mix mordants and soak the wool for a bit in those prior to dyeing. Yesterday I mixed the bases up, put them in bottles - about 6 oz. of each, and topped them off with water. Nice colors, but I want some that are more vibrant so we'll see how todays experiment works out.

I noticed lots of mohair in some of the stuff I dyed yesterday. I actually kind of like it! Also found that I'm missing a large bag of 'grab bag wool' and will have to find where I stashed it so I can get it all colored up. ;) I want to use all of it up before I order more. Of course I still have over 4lbs of Romney and over 6lbs of Cormo to wash and dye... I might wash up some of the Romney today. It maintains its locks so well and they dye up quite nicely, too.

OK - time to get at it!!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Swaps, dyeing, spinning, etc...

I received my swapee's name today and I hope that some of the stuff that I've already chosen to send presents a challenge for her. This woman spins the most amazing yarns out of virtually everything and anything. I remember one of her spins in particular that just blew me away. Of course I don't recall the name of it but will try to find the photo on Ravelry today. Her last spin was awe inspiring. She actually used a broomstick as a spindle to do the spinning because the swap contents wouldn't fit through the orifice of her wheel.

Got all the wool soaking last night and will commence dyeing it today. I'm going to be true to the mountains and use colors found here in natural settings. I think that I'll be using six colors today. One being brown - but I don't like the actual result of this particular brown dye so I'm going to add red to one blend and ocher to another.

As for my spinning - still waiting for hubby to finish up whatever he was doing to #2 electric yesterday. I want to use that for plying... dammit! I have so much yardage on the jumbo bobbin it would take forever for me to ply on the regular wheel. Maybe it'll be good to go later on.


Saturday, August 9, 2008

New batts to be added to our Etsy shop

I have some pretty blends that I'll be adding to the Etsy shop --- probably tomorrow (Sunday, Aug 10). These may be some of the last offerings on Etsy. The web site is close to being published. Lots of configuring has been completed on the database, accounts set up with UPS, USPS, and PayPal linking in place.

The electric spinner will be photographed for preview. I'm going to use the latest concept tomorrow to ply a large amount of yarn. This will allow us to see how easy turning the motor will be. No more crossed belts/bands! The only issue we're still pushing along on is what to use as a belt. We have polyurethane stuff, cotton wicking, cotton yarns, hemp, and another product coming our way. So far -- seems it may need to be a combination of cotton and the poly stuff. I may end up braiding belts and then stitching the cotton ends together to get a smooth join.

OK - time for photos (below) and then I'm off to soak massive amounts of wool in preparation for dyeing tomorrow. We've made decisions on our signature colors and that's what I'll be working with.

OH! Almost forgot... we hit this flea market shop today - walked in and immediately thought, holy shit! Look at this freakin' mess! Wall to wall to ceiling to floor of every kind of throw away stuff imaginable. These people stock this shop with everything they can get their hands on! In the very last (very crowded, messy, isle) I found 4 - 18/10 stainless steel stock pots... a bit spotted and stained but nothing that a steel wool pad and some Dawn won't take care of. Only one of the pots had a lid. They wanted $12 per pot - I got all 4 for $25. Good deal! Now, for the photos::::

Friday, August 1, 2008

Stinky wool

Got the nasty stuff washed. Yuk! It did come out quite nicely, if I do say so myself. ;) Unfortunately, I only took a before photo, so that, and an after photo will be all I'll be posting. I spent some time arguing with our boxer, Caesar, because he kept trying to steal my rubber gloves. Damn dog is obsessed with yellow rubber!

I used Arm & Hammer washing soda in the first wash - 1/3 cup along with a mighty healthy dose of blue Dawn, about 3 - 4 gallons of water, checked the water temperature with a candy thermometer and it read 140F - that's exactly what our water heater is set at, and I topped it off with some boiling water from the kettle... water turned a nasty mud brownish yellow green ... ugh! Two more washes with Dawn. One rinse, then I sat and pulled it all apart before rinsing again. I now have it soaking with a conditioner and will probably transfer it to a mesh bag and hang it on the line to drain / drip dry before I go to bed. If the weather holds out it should be dry by tomorrow afternoon.

I only washed about a pound... tomorrow I'm going to tackle half of the black merino.

Fleece washing adventure - about to begin

I have some really dirty looking Romney (5lbs) and equally dirty black merino (3lbs) that has been sitting for about 6 weeks. After getting approximately 7lbs of GORGEOUS Cormo on Tuesday, I decided it's time to start washing all this stuff up and I'm going to start this evening with the Romney.

After reading so many posts regarding washing fleece I've come up with an idea of my own. I'm going to give it a try with about a pound of the Romney and see how it goes. I have the camera charged, too, to photo document the process.

Have to get a blueberry bread pudding in the oven first and then I'll begin the scouring!

A new challenge

I had joined a swap with the Novelty and Art Yarn group within Ravelry and was partnered with Mel from Australia. I finally got what she sent me and some of my own stash out yesterday so I can get started. I believe I have a 'plan of attack' worked out for this yarn.

This may take time as well. I have stuff that I need to get finished up in addition to spinning this. Priority #1 - get the shopping cart & website finalized and published online. The first electric spinner is just about ready for its debut - !

Art Yarn - part II

Meant to post these earlier:
Spun from the batt shown in the post below. Core spun - I wound the core yarn around a drop spindle to help prevent excessive twist. This yarn took quite a lot of time to spin up since I had to keep releasing the core from the spindle. Lots and lots of coils and I added tiny seed beads strung on invisible thread.