Sunday, 26 April 2015
To start dye the two base colors, enough of make all the yarn that you want in the finished item. I then blended them in different proportions on my drum carder. Each batt will need to go through at least 4 times Starting with the middle color which was 50/50 violet and red. I made 60 gram batts, so for this there was 30 grams of each color, then I made 40 grams red and 20 grams violet, 40 grams violet and 20 grams red, 50 grams and 10 grams for the next. The last one is totally red or violet.
Spinning, I spun a single gradually working from the violet to the red and back again. At this stage you need to be thinking what you are expecting to make out of the yarn as the smaller the garment the less of each color you need in each block. I did this with an adult sweater in mind.
Plying needs to Navajo, this is 3 ply but it means that the colors stay in blocks rather than getting mixed as they would with normal 2 ply
Thursday, 23 April 2015
Busy, busy the last few days getting as much washed and dyed as I could. Yesterday afternoon very busy as the weather is to break tomorrow so both my saucepans were on the go and my sink filled with wool for washing. Out on my drying table this morning, I have washed fleece from Zwantble sheep. This is a really good quality fleece but sadly it has got badly mixed up in hay and straw so I have to comb it to get rid of as much veggie matter as possible. Look what a wonderful colour it is, as black as any fleece could be with just the very tips sun bleached. The combing works but it is slow and wasteful if this fleece was clean there would be next to no waste.
The green is pure Wensleydale, always the slowest to dry.
The pale purple Wensleydale cross, really long staple which I will use for felting although it is so soft it could be used for spinning. I will comb this and sell the combed tops as felting wool and in my felting kits. the left over bits I will put through the drum carder and use myself for felting
Tuesday, 7 April 2015
Sunday, 5 April 2015
The pedigree sheep have to be carefully tagged and recorded so that we can tell later in the summer exactly which lamb belongs to which ewe to register them. So the lambs get a numbered tag in their ear at about 1 day old and this number is recorded and the ewe's number as well. Towards the end of the summer their details are then sent to the Wensleydale Association and a pedigree tag is issued for each lamb with its individual number, my flock number and the year it was born and this is put into the lamb's ear.
Most of the lambs are not pedigree as I only need a few for replacement each year
Thursday, 2 April 2015
Dying with lichen is lovely as the wool needs no mordant which can do damage to the fibers, making them soft, sticky or brittle depending on what is used.
This lichen is plentiful here at Markree enjoying the Temperate Rain Forest climate and clean atmosphere. It grows on trees enjoying a fair amount of natural light and so is found on the top of the trees. I gather it off the ground after storms, which we have had plenty of this winter