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Monday, 21 April 2014

New Born Lamb

This is our most recent arrival immediately after being born.   A Wensleydale Cross lamb and it was far too big for an easy birth.  The yellow colouring shows that the lamb was stressed while being born.  Mind you so were we,  luckily it was in the correct position and my husband Charles is strong when it comes to pulling lambs.  All seems well now, the lamb is strong and the ewe is back on her feet but it took her a little time to recover

Saturday, 19 April 2014

Twist and Shout A new Yarn

A new type of yarn for me.  Using my Spin-O-Lution wheel.  It is so versatile I can spin this yarn without changing anything except the ratio.  A slow process.  I started with a fine yarn spun in S twist,   trying to have as little spin as possible.  I then spun the second yarn in Z twist making plenty of slubs as I was spinning.
 Last stage of spinning I core spun the slub yarn onto the fine yarn using S twist and  using different methods when I spun on  the slubs.    I ended up with a rather over spun effect.   This I then gave a sharp shock to plunging it from hot to cold water and gave it a slow spin in the washing machine.  I then weighted it to set the spin but if you want it to be really springy just dry it the way it is and it will be as if spun on elastic.   

Thursday, 17 April 2014

Dyeing with Lichen 5

This is the next stage of the lichen that I have soaked in ammonia in a jar for a few months.  It has sat in the window in the kitchen and I have given it regular stirs and left the top off the jar to let it breath.  It has now become a black slop.    It is out in the garden, weather permitting,  drying.  When it is totally dry I will then boil it with soft water and see what happens.   I really have no idea if this is the correct way to treat it  but I am following instructions from a friend but I am not sure if she had the same lichen.  Really difficult to find information on how to treat lichen for dyeing and even harder to work out which lichen that you have collected.
All adds to the fun!!

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Lambing 2014. Pure Wensleydale Lambs

One of this year's triplets.  A lovely set of pedigree Wensleydale lambs with their Mum.   Not much chance of getting any decent wool off this lady as her lambs will have ruined it!
 So far so good Mum is managing to feed them all,  she is a sensible ewe and feeds from a hand held scoop so she can get extra nuts.   Here she is waiting in the evening for the yard gate to be opened  so she can come into the safety and warmth of the yard for the night.  I only wish all the ewes were as easy as she is.
We number all the ewes the day after they lamb and for ease of identification the twins and triplets are marked red and the singles blue

Monday, 31 March 2014

Wool Fiber for Tail Spinning

I am going to have a go at tail spinning.   I have dyed about 300 grams of wool this lovely turquoise color and separated the best locks out of the fiber and now have to have a go.  Looking at various videos I think I use the fiber I rejected as not having good enough locks to make the base yarn and spin the locks in as I go.  Very difficult to know how much of each type of fiber I need but no doubt I will learn as I go.
I am trying a few new ideas and making use of my Spin-o-lution wheel.  The great thing about it is I can spin fine or really thick yarn without changing anything except the ratio 

Thursday, 6 March 2014

Dying with Lichen 4

The bucket of Lobaria pulmonaria dyed all this wool which is probably 300 grams or more and would have done more as the dye bath was still dark brown.  I decided that everyone in the house,  including me,  had had enough of the smell of stale fish boiling.  The wool smells faintly of tea now that it is rinsed and dried

Monday, 3 March 2014

Dying with Lichen Stage 3

This is the first wool I dyed with the lichen soaked in urine.  The smell did not really improve and now it is more like the smell of boiling stale fish!!  This is skein of Wensleydale yarn about 100 grams and the colour is coffee brown.  Brown is a very difficult colour to photograph and it has come out a little pale on my monitor,  maybe that is because I took the photo in bright sunshine.  I now have the third lot of wool in the pot and so I reckon that the bucket of lichen that took me about 10 minutes to collect will have dyed over 500 grams of wool.  However the lichen may be fairly rare but as I have already said not around here.   It is a very large growing species and so is quick to collect. I have only gathered it off the ground or off dead trees