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Thursday, 12 April 2007

The next best thing



What does a knitter do when she's not supposed to do any knitting? of course, she spins (i.e. if she knows how to!). so for the last knit-free days I did just that, some ramie (still a lot of the top in the bag...), the mohair, dyed with ripe rhamnus berries last autumn, some teeswater top dyed with gaywools.... so far spinning doesn't seem to do as much damage as knitting to my elbow, that's good news. the downside: ramie works well, but the fibres cling to everything (which means I have to hide under a silk shawl when spinning); when spinning the mohair, the top dyes my fingers dark purple - unusual maybe, as the fibres are a greyish-green! in the wash after spinning loads of dark grey-purple muck in the water - but the fibre's colour has hardly changed at all! one of the miracles of natural dyeing, I suppose. I used up a small amount of purplish mohair in it too, dyed with blackberries, not very eye-catching, but I am not entirely sure that the purple won't change to grey in time, after I've worked the yarn into socks!
the gaywools don't like me or so it seems. I still didn't manage to get a multicolour yarn out of it. this time I dyed longer stretches of the top in 3 colours each, yellow-orange-red and blue-green-purple. the first one changes into quite a blazing orange with only very little yellow and red visible - even as a singles it's too mingled, as a two-ply it's a lively orange, nothing else. the other one is even worse, the blue and green has mostly vanished after steaming - it's nearly all purple, with tiny flecks of blueish in between... not visible anymore after spinning. I saw that immediately and dyed some more top, just blue and green this time - and what the heck - still hardly any blue visible, the duck green swallowed it up. after spinning both together in alternating blocks it makes a nice barber pole stripe in a two-ply - but doesn't go at all with the orange anymore:( what's a girl to do? I reckon my best bet would be either very wide stripes of pure colours, so that when spinning a good portion stays more or less in a pure colour - or just dye singles colours and use them at random when spinning? definitely navajo-plying is called for, or I'll never get the yarn done for the Wollmeise "dreadlock" sock pattern I wanted to do for ages....

and of course, being an addict, I just had to do a little bit of knitting yesterday - and yep, I can feel it now!:( or was it winding the 4 hanks into balls yesterday? conclusion - no more addiction relief for a few more days - instead I'll do some dyeing. the yellow gorse flowers are simmering away - some more lemon yellow for spinning into messed up oranges maybe?

and if all else fails - I could also do more damage to my arm when gardening. the weeds are sprouting as if there'll be no tomorrow for them. if only the polygonum tinctorium seeds would behave like that:( but no, despite being pampered little things inside in their own little greenhouse - they refuse to do anything. my own harvest from last autumn - doesn't seem to be very fertile.... if nothing happens with them this week - it'll be off to germany for a mail order! (maybe that threat causes them to rethink - and makes them start growing?)

1 comment:

a simple yarn said...

Hi Bettina! Lovely posting and I didn't know you had a blog until I saw the link with your comments. Many congratulations to you! And it looks great, too.

But so sorry to hear about your arm pain. Argh. Take care of it though....