Changing my mind

The fibre I dyed a few days ago is now dry:


However, I’ve now decided that I would prefer to spin these on one of my wheels (perhaps at the next spinning group) and possibly use the resulting fibre to make something like: Semi-Precious.  I haven’t decided yet whether to ply them together or use them individually.

So, I needed something else to spin on my new spindles:


These are also dyed with food dye.  However, this time I’ve used only 1.5 oz of fibre for each so I can use these for smaller projects (perhaps fingerless gloves?).

My spindles have arrived and I’ve been using the heavier one (which is a 1oz spindle) and has a turquoise whorl:

spindle and fibre


I’m still getting the hang of using the spindle.  Initially I found that it wobbled a bit – but that may just be user error because when I get it spinning properly it keeps going smoothly for a long time.  However, I may just have to buy another spindle from one of the recommended uk makers to compare.

Spindles and Food Colour

I keep finding myself standing around and wanting something for my hands to do.  I think that the solution to this may be to have another go at spindle spinning – so I’ve treated myself to a couple of fairly lightweight spindles.

Now I’m waiting for the spindles to arrive and wondering what I’m going to spin on them.  So, last night I dyed up some Shetland tops using Sugarflair paste colours.  These behave just like acid dyes on wool, but are safe for me to use in the kitchen with the cooking equipment (in our new house I don’t have room for my saucepans, bowls, jars and other utensils I usually use for dyeing).  There are some lovely colours.  I experimented last night with Dusty Pink, Claret and Grape Violet (the dusty pink and grape violet both split slightly – but that just adds some interesting variation to the colours).

I’m finding dyeing with the food colours much more fun than dyeing with proper acid dyes.  I don’t need to take so many precautions about breathing in dust or making sure any spilt powder is thoroughly cleaned up before the children find it.  The colours are in a gel form in the jar (so not so easy to spill) and can be removed with a cocktail stick. In fact – I got so stuck in last night that I forgot to take the precaution of wearing plastic gloves – and dyed my fingers a bright red (fortunately that’s mostly washed off now).

My braids of top cooled overnight and were rinsed this morning and are now drying over the bath:



Well, the rest of the school summer holidays have gone past in a blur of packing and moving.  The move is the result of a job change for my other half.  Some of our belongings have gone into storage (including 2 of my wheels and the four shaft loom!) but most have made it to our new temporary home (including all of my wool stash – except raw fleece).

Once we were mostly settled (there are still boxes – but nothing urgent) I managed to try blending some different fibres on the drum carder.

I’ve not tried spinning anything other than wool – so this was a fun experiment.  I had some soybean fibre to try – but it’s very fine and slippery – so I’ve blended it with moorit and black Shetland tops and a little bit of sparkle for good measure.

I found the soybean fibres very hard to control – they liked bunching up on the drum carder.  However, repeatedly passing the batts through the carder helped to break up the clumps of fibre and the resulting batts look lovely (for some reason they remind me of frothy coffee!).   I’ve been spinning these longdraw on my Dryad wheel.  So far I have two bobbins of singles spun – which I plan to make into a 2-ply yarn.  As yet I don’t have a plan for this yarn (perhaps a Mobius shawl?).

If it’s a nice day tomorrow I’ll take some pictures and publish them here.