Saturday, 20 September 2008

Updating the Blues

The final vat of Dyer's Knotweed is finished. What fun that was and talk about a learning experience. Did you know you can leave the vat overnight and reactivate it in the morning? I figured that one out on the 2nd vat this past week. If I'd tried that for the first vat, I'd have had much more fibre dyed. As it was, I was hunting down all sorts of end bits of fibre to dye blue as all my fibre is packed away. So the total dyed with my 12 surviving Dyer's Knotweed plants - including one vat which definately didn't work was over 1130 grams - over a kilo of wool dyed. The breakdown was 762 grams of merino roving - then I ran out and had to change to yarn. The yarn was 310 grams of wool skeins from various breeds, mainly shetland -white and fawn with some Finnsheep and Bluefaced Leicester, plus another 60 grams of alpaca. You can see on the pictures of the skeins that the alpaca and the one on the right are from the final dye bath, which was definatley exhausting at that time. I tried and tried but couldn't get them any darker.

In between all this I was packing up the clutter in the house because hubby has been offered a job with a contractual requirement to move closer, quickly. This means our house will soon be up for sale.

Since my next two projects on the loom have to wait until I get the loom moved upstairs to my studio - apparently buyer's can't understand a loom being in the diningroom, I've been spinning. I was trying to finish off spinning the urine vat samples, when a couple of small ziplocks of flax fibres dropped into my lap. I realized that one of the next guild meetings was to discuss samples we'd spun from last year's meeting topics. Well, the artifical and new fibres I hated - and hid so I'd never have to look at them. The lace spinning was awesome and I had samples spun within a week of the meeting. The flax meeting I'd missed due to illness and was handed the samples at a later date. I didn't do what they wanted! I looked at my little ziplock bags which were obviously fibres to be blended - flax/soy - flax and something else. I dumped the blends - not for me at this time and just spun the flax straight. After I did the flax tow, I did the strick or line flax. Then I dug through and found some more line flax. Then I realized that I had another packet of line flax I'd set aside during packing and that hubby had packed my really nice, high quality pale flax and my distaff! So I'm using the towel technique, which works amazingly well and I've half a bobbin of linen singles spun. It's callous forming and I know I should stop and get my blue samples finished but I'll blame it on the cat. He only drinks out of the dripping tap and I've found out that he will also drink out of the fingerbowl I'm using to dampen the spun flax before I wind it on. I can't have a thirsty kitty now, can I?


Laurie Ann said...

I love the muted colors Nina.

Nina said...

Thanks! I'm pretty happy with the colours myself.