With the new Gaywool dyes in stock, I thought I would have a little fun. I decided to keep things simple by immersion dyeing some wool roving. First was to go through my stash and find something to dye. I found this lovely roving, described only as “organic fibre”.
Following the directions given, I soaked it for 30 minutes with a little detergent, squeezed it dry, and placed it in the pot filled with water and dye stock (I’m using Crabapple). I was dyeing approximately 100g of roving so I used a teaspoon of dye. The package says 12-26gms/or half an ounce of dye to 100g, but I don’t have scale that measures that small (note to self: get one), but in Jennifer Claydon’s book Spin * Dye * Stitch she mentions a teaspoon to 100g.
I turned on the burner. Slowly raised the heat to between 80-90 degrees celcius , and let it simmer.
The package says to heat for 30 minutes, so that’s what I did, and after 30 minutes this was what I had:
A perfectly exhausted dye bath. I left it to cool overnight, gave it a quick rinse (no dye ran out), and put it outside to dry.
The colour variations in the roving are on account that I did not stir the roving in the pot. I am always terrified of felting wool or fleece and tend not to handle it very much, I need to learn that I can (or at least, more than I do).
The finished roving, dried, braided and waiting to be spun.
Recently, after seeing this blanket, I was asked by a friend if I would weave a blanket with wool from her own Shetland sheep, which they have processed locally at Hidden Touch Yarns. I immediately said yes, and then wondered what I got myself into. My weaving to date has been for myself. No deadlines, no worries about mistakes, this would be different.
Some of the gals,
and the boys.
All of her yarn was one colour, natural. Although I could weave a blanket in just the one colour, we thought it would be nice to introduce a second colour, still using her wool. With the help of our friend Janice Lever of Windblest Farm, we set about dyeing some skeins of yarn. We ended up with 4 skeins dyed in a beautiful deep burgandy colour.
Natural and dyed yarn:
Now that I had the yarn, what exactly was I going to weave? I had an unlimited supply of the natural coloured wool, but just 800 metres of the dyed. I looked through my books and magazines, and then finally stumbled upon this:
which led me to this:
They are shepherds, perfect!
This is my interpretation of the draft.
a cozy blanket
I hope she likes it.
ETA: Want to weave your own blanket using this wool? It is available from Forest Row Farm. Message me with your contact information and I will be happy to forward it on.
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