Thursday, 12 June 2008

Persian lamb

I started another bobbin of core wrap yarn at the last meeting of the Connaught spinners and weavers - even though I didn't get very far on the day. I used the same tussah silk (commercial yarn) as before for the core and wrapped with another pre-drafted yarn from Wollpoldi, a grey one this time, 70% superwash wool, 30 % silk. it's nice and soft and wraps easily. when I finished the core yarn I had wrapped on the spindle, I saw that the yarn would end up quite a bit overtwisted, so I decided to ply it with something else to take out some of the extra twist. I didn't like the brownish tussah together with the grey, but then my "scramble" box revealed another commercial yarn, a very fine mohair in a rosy tone. when I started to ply - the yarn changed - into something that looks a bit like a persian lamb coat, just in grey:)) the rosy extra yarn is barely visible at first glance, but it gives the yarn a very different texture. for some reason (I hate fur coats and wouldn't dream of ever wearing one!) a jacket came to my mind - the main body knitted in just the grey wool/silk mix, no core yarn, just a plain two-ply - but with a collar and cuffs knitted in this new yarn....

well, not all experiments were similarly successful - the seaweeds lost all their nice colours during the drying process - they are pretty much all the same beigey-blah colour, gone are the pinks and the greens. and they turned very brittle too - I am not at all sure that it will be spinable, even with a generous addition of wool fibres during carding! somehow I think I'd better stick to bog cotton and thistle fluff:) during the de-seeding of the former I noticed that the fibres have very different lengths - the ones picked in danger of falling into a bog hole (i.e. the ones grown in water or at least very damp soil) yield far longer fibres than those picked from a dry area! so if I ever wanted to seriously harvest bog cotton for spinning - I'd better invest in a pair of waders!

for now it's back to the dye pot - I have to run another test with cochenille! will the colours change to nicer purples if I leave out the tannin and just mordant with alum? and what will I do with the silk skeins I dyed to a rosewood colour (in the cochenille/iron bath). I'd have preferred the darker rosewood colour the soy (in the middle) took on, but I don't want to overdye the silk in case the colour turns yucky! but at least the finely spun silk for embroidery in rosewood will work well on the dark blue silk scarf I have in the making!


Leigh said...

I'm sorry to hear about the seaweed, but the yarn looks great!

Anonymous said...

Hallo Bettina,
Rosenholz - interessante Farben!
Dein Core-spun-Garn erinnert einem wirklich an diese Pelze ... sehr schön. Ich hab es immer noch nicht ausprobiert.
Viele Grüße Juliana

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