Sunday, April 3, 2011

Interesting looking woolly things...

How nice to be back after our laptop power cord suddenly decided to pack it in! I have to say, our old battered tool for all things internetty certainly does get a heavy work-out. The girls are on it nearly every day for homework, and then sometimes for play, it checks emails and I update my blog from it. It gets shoved from one end of the lounge room to the other, so it's not really surprising that the poor overused, overbent cord said "That's it, I've had enough"!

It's really kind of nice to be away from the computer for a while, it reminded me how things were like before we were so reliant on the internet.  The days slowed down again and I was more relaxed. A good break!

I have to share my latest pictures with you though. Back to woolly items again, this is what came home with me from last weeks spinning group:

 Is this a 'pink batt'?
It is a batt! A very pink batt by the looks of it here, but not so much in real life. There was a table set up with drum carders and another table full of fleecy goodness for those who were willing to play.
I was willing to play. I'm excited and keep putting off spinning it because I like to keep looking at it the way it is now.

I did not know that food dye and vinegar could be used to dye wool until I heard someone mention it recently. There are loads of great sites online that will show you how it's done, and to be honest, once you have the basic method down, there doesn't seem to be much more to it (at least I hope not!). Some people even use their microwaves!

The pictured fleeces were soaked in a weak vinegar/water solution overnight and then squeezed out, added to a pot of water with food dye and a splash of vinegar, then brought to a high heat and held until the dye had soaked up into the wool (about 45 mins).

Food dye, vinegar and water - 3 ingredients to dye wool easily at home
It was then left to cool down in the pot, rinsed in lukewarm water and spun dry in the salad spinner! Of all things! But hey, I'm not complaining - it worked!! I don't really have any plans for this pile of fluff, I was more out to play and learn, and seeing how I had a plentiful supply of unwanted carpet quality wool from my friend's garage, I thought "why not". Why not, indeed.

In the end, I finished spinning up that gifted supply of merino.  It is actually more purple than what is coming through in the pictures. I know it looks lumpy, but would you believe me if I told you that is what I was aiming for?

Nope, I didn't think so! Honest, I really was trying for a, ahh, 'textured' yarn.

Beginner merino skein, 140g, approx
I was pretty happy with it, although am still getting the hang of the wheel and how fast it draws in and how much wool to pull out. Some bits are, shall we say, particularly lumpy.

I decided to crochet it into a warm hat for the 11yo, who was due to go on school camp the following week.

Hop Hat?
Camp was cancelled due to an unexpected turn of events with the weather which resulted in landslides, flooding and road closures! (Even the airlifting of present campers out!)

Or Hip?
The 11yo was devastated, although the hat did help a little. Note: A Little.

A long and thoughtful rummage through the button tin found her selected button of choice for the 'holey' bit. The pattern (called 'Hip Hop Hat'), was originally for a cap style hat with a brim, although seeing as how she opted to omit the brim, I have been pondering over what to call it.

Is it lacking the 'hip' now? Hop Hat. Maybe it could still be a Hip Hat?

Either way, the pattern was in Lincraft's crochet book and had to be drastically downsized to fit her tween sized noggin.

12 comments:

  1. The post and the photos were worth waiting for. Lovely! The camp was at Wilson's Prom eh?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Ahh Gorgeous yarn Christine! The hat is lovely and you seem to have had fun 'playing' with the dying technique.

    ReplyDelete
  3. What beautiful yarns!! I love the lumpy purple, Chris, those textured yarns are very expensive to buy, and usually full of acrylic. Rare to see one so gorgeous from pure wool. Love how the hat turned out, and am thoroughly enjoying your spinning adventures, thanks for keeping us all posted! :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. That yarn is beyond gorgeous.

    ReplyDelete
  5. That looks beautiful. Made me remember my mum dying wool as a kid, which something I would have remembered otherwise.
    ...time does slow down a bit when there is no computer doesn't it.

    ReplyDelete
  6. ohh typos...tired. Would never have remembered otherwise, I meant.

    ReplyDelete
  7. oh you mamas with older kids keep my hope up. look how much you can do! my loom has been neglected since that inagaural weaving extravaganza xmas before last. someday. someday.

    ReplyDelete
  8. You are amazing! The wool, the yarn, the hat - all lovely! And I'm glad your daughter wasn't already at the campsite - whew!

    I began dyeing yarn this year, using black walnut hulls that I gathered the year before. So exciting! I've just begun a pair of socks using one of my first dye experiments, and it's making me so happy I'm going to post a link to my ravelry project page: http://www.ravelry.com/projects/quinn/waving-lace-socks
    (Don't even know if that works - never felt compelled to boast about my yarn in a blog comment before...hope it's not bad form!)

    ReplyDelete
  9. Stunning hat and the wool is wonderful. You can also dye wool with crepe paper - soak the crepe paper in boiling water until the colour comes out (doesn't take long) then add pinch of salt and vinegar and your wool. Doesn't take all that long and the colours are lovely. Not as strong as commercial dyes but still very useable.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Thanks, Faeryfay!

    You got it in one, Hazel ;) Absolutely devastated she was.

    The dyeing is amazing, Tammy! So much fun and so simple. I forgot to mention, I also tried a pot of coffee for some dye..it turned out a light caramel colour!

    I have seen some prices that have made me cringe, Celia..it would be wonderful to someday be able to look at a type of yarn and go home and make it! In the meantime, it's a lot of fun experimenting :)

    Why, Rose, you are too kind :)

    I got what you meant, Brydie. How fantastic that you have that memory and only just recalled it!Time sans computer is very pleasant indeed.

    It's out there, you know CJ, that 'someday'. It WILL come :)

    I know quinn, I’m so glad she wasn’t there too. Not bad form at all, it’s great when people share – I will be checking out your socks (dyed with walnut husks?! Amazing!), thanks for the link. :)

    That's amazing, Calidore - who would've thought? I'll definitely keep the crepe paper in mind for future experiments ;) Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Oh, I love that skein and then the hat, so clever!

    ReplyDelete

Hi there, so nice of you to stop by! Thanks for sharing your thoughts, I love hearing what you are up to. Christine x

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...