TdF day 10: Fiber prep and another WIP bag

Today I carded the other green Merino into rolls. With angelina for sparkle:

I enjoy making rolls on the drum carder. Mine are not very tight. Best for spinning on a wheel, I think, not so much for precision instruments such as supported spindles.

For the Angelina there’s a bit of a trick to it, to ensure nice spinning later on. First you lay down a layer of wool. Then you add the sparklies but you give them a little blanket of wool at the same time. This prevents the sparklies flying around and being grabbed by the smaller carding roll:

I was so glad to have the drum carder out -I had installed it on the porch- that I took on that other carding job that I’ve been meaning to do. The Swifter into batts. Last year I tried to dye part of it sap green, which I failed at.

Enough time has passed and I’m ready to take this into a different direction. I had picked the wool earlier this year. Today I carded the white with the lightest colours, for just a little hint of color throughout the garment.

I was thinking vest (=200 grams) but I was carding away happily and now I have this:

450 grams. That’s an adult sweater/ pullover/ cardigan.

I did a little test spinning and there’s a problem there. It’s not a nice 2 ply:

The wool doesn’t draft to my liking. Too much kringle; too much nepps and bits and there’s also a little too much lanoline in it. I won’t enjoy spinning a sweater’s worth of this.

I do love to hold the batts. They are so lofty and smell so nice. So now I’m looking to see whether Swifter can be felted. First google seems to indicate so.

Now I have to think about that… what it would become then. My head is still at “garment”. Light coloured, winter warm, snow princess….

Annnnd this morning this happened:

I made another pyramid WIP bag! This one’s for me. Made from darling cat fabric and matching zipper that I got for my birthday last year:

Isn’t that a great gift for a crafty person?
It has been inspiring me the whole year and today I knew I had the skills to do the fabric and zipper justice.


“Just add a little green….”

I wanted to dye a skein of soft fingering yarn cornflower blue.

Because I’ve won the Make-A-Wish-Swap in the Dutch Karma Swap Group again and my wish was for someone to knit me a blue shawlette ūüôā because my eyes looks smashing when I wear blue next to my face but I myself don’t like to knit with blue (???).

Easy plan, easy dye. I went to the cabin yesterday, one day before my husband, and pulled the pots and pans from the wool room. Lillepoes was giving directions.

And I ended up with green instead of blue:

It won’t photograph properly. It’s a deeply saturated dark green with blue semi solid. It was a green variegated yarn to begin with and when adding blue it became VERY BLUEGREEN. The kind I don’t like at all.

Then, while trying to make it a proper green instead of a teal, I mixed too much green dye and then had to find extra things to dye green.

By then it was already¬†getting really late. The cat kept nagging me, demanding food and attention and bed routine. But I knew I had to finish it all before bed (rinsing and spinning it all dry and putting it on the drying rack in the middle of the room) and clean everything¬†up too because things had to be tidy for this morning¬†or my husband and Poekie wouldn’t fit in the room.
dyeing wool
dyeing wooldyeing wool
Oh man, why do I do this to myself? Again and again? (I must secretly love it, that’s the only explanation for it. Alright, alright, the only sane explanation for it.)

Dyeing on the evening of a busy day in which I drove all the way to the cabin, by myself, with Lillepoes loudly giving directions for the full 75 minutes it takes me to drive there and with all the mad people on the road, clearly all letting their blind cats hold the wheel.

Sigh. Stuck with a cup full of extra strong green dye I found myself digging through the stashroom, late at night, frantically looking for more stuff to dye.

Here I am chucking dry fleece and dry silk into the pot with the dark skein from the first pictures:
dyeing wool
The fleece is Swifter that I had dyed too “Autumny” and too blue-green back in the Autumn. It’s such great fleece! Great staple, nice touch, nice smell. When I rooted through the stash-room I had real difficulty not to dismiss all plans I have for the next few days and start carding it right away. Lovely fleece!

became that:

Now card it in with the rest of the white and I’ll spin for a lovely jumper!

Make haste! make haste! I cannot wait to spin this! No. Wait. Noooo. We are knitting the Sock Madness sock while we are at the cabin. We are also casting on for a new vest if we need to do something on bigger needles. And we have the Music Maker sock with us for easy knitting. We have an all day birthday visit on Saturday and an all morning spinning group on Tuesday and we will be travelling back on Wednesday and there were a thousand things you wanted to paint while here. Also shower. So: no. No carding.

The silk skein I threw in is the lovely mulberry silk fingering yarn. But I kept it in short because I want my silk to be lightly coloured. Like willow wisps:

Yes, succes!

Silk soaks up colour like nobody’s business, I could actually use it as “a mop” to drain the dye from the water and dye the fleece evenly and not too dark. I was lucky though, the water had not had vinegar yet which makes dye soak into silk even faster. Too fast would have been a problem here because silk needs to be presoaked for quite a while to become thoroughly saturated. Only thoroughly saturated yarn will take up dye evenly.

Otherwise it will stay on the surface and only in the places that are wet. Which is a desirable effect on its own when dyeing speckles or for a sprayed look. But not for me, this night.

I was also lucky in not overdoing it and dye¬†the silk too intense. It’s hard to gauge a shade when the yarn is wet and when you’re dyeing in the evening. The lamp over my dyepot is a daylight lamp but still… better to dye during the daytime.

I then started the pot again. This time dyeing with just Ashford blue, on an undyed base. But I had no sheep¬†yarn left. I did have more silk though…. not sure my well-wisher wants to knit with it. Silk is slippery, especially this mulberry silk (my favourite!). But the colour is s*m*a*s*h*i*n*g*l*y blue:

I would LOVE to wear this colour near my face.

Again I had to take care to not leave the silk in too long. It is a bit more intense than I wanted. I remember thinking: “O yes, this is just right! Or maybe a little too light?…. I’ll just leave it in the water, the water is nearly clear anyway.”

And then the silk went and soaked every bit of dye it could find and became two or three shades darker than I had wanted. Still beautiful.

For a while I had the silk parked outside the pot and threw in two bits of sparkly sock ¬†yarn to “mop up” the extra dye in the water. When they had done so (but apparently not to the maximum extend) I put the silk back in and heated everything to dyeing temperature and added vinegar

It’s happily blue glitter yarn now ūüôā
The light one used to be light green, the dark one was a multicolour. They now go well together. Perhaps for a crocheted hat?

Aw, the sparkle doesn’t show one bit in the picture. It’s very pronounced in real life though and will look great in crocheted fabric. I have 25 grams of the dark, 45 grams of the light. Enough for a pair of knitted socks for me. Enough for a crocheted hat?

Tour de Fleece

The Tour de France has started. Around the world, all kinds of spinners are spinning their wheels and worls also: Tour de Fleece .

During the tour we are spinning fibres and we are sharing what we do in pictures and posts all over the internet but mostly on Ravelry.

I have prepared a lovely mountain of purple dyed fleece. This is a Swifter Texelaar mix. Dyed by Lia from

I have combed out the tips and the white coarsier hairs (used a dog comb) and have started spinning.

Trying out drafting from the fold:

But settling for drafting from the grow tips. For a smoother thread.

It will be a 2 ply, about the thickness of DK.

Although the locks are pretty long and the majority of it is dyed fuchsia, the thread ends up much darker. The dark tips wrap around the thread, darkening it.

the locks are all well over 10 cm/4″. Closer to 15 cm I think (6″)

This is my wheel. A Louet S70. All solid oak, including the bobbins. I very much like this wheel, it has character. It is also great for sitting outdoors. It is a good wheel.