even though I am rather busy at the moment (visitors coming in less than 2 weeks - countdown is running....) - I just couldn't resist spinning something entirely different - and not at all artificial! a few days ago I stumbled across a small bag of thistle down, which I collected last year - but didn't manage to use yet. so I decided to make up my own blend - the first one is a mixture of black welsh mountain - with some dandelion fluff! roughly handcarded, just for a test.... the carding was easy enough - though I ended up with quite a few loose seeds on the patio - which I cleaned off as we already have enough weeds sprouting in between the slabs! then I spun the yarn today in a long draw, which worked quite well. the black welsh isn't very soft, but suitable for sweaters and other outer wear, I think. and the colour is pretty special too, the darkest of the natural browns I've had so far! medium length, so good to card into rolags too. the only problem I had was that most of the seeds dropped out during spinning - more cleaning of the floor - not a good thing when spinning inside, on a carpet maybe! but the fluff stayed mostly in the mix and this is the result of my test:
it looks a bit like small bits of feathers - and that's where my new idea came from! wondering what to do with a yarn that's probably not suitable for washing (otherwise it might start sprouting dandelions!) I decided to do some other mixes; first of all the thistle down, then some feathers I collected over time - and if I can get hold of some, maybe a bit of cotton grass fluff too. I would still like to complete my squares for an "irish" wallhanging (two of the squares are done. we got them back after the hanging from the k&s show - done by the connaught group - was taken apart) - and what better material to use than wool from irish sheep (I received two fleeces of black welsh from another member of the group) with materials mixed in that grew around the area? I like the idea and I think I might just do a small square in tapestry weaving .
I hope I'll find the time to do some more in the next few days - but we started to do mixes with the "normal whackies" in the workshop as well - and I didn't even try out all the tops I have here....pity that I don't have a tumble dryer - maybe one could mix the fluff out of that with some fibre and spin it?