Monday, April 26, 2010

Dye Day 5.0

We had two days of dyeing at Sue's house this weekend. Lindsey came prepared with a photo for color inspiration:

snail yarn

After the fiber was dyed, steamed, rinsed and dried (thank you sunny warm day!), Lindsey spun up some samples. On the bobbin is the singles, at right is a three-ply, and below the snails is a two-ply. The fiber she used to spin this first batch is on the left, and at the top of the photo is fiber she then over-dyed with a bit more brown, to more closely represent the colors she wanted.

We had 16 people over two days, and we dyed many pounds of wool, silk, cotton and linen. We had the usual legendary potluck lunch each day, and spun in the afternoon as the pots were steaming away. Perfect weather, fun, friends, dyeing, all in a perfect place. We are so lucky!

lindsey's yarn

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Go Back, Go Back!

This is no more:
slant knitting2

The silk was spun on spindles. It, the spindles and more silk were to be my carry-along project for the summer. But alas, too much twist. You can see the slanted stitches in the plain knit part. I caught the problem when I made a mistake, and had to press and rip the scarf.

Let me back up: I made a mistake while knitting fine slippery silk yarn on size 00 needles. I had no lifeline, so I ironed the scarf, pulled back to the error, and picked up the stitches to continue. I iron the silk because then all the little stitches will stand up tall, happy to be picked back up.

But then? I noticed the slant. The fresh knit stitches did not slant, it's the after-blocking stitches that slanted.

I knit several rows more (airplanes, must do something) and when I got home I dunked the whole thing into a bucket of water, hung it to dry and waited.


I put too much twist in the yarn. Now, I'm new to the whole spindle thing, and I was told rim-weighted spindles did not spin as fast as center-weighted (longer, but not fast), so I always allowed extra twist before I wound on, spinning and plying. Plying especially: I just held on, while the spindle turned, after every length. I also thigh roll rather than twiddle (!), which I think sets the spindle going faster.

I think the majority of extra twist is in the plying direction, because of the direction of the slant:

plying spindle2

This is my new moon-and-stars Golding plying spindle, a gift from a friend. I love it, and it's speedy.

All is not lost, though, the yarns will be fine in weaving. In fact, they are already run into a warp:
warp before dyeing3

and over-dyed:
warp after dyeing

I'll add it to some other handspun silks that I have languishing:
silk warp yarns

And I have a new travel spinning and knitting project: 8 ounces of BFL/silk that I bought from Beth. It will be baby bonnets, baby booties, some sort of grandma-thing, likely a three ply. Still small enough to travel with, spindles, knitting and all. I can dye it once the knitting is done (it will be a variation of pink!) and I will endeavor to insert less twist.....