Dyeing some BFL locks

I am getting ready to teach a group how to make felted sheep, like these, which I used for a post, quite a while ago.

The class is this evening( Wednesday) so freshly made cute sheep will be next week. I like to use Blue Faced Leicester sheep curls for this as they are nice small curls. I had a few colours but not enough variety.

I had a couple hundred grams of the white so it was time to dye. My usual dye pot is really big. a stock pot. Much too big for this job. YOu will have to trust me on the next part as I forgot to take pictures. I was doing too many things at once. I have a nice large stew pot that isn’t too deep but I want to use it for stew again so I got a metal bowl that could be sacrificed and created a double boiler.  I placed handfuls of soaked white locks into a medium freezer bag. I made up a small amount of dye poured it on top of the locks and topped it up with water until everything was submerged. I  squeezed most of the are out and popped the bag into the water on the top of the double boiler. I did the next colour the same and popped it in as well. I could do 2 at a time.  I made up 3 more colours. the aim was to have dark purple, lilac, lime green, pink and magenta. this method was great. the top edge of the bag was above the water so I could easily pick it up to see if the water was clear. Once clear I took it out and put it aside to cool. this is also a good idea when you dye. to leave the wool in the dye bath until cool, especially if it refuses to take up all the colour. You will usually find that when cooled it often has taken up the extra dye. I have to admit I seldom do this as I need to get the next batch of wool into the dye pot, reusing the dye water. With the small bags, it was easy to put them aside to cool.

This is the result.

Now, you are probably thinking that there seems to be more than one dark purple. That is because I used way too much lilac in the lilac dye bag.  I ended up with the 2 purples in the middle. the top one in truth is quite vibrant and the bottom one more deep with a little lilac leaning wool on one edge. I had hoped it would split giving me a purple and blue mix. There is even a warning on the Dharma chart saying it can split. No such luck, isn’t that always the way?  They looked so much the same when they were wet I did another batch and although it looks kind of dark here on my screen, it is pretty much lilac. I tried to adjust the colour but then the green started to look kinda funky.

So that’s my prep for the class. This is an easy class for me because everything I need fits in one small bin.

I will show you the results next week.

A New Spindle

Both Jan and Bernadette have told you about our guild sale and exhibition. Now it’s my turn. I didn’t have my own booth this year so I got to wander around and fill in and help out wherever I was needed. It was really nice to not be assigned anywhere and just enjoy the show and chat with everyone after not seeing so many in person for a couple of years.

I am not a big spender at these things. I look for new fibres and add-ons and how people are combining things. Then I  go looking for the ingredients to make my own.

The one thing I do buy is spindles. I bought a new spindle from Judy Kavanaugh. https://www.etsy.com/ca/shop/JudyKavanagh  She makes all kinds of tools and patterns.  This one is a bedouin-style spindle.  It has 4 arms and is a top whorl spindle instead of a bottom whorl spindle I usually use.  The wood is beautiful.

 

Bedouin Spindle

People kept asking if it was a Turkish spindle but you can’t take the arms off this one and you don’t wrap your yarn around them. this is the other way up so you can see the wool cob on it. The angle makes it look small.

close up of the wool yarn on spindle

I am enjoying spinning on it. and that brings up to the other things I bought. I bought 2 batts from Bernadette. I like to buy them from Bernadette because she isn’t recarding wool tops. She is using wool she processed herself and it is really nice to spin.

blue wool batts for spinning. a bedouin spindle

The Darker blue is what I am spinning on my new spindle and it’s marked as mixed fibre. It’s soft and a little shiny.

The brighter blue I am spinning on another spindle.

bright blue wool batt and drop spindle close up of yarn of a drop spindle

The wool is much spongier and I have lost the label but I am betting it’s Coopworth. It’s very nice to spin too.

This post is a bit backward because I bought the wool first and the spindle second. The new spindle is more exciting to chat about so it got top billing. It really went like this. I started to spin the bright blue batt first. Then I decided that a blue spindle that Judy had for sale really was calling my name. When I went to get it, someone had already bought it. You snooze you lose. then standing there chatting with Judy I saw her spinning on a Bedouin spindle and gave it a try and decided it was just as well the other one was sold. I picked out the lovely one at the top. So then I abandoned this lovely fibre and started spinning on my new spindle with the other batt.

All in all, I think I was very restrained in my buying. There were so many pretty things I could have bought.

Here is a picture of me spinning at the show. And yes I really did chop my hair off. It was time for a change and it will grow again.

28 Ann took her new spindle for a spin!

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