Works in progress

I’ve been puttering along on a number of different projects over the last few weeks… and lest this sounds unusual in some way, that is probably the way life goes most of the time around here!  I returned to cold dyeing roving after retrieving my last spectacular failure.  For good measure, I also dyed some local mohair locks.  I am planning toward a textured yarn spinning workshop and I’m determined to go as close as I can to a local supply of materials for the participants.

We’ve had Ikea here for long enough that the op shops of the city now turn up these fantastic wool drying apparatuses.  One came with a small supply of plastic animals.  This time, just when I thought I had found them all, a small plastic dalmatian dropped out.  Hopefully the child whose toys left home this way is not grieving and bereft!

This time, the merino braids turned out better than I had hoped.  Perhaps I am slowly acquiring a better sense of colour.  Those with a red base (at the bottom of the picture) were the ones I felt most tentative about, but I like them best of all.

The mohair is ready to have seed heads picked out of it and to become part of some textured batts for corespinning and other good times.  Meanwhile, I have been preparing for a natural dyeing workshop focusing on eucalypts.  Again, I need to provide materials, so I’ve been laying in what I need.  It’s the season for bark collection so I have been touring the neighbourhood with my trusty bike trailer and a chook feed sack, pulling over if I’m passing in the car, or wandering out with a bucket, whichever may be appropriate to the day and location of the tree.  In short, I am keeping the E Scoparia bark that is falling to the ground from being blown away, tidied up by others or crushed on the road.  I have almost 3 sacks full so far.  Seeing the bark shedding has allowed me to run test dye pots on a few trees I had been unsure of with more confidence.  I’ve found several more specimens in the local area.  Meantime, I have been mordanting fibres (wool with alum on the right) and continuing to convert my sow’s ear fibre into slipper-suitable yarn (left) as I knit up what has already been spun. I think that particular batch of unlovely spinning may finally be over.  Two pairs of slippers are knit, one to go.

I’ve been converting milk bottles into sample cards, writing up notes and assessing the state of the Guild’s dye room.  Today, I’ve got soybeans soaking ready to mordant cotton for the workshop.  It has me wanting to dye…


Filed under Dye Plants, Fibre preparation, Spinning

10 responses to “Works in progress

  1. Sal

    As long as you’re not longing to die …


  2. Love this on all fronts: the clever Ikea hanging baskets, the drive-by eucalypt collection, and the forthcoming workshop. 😀


  3. Thanks! I really appreciate you stopping by 🙂 and I love your blog!


  4. Pia

    Now, why didn’t I think of those baskets when I was in IKEA week before last! (it’s 90 km, so I don’t go very often)


    • Isn’t it puzzling that they are not labelled appropriately? I am sure that would have made it simpler!


      • Pia

        Yes, I zoomed right through the kids’ department at the end, I was hungry and tired. They should definitely keep them with more crafty items or household stuff. 😉 Do you find that your top ones drip on the ones below, making them dry slower, though? I thought of hanging them horisontally under the roof to keep the cats off….


  5. I squeeze the fibre out before hanging it, so dripping isn’t too common! Hungry and tired… oooh, the Ikea experience!


  6. indiedyer

    when do you ever sleep? 🙂


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