Monday, August 25, 2008

Hand dyed/Hand spun! YUM!

Here is the first of my hand dyed/hand spun BFL fiber. I'm so pleased with how this is turning out! I love the colors, Okinawan Sea, inspired by my daughter's diving in the Seas of Okinawa. She told me of the purples,turquoise,and golds.

I'm using my Little Meggie Kick Spindle from . Boy, do I really love this spindle. The bearing on the base really makes it spin fast!

This is my Blue Face Leister fiber from . It's so fluffy and soft. I didn't have to comb it, card it. It's ready to go. This is 1 lb of fiber which takes up the whole kitchen table. I kept soaking it down with a spray bottle to wet it. (Yes, the table is covered in Saran Wrap.)

This is the dyeing process. I used Jacquard acid dye. I mixed 1/2 teaspoon in a 32 oz cup of water w/ 1/2 cup of vinegar. First I did the gold in the middle, then purple and turquoise. The turquoise and the purple bled into the middle more than I intended, but I like the effect. I poured the dye over the fiber and used gloves to gently squeeze the dye into the fiber. I still wound up with turquoise blue gloves!

I wrapped up my fiber in the saran wrap, and baked at 200 degrees for about an hour, just until it was heated all the way through, and about 30 mins to set the dye. I let it cool very slow. It's hard to be patient, but I was scared I'd felt the fiber. I then took it to the bath tub and rinsed in cold water many tubfulls! It's hard to rinse so much fiber at once. Next time I'll try dividing it into 4 instead of 2, and rinse individually.

I put the drying rack into the tub, and put the wet fiber on to dry. I didn't squeeze it out, I held it up to drain a section at a time and just let it drain enough so it wouldn't stretch out from the weight of the water. It took 2 days to dry, but it didn't felt a bit and now I'm happily spinning away!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Dyeing to Spin

This is 1 lb of BFL combed top I ordered from . I dyed it with Jacquard Acid dye in turquoise,gold, and purple. My daughter was stationed in Okinawa, and told me about diving in the ocean there, these are the colors she described. The wool is soooo soft! It's almost dry now and I just can't wait to spin some up on my new kick spindle I ordered from . I like it much better than the drop spindle, and can spin much thinner and more consistant. It makes it real easy to ply too. The spindle sits
on top of a bearing, so it spins really fast. With both hands free, I can concentrate more on drafting. The wool makes a big difference too. The cheapo stuff I bought at Hobby Lobby was hard to draft.

I tried some of the merino wool, and wow. It practically drafts itself. I could get thread thin with it and picture spinning up some lace weight yarn. Darn that Yarn Harlot with her pretty hand spun! The more I read her blog, the more I wanted to spin my own yarn too.

This is Aidan, he loves to help his Nana! Who needs an electric spindle....I have Aidan power! He's only 19 months old, what a clever little boy! He's helping me to ply some of my experimental Hobby Lobby roving I spun into singles. He's not sure what it's all about, but he likes Nana's spinny thing! See, you can harness all that energy in a toddler! Now if only I could figure out how to get him to eat his green beans!