Sunday, January 11, 2009

Spinning in the Rain

This yarn started out as white wool that I spun in a fairly thin yarn. I wound it into a tight center-pull ball & then took it out to my dyeing workshop in the stable where I plopped it into a pot filled halfway with turquoise dye, shot some red dye in with a hypodermic needle & syringe, steamed for an hour, flipped the whole thing upside down, filled the pot again with lime green dye & steamed some more.

Ordinarily I would wait at least overnight so that ball could begin to dye before I pull out the spinning wheel again & twist it into a two-ply yarn but I was so curious to see what had happened deep inside the ball where not all of the dye would have penetrated & where the red was shot in that I decided to ply it wet. When spinning wet yarn, the process flings water in a steady stream to the right, left, top & bottom of the wheel (I am speaking from experience...) so I didn't think it was wise to do that in the living room. It was drizzling & chilly but I hauled my wheel, chair, yarn & towel outside where I spent half an hour plying this yarn together. And I am simply thrilled with the finished colors. The red ran through the fiber into a nice pink. Where the turquoise & lime overlapped the green is gorgeous. And there were still little streaks of white wool where the dye did not penetrate at the core of the ball. Because I plied by pulling from both ends of the yarn ball, the colors were fairly evenly distributed. And the wool is just as soft & plush as it can be!

Pig Update: The pigs have decided that they can adjust to their new home. After their initial 24 hour hunger strike (well, really just nibbling which is a hunger strike for a pig), they have decided that they like the commercial pig starter but that the leftover mashed potatoes made with real potatoes, cream, asiago cheese & garlic really hit the spot. Ordinarily I would use those great leftovers for us but I wanted to give the pigs a treat.

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