DESIGNING: stuck with Wensleydale

I have these marvelous locks of Wensleydale…

They’re long, lustrious and from a friendly home (Hai Elly!). They have a beautifull shine and they really deserve a stage to shine on. I’ve been scared to use them for a long time now… but this week I feel brave!

Back in February I added them to the plum dye pot in a try to forge treasure out of that disastrous muddle when I shrunk my Kelmscott cardigan while overdyeing it.
I was left with a cardigan the size of a place mat and a pot full of a beautiful plum dye bath which colour I could never repeat. I added silk chiffon, a silk-bfl roving, a piece of Wensleydale fleece and these long locks. Now I’d have enough material to combine with each other and perhaps reuse that cardigan.

When it came out I put it all in a box untill the thought of that shrunken cardigan no longer hurt. Which was yesterday morning.

Now I have everything spread out in my living room. I look at it. I pet it. Ideas are flowing.

There are so many colours in there! And such luxury materials! I want to make something gorgeous!

But what….

a shawl? a dress? a vest? a skirt? a cushion cover? wrist warmers? a hat?

list of materials:
There’s the cardigan, it’s a nice sturdy fabric. Still some elasticity left in it.(it fits around my hip. The back could be a back panel.)
I have 2,5 m x 90 cm chiffon (enough for a long dress!)
100 grams silk/bfl roving (for felting. spinning)
the locks
that fleece.

this is part of the fleece: sorted locks and locks that are attached to each other:

The fleece was sold to me by a man who breeds and buys fleeces from rare sheep breeds. This was one of his top fleeces 2 years ago. It’s a very fine and soft Wensleydale. Unfortunately the sheep must have been ill during the year it grew this fleece. Each lock has a breakage halfway. This means that if I were to felt these locks to the chiffon, the locks would tear easily with wear.
So I spend last night plucking these locks, breaking them at their weak spot so I’d only use a lock that’s solid. This is a lot of work and it leaves me with about half the length of locks I thought I bought. With the residue part I could spin I guess…
It also means I now have a lót of loose little locks that all need to be laid out carefully and secured with wool if I want to use them in a felting project. Again time consuming…
Spinning them in a yarn is another option: tail lock spinning. You let the yarn grab the tail of the lock and the lock dangles from the yarn like a festive bunting. Very slow spinning…
These locks are soft enough for wearing next to the skin. I’d love a shawl around my face. Like a lions mane!

Yes, I could use a shawl like that.
I could also use some sort of ‘tool belt’, using the knitted fabric. Most of my skirts don’t have pockets so some sort of belt-wit-pockets that you can throw around your waist would be very welcome.
Also, there’s everything here to felt a long princess dress…

What to do? what to do?
At the moment I can think of nothing else than sitting amidst this treasure and petting it, petting it.

(I look ridiculous in a lions mane from plum Wensleydale. So that idea is out.)


2 thoughts on “DESIGNING: stuck with Wensleydale

  1. Hoi Anna,
    Ik herkende meteen de Wensleydale-lokken, en zag toen ook (Hai Elly).
    En wat een prachtige kleuren zijn het en wat een pech met de vacht.
    Als je wil spinnen bekijk dan het filmpje van Amanda, misschien ken je dat al, welke lengte hebben de lokken nog?Tail lock spinning is natuurlijk ook mooi.
    Groetjes Elly

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