Friday Fibery Update

Here’s what I’ve been working on.

First, a photo of the silk scarf I did for my mother as a Christmas gift, now known as Mum’s Orchid Silk Scarf:

I had third of it done for Christmas day; I wrapped it anyway, needles and all, so Mum could at least open it. It was three-quarters finished by the time we left (so much easier to knit something when you can do it openly), and then I ran into a big old wall about sitting down to knit the last bit. (Having to frog the last five inches not once but twice contributed to that.) The silk is lovely, but the lack of stretch means it’s a bit unforgiving to work with. Anyway, I finished it last weekend, and blocked it this week. Blocking solved a multitude of the things I didn’t like about the yarn I’d spun, and it looks so crisp and even!

Wednesday I did some dye tests on the oatmeal (a fancy name for pale greyish brown, really) Blue Face Leicester fibre that Ceri and I bought for her sweater. I used my new Jacquard acid dyes, and was kind of flailing in the dark about blending them. I blended a green from blue and yellow, which ended up quite piney, and tried a straight vermilion red, which ended up a mauvey/old rose colour. The I spun a bit of each and chain-plied them to show Ceri what they’d look like in yarn form.

This was the first time I’d tried dyeing a solid colour on the stovetop, and it worked brilliantly. It will be great for solids. I hadn’t done it yet because I usually hand paint my fibre at least two different colours, and set it in either the microwave or the oven.

Yesterday I spun 54 yards of two-ply Aran-weight from 2.3 oz of 70/30 mohair-merino blend of fibre. It’s nice and fluffy:

It’s slated for dyeing; maybe lavender. (Which I could do by screwing up my blue dye again, stabbity stabbity stab… see below.)

And today, I finished spinning 57 yards of a lovely squooshy Corriedale single. I decided to try crockpot dyeing, as it is a technique I haven’t tested yet, and decided on cornflower blue and willow green. Everything looked just beautiful… until I added more vinegar to the crockpot. At which point the blue broke spectacularly and went purple:

And I was so careful about adding the vinegar, too! Just a wee bit! And not directly on the fibre! But alas, disaster nonetheless. Once it’s dry I’ll reskein it and it may not be as awful as I think it is now. But it probably will be. On the other hand, that’s a very pretty green. Without any blue in it, it may be even nicer.

ETA: It is much nicer after rewinding it on the skeinwinder, because the purple is spread throughout the skein. Still not my cup of tea, though. Once it’s fully dry I’ll reskein it and post a pic for the alien Muppet yarn fans.

ETA: Much easier to take once reskeined. Et voila:

8 thoughts on “Friday Fibery Update

  1. Autumn Post author

    It was supposed to be cornflower blue with a touch of green here and there! Compared to the thing of beauty that was in my brain, this classifies as awful. Taken on its own, though, especially after rewinding the skein, you’re right; it’s funky.

    I suspect I have a lot of work to do on embracing the random and unexpected results hand-dyeing gives me.

  2. paze

    Am I wrong, or are there a lot of little bits of colors lurking in there, not just many shades of green and purple, but flecks of what looks like terra cotta or orchre, and maybe even patches of grey?

    I agree with Ceri—it’s very pretty!

  3. Autumn Post author

    I added a touch of golden yellow here and there, so when the blue broke it interacted with those as well. Dye dissipates and spreads in the water bath, so all the colours blended in odd places, and one of the results was faint hints of browny purple in a couple of spots. I think that’s what you’re picking up, Paze.

  4. jan

    My first thought on seeing it was “Arin has made Supervillain yarn!”

    I think it’s pretty. I would knit myself socks with that colourway!

  5. Autumn Post author

    It is totally supervillain yarn. Well, supervillain lite; it’s not saturated enough for true supervillainy.

    Leading up to the Etsying, it’s nice to know that even my mistakes are marketable.


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