Showing posts with label dye. Show all posts
Showing posts with label dye. Show all posts

Pardon the long break!

I can't believe how long it's been since my last post! It doesn't feel like months but I guess that's what happens when you immerse yourself in this wonderful world of learning opportunities.
Anyone that knows me already knows I have a yarn obsession (I say healthy interest - potAYto, potAHto). I love all the textures, the colors - I love to shop for it, knit with it and even just look at it all neatly nestled in a bowl on a table top. It's not really a problem....there is still room to move around.
But now on to my new obsession - undyed wool. Little skeins of untapped potential. I purchased undyed wool skeins and koolaid packets and then started watching every video I could find. I admit I didn't jump in right away - I was too nervous about ruining the wool. As soon as I convinced myself that it was okay to make a mistake I began dipping the first skein into its color-filled hot bath and a deeper appreciation for the wool-y arts has begun.
I may have to open my own shop soon, the yarn stash is beginning to reach private collection status and I'm okay with that!
Happy Crafting!

Wool...the Winter Blues Cure!

I'll admit it...I am not a fan of winter and the recent polar vortex did not improve my view of the season. Luckily, I am a yarn enthusiast (or addict - you say pool, I say pond - either would be nice). I like to focus on something colorful, soft and warm instead of the white, cold, frozen water piling up outside.

The nasty weather does have one upside - it gives me the opportunity to work on some wool spinning technique and what better way to learn than to sit right down, pull up some YouTube and get to work.

I found the Namaste Farms YouTube channel and within minutes of watching "Preparing your yarn after spinning" I discovered what I had been doing wrong. You can read it in a book but there's nothing like watching the process. I quickly watched a few more of the videos and discovered not only where my technique needed work but WHY my yarn didn't look as nice as I wanted it to.

Handspun wool © 2014 E. Stilson-Ouderkirk
The photo above shows my spinning progression from left to right. The first two are excellent examples of over-spinning, gripping the wool too tight at times, pushing the wool at the wheel, not finishing the wool properly and not keeping a nice and steady rhythm. The greenish one (2nd in from the right) my technique was a little better - however, the wool was very difficult to work with. I purchased the wool at a bargain price and at the time of my purchase I thought I had gotten the 'best deal ever'. What I got was wool that was partially felted and fibers in every direction possible. Still, it was a lesson on what to look for when buying wool, keeping the hands in proper position and finishing technique. The far right skein is my first alpaca spin and my first dye project. You can see that the technique has improved - the strand is more uniform throughout. I dyed the finished skein using turmeric and used alum as the mordant. I found some of the information on the HGTV Gardens site.

Winter blah's - I don't think so. I have an app for's called wool, wheel and YouTube. Happy spinning!

© 2014 E. Stilson-Ouderkirk