Monday, 24 March 2014

Can't turned down a Challenge

This week has been pretty busy - coffee with friends old (Ann) and new (Sarah) on Wednesday, Guild on Thursday and on Friday my new Matchless arrived.............

This is Demelza Two - so named because my previous Matchless (who is going to live on the Isle of Islay) was called Molly by her previous owners - but my beautiful cat is called Molly and you can't have two Mollies!  My Molly being a pedigree Persian has a proper name which is Demelza Ivory, so my Matchless became Demelza and the new one Demelza Two!

Wednesday was a meeting of like minds, and more of yarn, knit and show with coffee and cake on the side.  Ann like me is fond of pink and had recently been bemoaning the fact that there just wasn't enough pink in the shop updates of late.  Sarah had recently acquired some Madtosh in Pop Rocks, a very in your face hot pink, which she brought alone for us to drool over!  For those who thinks pink is pink think again!  I had taken along some Magenta dyed yarn - and it was so not Pop Rocks

Pop Rocks


Now I know that monitors can vary but I hope that the difference is obvious - Pop Rocks is a hot pink and Lampre is a cool pink - or Pop Rocks is leans towards the hot reds and Lampre to the cool blues on the colour wheel.  So naturally I had to try dyeing some hot pinks!

Top left is a Salmon Pink and nothing like I wanted, but the right hand two are definitely hot pinks, whilst bottom left is a little too red! In real life they are much closer to the hot pink I was after than perhaps this photo shows.....

Another challenge was, again pink, to produce shades of, in a similar way to these dinky balls of yarn

These are a BFL/Silk yarn, each ball is approx 130 metres and the colour/shade/hue gets lighter with each ball.  Of course this would be much easier if I had six 100gram skeins that I could use.  But I really don't want six sets of the same colour!  So I had to base my calculations on one sixth of 100 - 16.6666grams which gives very nearly 130 metres when using a 800 metre of lace weight yarn.

Here are the first nine using a 1:10 solution of Aubergine.

Gradient Aubergine

This is getting quite addictive - here's the next batch this time just three in Bubblegum Pink!

Sunday, 16 March 2014

Sun came out and so did the dye pots

After the miserable weather of the last two months March is definitely not coming in as a ram, rather more of a lamb! The sun and a gentle breeze encouraged me to get the dyes and pots for session replenishing my yarn stash.

For this I have been concentrating on repeatable colours - the single skeins are all very well but I have loads of one skein colourways, but not enough for a sweater/cardi type project - and there are lots and lots of super patterns on Ravelry.  I need sweater quantities not sock skeins - hence the need for repeatable colours.

Sanquinea, Grasshopper and Damson Jam
These three are just that

Blue Dungarees
And this

But for a sweater I should really dye all the skeins at the same time, that is going to require a larger container!

I have calculated that one skein needs between 3 and 4 litres of water so to dye 5 skeins I am going to need a container that holds at least 20 litres to allow for free movement of the yarn.  What I need is a Baby Burco like the one I had years ago and no longer have!  Why did I get rid of such a useful item - this is where hindsight is a wonderful thing - if I had known all those years ago that I would be dyeing yarn in quantities I would have kept it!

I was looking at tea urns - they come in a variety of sizes, have a simmer feature and seem to be cheaper than the Baby Burco, but will they stand up to dyeing yarn! Need to look into the various options....

Then there were the pinks

Lampre, Sweet Dogwood and Almandine
The one on the right was supposed to be more a raspberry jam colour, but turned out more red than pink - need to adjust the quantities in that one, but other two were just what I expected and wanted!

And this one in a sparkle yarn

Any Old Iron?
Recently I went along to the Gwent Guild's Solar Dyeing Workshop - not to take part (too late for that) but just to sit in!  There I bought some Birch Bark - which according to my books should give a pink colour - really disappointed over this one - not a hint of pink, more a honey colour!

Birch Bark

Mr S says I should stick to what I do best, but I am forever the optimist, one day I will get the colour it says in the book, I will..............

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

The Time has come!

Much as I love all my wheels, some just aren't getting the attention they deserve, so much as it grieves me I have done a deal with Mr S and am going to find new homes for some, just some!

Well the deal does included the purchase, for our 25th Wedding Anniversay - yes 25 years he has put up with me and me him - a new Schacht Matchless.

I heard on Sunday that she is currently at Manchester Customs waiting for clearance - so excited, but sad! I don't want to spin on the old one now, did the last lot of plying on Sunday evening, some spectacular Rambouillet from Juliespins, but now I am just like a cat on a hot tin roof waiting for the call to say she on her way!

Queen of Darkness from Juliespins
But then to the pact/deal with Mr S!!  Here I have had to make some hard decisions - which to sell and which are keepers!  The Herring Alpha and my Haldane Orkney are stayers - no way will I part with those two, and of course my Joy - everyone needs a travel wheel don't they? My Hansen stays - this one is my insurance against total loss of movement. Miss Bliss stays and the Haldane Shetland is going to stay with a lot of other Haldane wheels in Edinburgh to learn some manners! 

So that leaves me with the other Herring (the bent wood one), Nellie, the Easy Spin with its new flyer, Hiawathia the country spinner, and the Louet lookalike, and two home made wheels and two SWSO which may or may not spin one day.

Mr S wants Louet to copy, so she stays for a while at least!  Which means I shall only have eight wheels left, which according to most people is seven too many!  Well that's a matter of opinion -  the Matchless is my sitting room wheel, and Miss Bliss my window wheel, both very necessary, the Joy goes out and about, the others just are stayers.

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