Sunday, November 7, 2010


I've been working on a spinning project over the last months.  Well, since I got my Country Craftsman.  I was reading in one of the CC groups where they made the comment that this spinning wheel loves to spin lace weight.  Lace weight?  I LOVE lace weight.  I had some gray Corriedale fiber I'd bought at Yarn Barn on one of my trips to my Mom's.  I had gotten it for a specific purpose but the shade of gray wasn't quite right so it was waiting in the bull pen.  But I knew it would be perfect for a lace experiment with my new wheel.  I've only worked on it intermittently, a strand of fiber now and again.  But I finally got it finished this weekend.  I'd thought the variations in color would be interesting but once I got it spun up I discovered, not so much.  I also had a skein of Clun Forest hanging around that I'd sort of thought of dying up so now I had 2 skeins.

A word about the Corriedale.  Both the yarn and the wheel proved to be overachievers and I was very happy about the final product.  I'd spun it with a z twist for the singles and then plied it, of course, s twist.  But I did the plying on my Fricke wheel because the bobbins are much larger than the CC.  The CC bobbins only hold about 2 ounces.  Even so, I barely got everything plied to fit my Fricke bobbin.  But with my Fricke I knew, not only that the bobbin would be big enough, but that I could get a sufficiently high ratio to do the plying.  I'm a notorious under-plyer.  Really.  If there were a rogue's gallery at the post office for under-pliers, my photo would be there.  But the higher ratio of the Fricke (I used the highest ratio on the wheel) did the trick. I ended up with just under 4 ounces and about 630 yards.  I think I figured that it works up at about 2,000 yards to the pound.

Back to the dying.  I pulled out my dye pot this morning, chose emerald green and saphire blue Jacquard dyes, got my water cooking and my dyes mixed.  I was going for a ocean-y blue green.  What I got was, I think, the results of my not getting the dyes mixed well enough in the pot.

First batch:
It's a much darker green (a green that I'm so in love with) than just the emerald green dye so it picked up a little of the blue.  The Corriedale is on the left and the Clun Forest on the right.  The Corriedale is just a little bit deeper, just because the yarn I started out with was a light gray.  The CF was a natural cream color.

But my dye had not even begun to be exhausted.  So I had some generic white wool roving.  In it went.

Second batch:

The roving picked up the rest of the green in the pot and turned into a nice pale green.  I was very happy to find that the roving didn't felt at all so this should be fun to spin.

But the dye pot still wasn't exhausted.  So I got 3 skeins of KnitPicks superwash fingering/sock weight wool and stuck them in the pot, hoping they would come out kind of an icy green color.  Ha!  Oddly, this batch turned out a completely different color:

Third batch:

Turquoise.  Pure turquoise.  Two of the skeins didn't get mixed well so they are speckled turquoise and white and the bottom skein came up with the pure color.  Hard to believe that all 3 of these shades came from the very same pot of water and dye.

Be honest, do you think I went a little overboard in the amount of dye I put in the water for my 2 little skeins...?

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