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Monday, 9 November 2015

Multi Coloured Locks

Realised how short I am of dyed locks and dyed Wensleydale batts.  The pots are busy with dye and I am slowly getting my stocks up again.  It is not that I have been neglecting the dyeing I just seem to have been busy with other wool types.
These are lovely mad colors just randomly dyed in the pot with a small amount of water

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Madder and Logwood Natural Dye

Happy days, literally as the process does take more than a day.  The logwood color is closer to the top photo,  that is the purple one.  This is Clun Forest fleece which I prepared with Alum.   I then had some powdered logwool and powdered madder.  The books say you should never use powdered madder,  well never mind I did.  I left the powders soaking over night in the saucepans and then added the fleece.  I kept the saucepan containing the madder just below boiling as it explained in my books but I had no fancy thermometer so it was just guess work.  the logwood I boiled.  Then left them over night to cool and rinsed them this morning using soapy water to start with.
So many people say that dyeing is too difficult,  all those measurements they say.  Well I am a hit and miss person and I reckon using natural dyes is an inexact science so just relax and enjoy.  The mordant needs to fairly accurate but again I was definitely light on the Alum as that was all I had.  The plant material,  this is always different as no 2 lots of plant matter are going to be the same.  Weather and time of the year being an influence on the color you will get.   So I suggest give it a try.  You will need some mordant, alum is the safest, and a few large stainless steel saucepans.  At this time of the year Ivy leaves give a good color and they are easy to get.  Make sure you use pure wool and if it is merino it is super wash otherwise it will felt. Go for it my friends 

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Felting Fiber. Clun Forest and Wensleydale Locks

Washed Clun Forest fleece  from sheep reared in Carlow.  These sheep have had no dips, vaccinations,  worm doses or anything like that so the fleece in almost Organic.  Clun Forest is sought after for spinning and felting as it is a fine soft fleece.  I have washed it using the fermentation method so it has had no detergents or hot water to ruin the fleece.

The locks are from my Wensleydale sheep and are really long and have  lovely curls.  A great color,   dyed with Landscape Ice.  I am selling the locks as they are or separated,  you can choose.  I think that they are so nice that i do not want to ruin them pulling them apart but there should be no waste either way

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Finished Items

Now that all my spinning equipment is at the Fairgreen Gallery,  Skreen  I spend my evenings knitting. The shawl or evening wrap is made from less than 200 grams of yarn.  It has a lovely drape and is knitted from Wensleydale wool with a hint of Angelina.  more of this yarn available at the  Fairgreen or my Etsy shop.

The felted bag is the largest I have made.  Now I have the extra table space at the Fairgreen  I have room to make some different items.  This is bag has a plain grey exterior with red Wensleydale locks and the interior is bright green.  The button closure is made from Irish Sea polished ceramics. The wool came from my neighbors sheep that get shorn in my farm yard.

Thursday, 10 September 2015

Felting Projects

A busy day felting at the Fairgreen Gallery.   A bag, lined with bright orange.  Rather pleased with myself as this is a first for me and it worked really well. Large front of a cushion cover and some Alpaca wrist warmers.  All hanging on my clothes line to dry in the lovely September weather we are all enjoying at the moment.   I have more ideas just need the time and energy.  Hard work this felting,  great way to keep warm.
I got some spinning done yesterday as well so a productive day

Saturday, 22 August 2015

Lock Spinning Wensleydale

Both these color ways have been spun using the same method. A slight variation on my usual method.  The main yarn is lock spun using long locks from a shearling fleece that I have fluffed up at the butt end of.  These are spun at a very slow ratio using my Spin O Lution wheel which will take any thickness of yarn.  I then plied this onto a Wensleydale cross single. As I plied I flicked out the tips of the locks making the yarn have a more tail spun effect. This makes a very stable yarn and improves the yardage to weight ratio.   I then kettle dyed the finished yarn as part of setting the spin. 

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Hackle and Combs removing Hay Seeds

A friend appeared with two huge bags of Zwartble fleece.   Very smelly and as you can see from the top photo full of hay seeds and straw.  The fleece on the left of the top photo is washed but full of seeds and it is beside the finished yarn.  I tried carding it but it made no difference and then decided  to try using the hackle and combs.  I combed it twice and that almost got all the veggie matter out as shown in the photo of the combed tops and then spun it and plied it.  Almost totally clean.  While combing it I had to stop very often to clean up the hay seeds.  This would have been a fleece that would have to gone in the bin if I had not got the hackle and comb