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Saturday, June 5, 2010

Dye, Fiber and Fun

I'm ever so excited about my parents' impending visit - they arrive on Tuesday.  It will be such a delight to have them here and just to spend time with them.  Their visit this year is a little later than in previous years, which means it will be rather warmer than usual for them.  Fortunately the house has good air conditioning, so at least it will be comfortable indoors even when it's muggy and thick outdoors.

One of the activities I'd like to do with my mother is to play with dyeing some yarn and fiber.  In preparation for that little artistic endeavour, I made 1% dye stocks today in 14 different colours.
Making the dye stock solutions means that we can either use them full strength or dilute them a little for different shades of the colour.  I learned how to make the dye stock solutions at the Harveyville Yarn School event last fall, and I learned that they will store almost indefinitely that way.  I recycled Gatorade bottles by washing them out and keeping the lids.  They make a nice size for the stock solutions and if one were to fall off a shelf, it's less likely to be as much of a disaster as, say, using a glass bottle!

The Iowa Sheep and Wool Festival is also happening during the visit, so we will see if there are any other colours we just can't live without, and perhaps make a few more stock solutions.  Then, we'll get down to business with some of the wonderful yarn that my processor, High Prairie Fibers, spun up for me.  This yarn is from an East Friesian-Polypay cross fleece that I purchased at the Wisconsin Sheep Festival last year.
This yarn, which begs to be overdyed for a lovely heathered look, is spun from a Cotswold-Corriedale cross fleece that I also purchased at the Wisconsin show.
Of course, if we run out of yarn to dye, there's always a little bit of fiber around...
...and about....

Now that school is finished for a little while, I've been doing a bit of spinning.  I spun up a 50% bamboo, 50% superwash merino yarn, 2 ply, using some roving from Fiber Optic Yarns on Etsy.  I wound it onto one of the most beautiful niddy noddies you have ever seen!   Isn't she lovely?!
My father made her for me from mahogany wood.  I just love the way it handles the yarn - the finish is soooo smooth!  It feels special to be able to use a tool in my hobby that came from my Dad's hands, even though they live so far away.
Unfortunately for all my spinning friends, I don't think he's going to go into full time production of these!

11 comments:

Louise said...

It sure looks like you won't run out of things to do. Lucky you, that your parents are coming. I hope that you enjoy every single minute.

IsobelleGoLightly said...

What fun! I'd like to come over and you could dye me in a nice heathery tone...hee hee. I love your niddy noddy! Beautiful workmanship!

Texan said...

How fun it must be to work with all that fiber!!!!

Nancy K. said...

OOOOOOOOOOOH! Couldn't he make just ONE more? ;-)

The yarn that you spun is gorgeous and I can't wait to see the results of your dying day with your Mom.

I lost my Mom 20 years ago and my Dad, 10 years ago. Treasure every moment you can with your parents. It sounds like you really do.

Millie said...

How exciting to your family coming to visit. I love having my mother close to help me around the farm. It looks like you could spend the whole time dying with all that yarn you have.

Mom L said...

You're going to have a wonderful visit, Claire! Apparently you get your creative talent from your folks...

Nancy

roundaboutacres said...

Hi Claire! You have a lovely blog. I found you through Gail Von B's blog. Have fun with your dyeing day.

polly's path said...

so excited for you! Enjoy your folks. It sounds like you have a lot planned.

girlwithasword said...

Whoo! you are keeping Abi busy! :) I hope you and your parents have loads of fun, and the weather cooperates! Bring them out to Sample Sunday for some farm-y fun - I'd love to meet them!! :)

Animals with Opinions said...

the human says she wants to come there and play too. looks like alot of work to me.

gerald the lazy goat

Karen said...

Clayre,
I haven't gotten back to you about the spinning lessons - so sorry!
We're doing some beginner lessons on Saturdays, but I hope I can call on your expertise this fall if my daughter really likes it.
Thank you so much for your offer... and I'm jealous of all your wool!