Saturday, 21 March 2020

All Colours 'Arranged'


DYE SAMPLES ARRANGED





  ' There is a tendency for all of us to use dye colours straight from the pot, without mixing and creating new shades, unless of course there are small quantities of liquor left at the end of a project. It is time consuming and expensive to make your own shade cards. This year I am working with two Weavers, Spinners and Dyers guilds to produce, hopefully, the shades that can be produced with all 16 of the Texere Acid Dye range. Hundreds of skeins and many cards to file the colours have had to be made and distributed, but later this month the project will be close to completion. Fingers Crossed!!! Above are photos of the first batch of samples, waiting to be threaded on to the file cards. Don't they look great! It seems a shame to split them up.'

   Since we, Bedfordshire guild WSD, along with Guild of Longdraw Spinners took the time to create this useful reference it has been used very infrequently.
   New members have joined the group and they want to learn how to create their own self striping yarns, mainly for socks and small items to be knitted or crocheted. So, the samples have been retrieved out of the cupboard and arranged in a ring binder. It will be good to see the results of the workshop.

Wednesday, 18 March 2020

Nature's Inspiration

 INSPIRED BY NATURE




I have always been fond of primulas and violets.
As a child I picked many primroses and cowslips on the banks at Cresswell, Northumberland, where my parents took us regularly, even before they had a static caravan on the site facing the North Sea.
In our garden patches of primulae alternate with the flowers of spring bulbs.




   












Two or three days ago I was wondering what my latest craft project could be. With this in mind I had a rummage through my 'stash' of spinning fibres and decided to try to spin a yarn that represented the blooms in our garden.





I spun with green alone on one bobbin and the second I spun with equal amounts of the flower and leaf colours.

Unfortunately, the green is rather more blue than the actual leaf colours and maybe I should have distributed the colours more evenly in small amounts/flecks of the flower colours but still, I think I will dye some wool roving, matching the colours better with the 'real thing'.

I have just the resource to help me!!!!!!!

 This was a project undertaken with the cooperation of the members of two guilds, Bedfordshire Guild WSD and Longdraw Spinners and should be very useful to those who want to 'colour match' and not simply use the dyes as they come from the 'pot'. I wonder how many people have used them?








Thursday, 12 March 2020

A Yarn to Celebrate

Bedfordshire Guild Ruby Celebration


Bedfordshire Guild WSD began in 1979 and this needed to be celebrated!



  Those of us who spin admire the yarns and fibre blends produced by John Arbon and his team and he was only too happy to create a 'Ruby' colour blend in 80% Merino/20% silk fibre.
Most members ordered an amount between 100g and 1 kilo. Spinning it has taken some time and nearly all have completed their project.

As I wanted to weave a length of fabric the spinning of my yarn kept me busy but very happy.



 

  Years ago, when I learned to spin and weave at college, I was determined that I would spin to weave a length of clothing fabric. Sadly, it has taken me some time to be brave enough to get on with this huge undertaking.

  It has been said that it takes 7 spinners to supply a weaver and knowing, from experience, that preparing a warp, setting up my loom and weaving a 5 yard length would take a week I knew I would have to prepare myself for a 'long haul'. The plying of 100g (2 x 50 g) of yarn took all evening, approximately 4 hours!





Tuesday, 18 February 2020

DYE SAMPLES IN USE


DYE SAMPLES IN USE






             Since we, Bedfordshire guild WSD, along with Guild of Longdraw Spinners took the time to create this useful reference it has been used very infrequently.
             New members have joined the group and they want to learn how to create their own self striping yarns, mainly for socks and small items to be knitted or crocheted.

                'There is a tendency for all of us to use dye colours straight from the pot, without mixing and creating new shades, unless of course there are small quantities of liquor left at the end of a project. It is time consuming and expensive to make your own shade cards. This year I am working with two Weavers, Spinners and Dyers guilds to produce, hopefully, the shades that can be produced with all 16 of the Texere Acid Dye range. Hundreds of skeins and many cards to file the colours have had to be made and distributed, but later this month the project will be close to completion. Fingers Crossed!!! Above are photos of the first batch of samples, waiting to be threaded on to the file cards. Don't they look great! It seems a shame to split them up.'


For more information look at the blog entry:- 'All colours are there. creating shade cards.'
Feb 17 2017- Handspun Self-striping Yarn
Feb 23 2017- Striped Sock yarn Using a Skeining Board.

Thursday, 13 February 2020

A Present to Myself!

E spinner Combo - SUCCESS!




               More and more spinners are turning to electric spinning 'wheels'. They are more portable. It is difficult to take a spinning wheel on public transport!
               The photograph above shows my e spinner on top of the wheeled trolley that holds all I need, including the e-spinner, to take to guild meetings.


                Inside the trolley, in the foreground, is the E spinner in the left hand compartment of the bag provided with the spinner. The right hand compartment holds the lazy kate with 2 more bobbins as well as more fibre and a battery to power the e spinner away from home. There is still more space for lunch, books magazines etc.

WHY AN E. SPINNER?

                As I've probably said before, my reason for learning to spin was to be able to spin my own yarns for weaving. I have discovered that it can take longer to spin the yarn than to weave it up. It is supposed to have taken 7 hand spinners to supply a weaver and that was probably before the yarn produced was plied. 


The company who designed and make the 'WooLee Winder advertise the following advantages:-
You can spin a more consistent yarn.
Spin more yarn in less time.
Ply like never before
Never have to change hooks again.
Have more fun spinning.

            With this in mind and the knowledge that having 'WooLee Winder' on your spinning wheel means you can get 1/3 more yarn on a bobbin by winding and save 1/3 of the time taken to spin the same amount of yarn using a 'normal' flyer with hooks that enable you to wind your spun yarn onto your bobbin in a series of small peaks.
Their claim that:-  'You'll be able to ply an entire bobbin of yarn in only a few minutes and without stopping.' I'm still not sure about!
This will allow you to ply evenly and consistently.
 Plying from WooLee Winder bobbins can also help to improve your plying experience since the yarn on these bobbins will unwind smoothly without any of the problems experienced with hook-wound bobbins.'

                

Saturday, 28 September 2019

Temperature Decrease

Winter Head Gear

From Fibre to Hat in 2 days


      This lovely fibre a wool and silk blend, hand dyed by Amanda Hannaford and named 'STRATA', was too irresistible to leave in the bag to be gazed at and stroked. It called out to be spun.
My hubby wanted a balaclava since I made one for his father last year.


                


     The plied yarn turned out to be somewhere between DK and 4ply.

     The pattern was written for DK yarn so I had to knit a tension square, with 3.5mm needles, then adapt the pattern accordingly, thankfully, not difficult with such a simple pattern.


     As the weather has changed to autumnal it was finished just in time for him to go out picking the apples on our trees and others shaken onto the grass by the wind.

     

Tuesday, 24 September 2019

MORE TEA TOWELS!!!!!!

       A SECOND COTTON PROJECT


       GOSH! I didn't realise how long it has been since my last post. I have been busy and the time has flown.

       I did enjoy weaving the first batch and decided to weave more. This time in a twill weave to be able to compare the two weave structures and decide which I thought most appropriate to 'do the job' absorbing moisture. Also, I'd like to weave a length for a summer shirt blouse if I have sufficient yarn left and want to know whether I'd prefer the thickness of a tabby or twill fabric.

       As I had lots of colours in relatively small amounts I decided to plan using one of my favourite colourways - rainbow.
       Making the warp, planning the colour sequence and repeats was a matter of mathematical calculations - how many rainbow colour repeats I could get in the wide of the warp and how many warp ends in each colour. I did have a little less yarn of some colours than needed but carried on with the warp regardless.


       I did manage 5 from the warp, just as before but I have already given one of each weave structure to a family member so they could give me feedback on which they think is preferable.

       Is it worth me weaving more to sell at craft shows? Well the jury is out at the moment! I have heard of someone paying as much as £40 for a handwoven tea towel. I have yet to see it to be able to compare and decide what I would need to charge.
     
       I have always considered cotton more tricky than wool to work with but both my towel lengths have been fine with no irregularly tensioned warp threads, so I am heartened and encouraged to plan some more cotton projects. Watch this space!