Jobo Designs

Letting the crafty creative juices flow. Knitting, spinning, crafting, dyeing, rabbits, sheep and more!

15. December 2009 14:39
by Jobo

Squish This!

15. December 2009 14:39 by Jobo | 3 Comments

After spending much time trying to hone my spinning skills to be able to spin thinner and thinner singles… I thought I should shake things up and see if I could spin some chunky yarns too!  It has been said that after one has learner to spin fine that thick can be challenging, so I was expecting this to be an interesting spin, and likely a fast one – since fatter singles would use up a braid of roving much faster than drawing it out into an infinitely tiny thread!

poof braid

I decided to make a mostly white braid, using a technique from the “Twisted Sisters Sock Workbook” where you apply drips and splotches of dye onto pre-soaked roving in a cold pour method.  I literally soaked my Merino Top until it was thoroughly wet (2 hours or so) and then spread it out on plastic wrap and then used a syringe to apply little droplets of purple and teal green over the wool and then steamed in the wrap in the microwave for a bit.  The result was a blend of purpley / bluey dotted roving, which as suspected yielded a pastel blend yarn.


Don’t you wish this was Scratch-N-SQUISH!!?

I tried to spin a consistant, fatter than usual, low twist single.  I used the attachments for my wheel that would give the lightest possible amount of twist, and specifically watched my technique to make sure I was not holding on too long to the forming yarn and making the twist too tight.  (for you spinners-in-waiting aka the not-yet-addicted remember that fat singles don’t need as much twist to hold themselves together as thin tiny ones)  The result is a very soft, very large and poofy skein of yarn that looks like it would be really heavy, but is actually a lot lighter than it looks.

poof closeup

You can tell in the close up, my spinning is a little bit uneven, but you can see the airyness and lightness of the finished yarn.  The blues and purples blend together and mix with the often whitish single and make a watercolor-style blend.  I spun the sections of color randomly, so the colors come and go at will.  The finished 2 ply yarn averages out at approximately 7-8 WPI (so fairly chunky) and from the 5 ounces I dyed, I yielded almost 300 yards!  So that’s actually enough yarn to make an actual project… hmmmm what to make.

Any ideas anyone? 

2. March 2009 14:30
by Jobo

Natural Dyeing Series... Onion Skins - Part 2

2. March 2009 14:30 by Jobo | 2 Comments

After waiting days (yes seriously, it takes wool that long to dry out!) I finally got to play with the rest of my experimental onion wool. 

I found when I was rinsing the wool, I found that quite a bit of my colouring had come out... I don't think I had heated the dye bath enough for all of the dye to become adhered and colourfast.  Next time I will spend more time making sure things have been heated thoroughly.  This time I was worried about felting the wool, but next time I won't be so fussy.

Here is the resulting braid... the colour is a peachy gold colour.  Think the colour of hardwood floor... aka it matches mine perfecrtly!  the same light golds, and darker golds of wood grain.

During the dying process I had tried to leave some areas light and make some darker, just so the finished yarn would have some more variation and depth.  Here are some more gratuitous drafted top pictures.


And then... the fun part - the Spinning.  I started out wanting to make something sock weight, or fingering weight, but realized that I didn't really have enough top prepared to make anything substantial.  So I decided to make a basic two ply, which ended up at around light fingering to fingering weight.  Maybe I'll knit a scarf or something out of it.  This is the nicest merino top I have come across, so it is a real dream to spin... good thing I have about 10 lbs of it left upstairs in my studio... lol

It was fun to see the varied shades of peach and gold fly by in long stretches

I wound the singles into a centre pull ball and left them to sit for a few hours, to let the twist mellow out of course.

Then plied from the inside and outside of the ball to get a thin 2-ply... here it is on the niddy noddy

and finally... finished skein!  ta-daa!


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