Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Knitting with sock blank yarn cakes, and Chilliwack Spin In

I have sock blanks that I hand dye, and once dry I wind them into pull from the centre yarn cakes. People often ask what is it like to knit with that yarn, as sock blanks are a fabric that has been knitted before dyeing, and after it is dry and unravelled, the yarn is kinked like any knitting that you have undone. Here are a couple of pictures. The first picture is the finished shawl before blocking.
This picture is showing the yarn that I knit with. Once the yarn cake has sat for a while (in this case, a month) the yarn itself relaxes somewhat, 
and is far less kinked.
This picture shows the shawl after blocking - 
all signs of yarn kink have been removed.

September 17 was the annual Chilliwack Spin-In where I was once again invited to be a vendor. There were approximately 75 spinners in attendance. I love meeting with old friends, and in particular, seeing their finished products after they have purchased fibre or yarn from me at the previous spin-in.
This was my booth.
Here are some of the other vendors.

Brenda Alexander of Penelope Fibre Arts (and the organizer of the fabulous annual Fibres West held in March)

Danielle Kingma of Birkeland Brothers in Abbotsford, my favourite neighbour at any fibre event. The smile never leaves her face.

 Joanne Baxter of Lyndhaven Farms in Abbotsford with raw Romney and 
alpaca fleece.

Lori Giesbrecht of Redeemer's Garden in Chilliwack with a selection of 
cashmere fibres.

Dale Friend was there as a participant rather than a vendor this year, and was busy weaving a basket.

As usual, the Show and Tell portion of the afternoon was mind blowing. Here are a few of the items demonstrated.

 Harmen Kooyman, and 82-year-old gentleman spinner, was there with a wheel that he made, out of wood salvaged from a chokecherry tree that had fallen and lain on the ground for 16 years. It was a genuine gorgeous work of art.
 And his spinning matched the quality of the wheel!

Hopefully see you next year!

Friday, 2 September 2016

Speckle dyeing

I have been playing around with creating some speckle dyed yarns. I use a turkey roaster for a lot of my techniques. I found that the insert eventually lost its coating from the many soaks of citric acid, so I now use one of those aluminum turkey sized disposable pans that you can get at the dollar store. I have to cut off the edges to fit the piece into the roaster, but I have not noticed any problems with my dyeing in an aluminum pan. Eventually they also get pinholes from the citric acid, so throw away and use a new one.

I pre-soak the skeins in water with citric acid (1 tblsp to 2 skeins) and a bit of Synthrapol. Squeeze out and lay in the roaster 2 at a time, then add enough water just to cover the skeins. I have premixed my primary colour (in this case, lilac) and use 2 cups to pour over the skeins, leaving white areas. Then I sprinkle the dye powders (I have the powder in those dollar store salt shakers) very carefully. I have been using 3 different colours. Then I don't touch anything for at least 15 minutes. Wearing heavy duty rubber gloves, I then take the skeins and flip them over, and repeat. After another 10 to 15 minutes, unplug, let cool a bit, and rinse. Here are some skeins that I have done.

What do you think?