I’ve been spinning and dying fiber this tour! I’ve been updating my facebook, twitter on rav, so now it’s also time to update the blog!
I really like this picture! It’s an ensemble of the past three years of the tour. Unfortunately it’s still not finished yet, but I know I’ll be able to wear it this winter (that’s a great comfort haha!). As you may remember I bought 500 grams of Manx Loaghtan and 500 grams of Corriedale to spin during the tour. I’ve already spun 100 grams and I’m working on the second bag of 100 grams of Manx Loaghtan on my Golding.
I wasn’t sure if I could manage to fit a whole bag of 100 grams on the spindle, but I could’ve managed much more if it wasn’t for my hurting fingers. The spindle itself weighs 1.9 oz. (52 grams), so it was getting a bit heavy on the fingers and wrist (my left). I decided to take it off the spindle and start fresh.
I spent a very long time wrapping the yarn around my lower leg (which functions as a niddy noddy and creates a circumference of approximately 1.50m) and ended up with a grand total of 891m of singles. At the moment I’m thinking of knitting/ designing a nice pair of legwarmers for the winter, so a 5-ply yarn wouldn’t be a very bad thing and 890m would make for some nice legwarmers.
I decided to put off the plying until I’ve spun all the bags and know how many meters of singles I have in total. If I manage between 800 and 900 meters per 100 grams I may decide to do a 5-ply. Otherwise it will probably become a 4-ply.
I normally spin from the fold or from rolags when I’m not using commercial top. Halfway through the second bag I realized it’d be much faster to make faux lags before spinning. The manx loaghtan is not slippery at all and tends to stick/ grip very easily, so it’s much easier to spin from the fold/ faux lags.
To me, the tour the fleece is a time of experimentation. So here’s a picture of my firts dyebath 🙂 I decided to use walnuts, but I didn’t have enough (it may have been enough for 100-200 grams, but not for 500..). I ended up with a light khaki color, so I’m really not disappointed at al.
I didn’t feel like the khaki and white was a very nice combination, so I decided to dye the other half with more daring colors. I used brown and black food dyes and put it in the microwave for 10 minutes.
Though I’d like to try it out some more, I noticed I’m a very big fan of using food coloring for dyes. I don’t have a very big kitchen and the idea of using potentially poisonous chemicals puts me off. Nowadays, food coloring comes in many different colors (thanks to the popularity of cakes and other delicious edibles), so there’s no real problem with finding the right color.
What I also really like is the unexpected colors you can get with dyes (though that’s not limited to food dyes I guess). It’s not really visible but there’s some green and petrol in there. It gives me a very industrial feeling and reminds me of the harbor with the rust brown and blue gray waters.