Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Smelly Wednesday.............

Its Woolly Wednesday and be grateful that you aren't in my kitchen today!

Before we went a travelling I put some avocado pitts and skins in an ammonia solution to ferment preparatory to dyeing.  You are supposed to get a rosy pink from the pitts and skins...........

Well the instructions said to leave for at least a week, so I thought that leaving it a bit longer would only create more colour!  We have some nettles fermenting for garden feed which is smelly, but not even close to ammonia fermented avocado!!  If you have smelt nettles you might have some idea what the smell was like when I took the lid off the jar if you multiply by 100 at least.  Mr S is not amused and I have to say the smell is currently beating the air freshener hands down...

Currently I have some mordant fibre simmering in the solution but there doesn't seem to be much colour transferring to the fibre yet - I may add some just wetted fibre to see if the alum mordant wasn't necessary!  But be warned this is a real pongy one!

For the last two weeks of June we went a travelling for two things: one was a day at Wimbledon and the second was to collect a new acquisition......

A Herring Alpha - which to my amazement folds!  It really is a wheel before its time.......... All metal and very light - the treadle is tucked up behind and swings round for spinning!

Here she is ready to spin

and a bit fuzzy close up of the flyer

Now it is July so it must be Tour de France/Fleece and like many other Ravellers I have been dutifully spinning every day. In Chez Sassy me spinning for a lot of the day isn't a problem as Mr S is a keen cycling fan and is happy for me sit next to him as he immerses himself in all things bikes.

Progress so far:

Day One was done at the North Somerset Fleece Fair, so not all my own work

Day Two I plied some BFL/Ramie Blend that I have oven dyed with Wild Raspberry and Wombat dry powder as an experiment.

Day Three I finished plying

Day Four: I spun and watched the Team Time Trial (I also watched some tennis too!)

For the next few days I shall be spinning some SCF that I got in a detash - 230 grams of Polwarth called Eric


  1. The pinks and browns skein is gorgeous!

    1. Thank you - it was the first time that I tried setting the colour in the oven - seems very strange - 50mins at 190c

  2. Too funny! My kitchen is smelling like dirty sheep and vinegar as I make preparations for the Tour. I need to put a sign on the door to warn visitors.
    Lovely projects you are making great progress. That wheel is amazing. My cats love to chew on my wood ones, wouldn't that just surprise them.

  3. Thanks - I can cope with dirty sheep smells this was beyond anything I have ever encountered!

  4. Well done on all the TdF spinning and congratulations on the Herring wheel - fascinating!

    Look forward to seeing the avocado skein - hope it turns out to be worth the whiffiness!

  5. Hi you can still get the bobbins for the Alpha, just stress that they are the metal ones, The only glitch that I came accross was that one of the bobbins was too long to fit on properly but they replaced it without a problem x

    1. Thank you for this - I really like to have five bobbins for each wheel, I shall get on to them

  6. Busy busy
    Loving your spinning
    Great colours

  7. I daren't think about the smell! Lovely yarns and dyeing though as always xx

    Love your new wheel too, how many is that now ;) Enjoy getting to know her.

  8. Thank you - same number of wheels - I sold my Ashford Traditional as I never used her - so still 14!

  9. Where could I purchase a "Herring Alpha" spinning wheel?


  10. Hi Annie

    Sorry I have no idea - I bought mine second hand - as they aren't made anymore and only a small number were made there aren't that many around. They so come up for sale now and again - if you really want one you will have to keep checking all the second hand sales.

  11. Hi,
    Love your Herring Aloha wheel. I recently acquired one and can't wait to start spinning on it. Needs to be cleaned up first. May I ask where bobbins can be purchased?

    1. From Frank Herring in Dorchester, you need to make sure they know you want the metal ones!


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