Saturday, 29 May 2010

four seasons

today it's raining - finally, after quite a long dry spell, so I can catch up on a few "inside" jobs... first of all I have to show my 4 seasons though. I did show two handspun yarns a while back, winter and spring. I had the fibres all out for some time, but didn't manage to do the actual carding for summer and autumn before last week (excuses, excuses:)). but now they're finished, all four of them - plus one smaller skein, where I spun up all the leftovers from the carder....

spring (upper right) is made from naturally dyed NZ lambswool tops, dyed with gorse, gorse plus iron and a bit of light salmon, dyed with madder leftovers. I also added some yellow and green mulberry silk. the yarn is spun slightly slubby and plied with itself.
summer is the lambswool top, dyed with acid dyes this time. I used two tones of blue, and added some angelina in a blend of colours. the first batch was plied with a fine handspun viscose yarn (dyed with acid colours, too), onto which I threaded some mixed seed beads. when I ran out of seed beads, I just used a lighter viscose thread for plying the rest. the second blue batch is plied with a darker blue handspun bamboo yarn, to which I added "fluffs" of cotton top. in the first half I just put the white fibres in horizontally between the threads as tufts. in the second half I spun them in a bit more lengthwise - which fixes them more securely between the threads.
the autumn blend (middle left) is a bit like the spring one, same materials, but more silk - and some stronger madder dyes to make the tone more autumnal. the yellow here is a darker golden tone as well - if I remember correctly I used yellow cosmos flowers for dyeing here. I used a tussah silk thread (commercially spun) as core and spun a finer coil yarn - which took quite a lot of time to do, compared to the other three yarns.
winter is a blend of the same NZ lambswool top plus some baby alpaca in white. I added some white angelina and some trilobal nylon for winter sparkle. the yarn is a two-ply as well, the second yarn is a fine handspun viscose thread.
in the bottom right corner is the "leftover" skein. I plucked out the leftover fibres between the carder teeth and blended it all together. it's tweedy, but soft - and I really like it! maybe I should just take out more of the base colours for the 4 main yarns - and make a larger batch of the fifth? it would be nice for knitting - whereas I have no idea what to do now with the 4 different "main" yarns. I don't think using them together would look great - maybe I should keep them as demonstration skeins - to show people what happens, when you spin up your ideas without considering practicalities for later use:))
and what to spin now? I am nearly done with a small sample, for which I blended baby alpaca with silver fox - but I don't really like it. first of all the fox hair is extremely short, didn't blend all that well with the much longer alpaca. and also the silver grey fibres really only make the white alpaca look dirty:(( I have to try something else with the fox hair! I don't want to mess up more of the lovely and soft baby alpaca. I think I might spin some of this into a fine singles to be plied with a fine silk maybe? sounds good for a lace yarn, even though it won't be the most elastic yarn to knit with.
after finishing this sample I am torn between using the 300 g of honey mohair? or should I start with the black/white jacobs humbug top? choices, choices..... maybe I have some good ideas - after finishing a batch of blueberry muffins with "streusel" topping?:))


Prem said...

Knitting is a really good task but cannot be accomplished without good wool. A good wool makes the cloth feel soft as cotton and make you warm also.

Delighted Hands said...

You have some excellent results of spinning/dyeing...my fav is the autumn one!