Spinning Embroidery Thread

After dyeing the English Leicester locks last weekend I decided to try spinning them into embroidery thread/floss.

I had a few suggestions from my spinning group,  namely spin fine and even.

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I only spun one lock as it is fairly time consuming, but it think it’s going to work :)

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I think next time I will spin and ply with more twist as this one seems a tad loose.

I’d also like to try other fibres such as silk which I think would give a lovely shiney thread.

Dyed English Leicester Locks

I had a crafty weekend last Saturday and Sunday and spent quite a bit of time washing and dyeing fibre.

I recently bought a bid bag of lovely English Leicester locks and after separating and washing the locks I dyed them using a mix of powered acids dyes in various shades of blue and a hint of purple. Thinking of trying to spin this into embroidery thread… something I have never done before,  so should be fun :)

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I went a bit overboard with the dyeing, so I’ve listed some of the locks in my etsy shop.
https://www.etsy.com/au/listing/196406459/dyed-english-leicester-curly-locks?

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Ill post photos of the spun thread in a few days :)

Blending Fibre: for cheats

Recently, I’ve been thinking about how it could be possible for people to easily blend fibre,  without spending lots of money on carders or other expensive equipment.

So far, the best I have come up with revolves around dog paddle brushes and comb. I found a few from China on ebay for only a few dollars each.

1: Flick open the ends of each lock with a dog brush or comb.

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2: Lay the opened locks over the brush (the wider and longer the brush – the better).

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3: Pass the brushes over each other a few times to blend the fibres (as you would with proper handcarders).

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4: Remove the fibres from the dog brush and roll into a mini fake rolag. (below – fibre before rolling)

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Voila. There you have it, a cheap way to blend fibre for spinning.

If anyone has any comments or suggestions of other ways to blend fibre cheaply, I’d love to hear about them.

Cheers
Krissie ♡

Special Socks

Ive never been a particularly hard-core sock wearer. I prefer to run around barefoot and rarely wear shoes,  unless I’m going out to town or working on the property.
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The socks that I do own seem to be very thin with plenty of holes (especially considering the amount of use they get). So I decided to make a pair of my own.

I did some research and found that a blend of down breed wool + mohair works really well together for socks,  so I made up a few batts and came up with a blend that I think works really well. I’m using a gorgeous Dorset Down fleece that I bought from a lovely lady in Victoria mixed with 15% mohair and some local alpaca for some extra softness.

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A few weeks ago I finished spinning up the yarn and knitted the socks. And I’m loving them. I’m actually wearing socks more than ever :)

If anyone is interested,  I’m selling the fleeces and handcarded batts in my etsy store.

:) Krissie.

Washing & drying large amounts of wool

This weekend has been very busy. Saturday was a boys day … complete with changing trailer wheel bearings and rock fishing. Sunday was a domestic day … including washing, house cleaning and wool :)

This is what the end hallway of my house looks like.

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Bags and bags of unwashed alpaca and sheep fiber. Being the first sunny day in over a week, I figured some serious wool washing was in order.

My usual mode of operation for cleaning wool is to put chunks of fiber into ‘delicates’ bags, washing them in buckets then hanging on the line. My problem with this method is that it seems to take days to dry as the fiber isn’t spread out.

So, after reading a few things on the net I decided to try a new approach.

As follows chronicles my morning in pictures…

1. One large bucket of water.

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2. Add detergent, but don’t make bubbles.

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3. Submerge portions of the fleece in water. Wash twice and rinse once.

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4. Spread wool out over the drying rack.

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I tried covering the portable clothes rack with old fly-screen…but the holes were two small and the water didn’t drain properly. So I switched to using the delicates bags which have larger holes and pegging the bags to the frame.

By 5o’clock it was getting close to dry, but unfortunately it began to rain again. So now the laundry looks like this.

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The only variation that I would change next time is to put a piece of flyscreen in the bucket before submerging the fleece to help when getting the fleece out without burning your hands.

Overall, the wool was definitely drying faster this way, so I’ll be using this method again.

:)

Fairy Princess Yarn – Giveaway

In my last post I hand dyed some english leichester/merino cross wool in a pretty shade of grey, pink and red. (see here…)

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I was really excited about spinning it up, because I was just in love with the colour! So I blended it with some off-white huacaya alpaca which I purchased from a farm just down the road from my house and some pulled sari silk. It’s soft and yummy and I love it. The picture below is a little dark, I took it at night time (I couldn’t wait until morning) … and when I woke up it was overcast, so i’ll take another photo this afternoon.

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Here is some of the yarn knitted up as a sampler on size 5 needles

So this is my first giveaway. A 50 gram ball of the greatest yarn you’ll ever lay eyes on. :P

Ways to enter:

  1. Post a comment (1 entry) – mandatory.
  2. Follow the blog or subscribe via RSS/email (4 extra entries) – if you already follow the blog, post a comment and i’ll include the extra entries.
  3. Make a link to this post on your blog (5 extra entries) – make sure you mention this when you comment.

The giveaway will end next Monday the 17th of February 2014 at midnight (AEST). I will draw the winner using a random.org and post the winner on this blog within 24 hours (if for some reason I cannot get in contact with the winner within 5 days, I will draw another number).

The draw will be open to anyone, in any country.

This is my first giveaway, so if you have any questions or i’ve done anything wrong please let me know.

Krissie ♥