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Thursday, September 30, 2010

Spinning, Dyeing and Working with Fiber

I thought I had posted photos of the yarns I've been working on lately and realize in going back through my posts that I've mostly been showing and talking about the foster kittens! Honestly, I do work around here and not just play with kittens all day long!

My latest projects have been to spin a roving that I snagged from somebody on Ravelry who was destashing. The roving is called "Just Figs" and was the March/April spin along roving for the Into The Whirled group. One of my customers fell in love with this colorway but only had one roving and needed more yardage so when I snagged this I asked her if she was interested in having me spin this for her. Of course she said yes!

So, here's how the roving started out. It has lovely purple, russet, gold and soft green in it and they blend so beautifully together.

I spun the first 4 ounce roving and then Navajo-plied it. Navajo plying is also called chain plying. Basically you form a big loop or chain and then ply the yarn back on itself; it is a 3-ply yarn and the beauty of this plying method is you can keep those colors together rather than have them fall where they may, looking more like a barber pole.
I have another 4 ounce roving that the customer originally wanted to have spun two-ply but I emailed her photos of the N-ply yarn and she loves it so much she decided to have me N-ply the second roving, too. I'm about half way through spinning that skein.

Day before yesterday I decided to start dyeing up some skeins of yarn to sell in the store. It takes so much time to handpaint rovings and handspin them; I wanted something that gives me almost instant satisfaction so I hand painted several skeins of yarn. These skeins were dyed in the same dye pot using the same dyes applied at approximately the same rate on each skein. The darker skein is 100% New Zealand wool which is coarser than some wools but it showcases color sooo well and it is a perfect yarn to use for knitting or crocheting something that you want to then machine felt. The lighter skein is 92% wool and 8% acrylic and is a sock weight yarn. I'm not sure if this is a superwash wool or not, the skeins are not marked superwash, but it took up less dye than the NZ wool skeins. 

I took photos of the skeins after dyeing and drying and then again after I reskeined them into 2 yard long skeins. I love how the colors look so different after the skeins have been rewound!
I listed these two skeins in my Etsy store yesterday and then posted them on the Split Rock Ranch Facebook page. By the time I went back to get the URL for the second skein, there was only one skein left. The first one had already SOLD! By the time I finished posting the second skein on Facebook and got back to my Etsy store the second skein had sold, too! The woman that I am spinning Just Figs for fell in love with these yarns and wanted to add them to her order.

I  was a little disappointed that the skeins turned out so dark and so predominantly purple and burgundy so yesterday I did another dye pot with the exact same skeins of yarn. And here are the results of using less burgundy and purple and longer sections of gold and green.
And here are all the skeins together - even though one set is lighter and has more gold and green, they go together beautifully and they are perfect with the Just Figs yarn!
This morning I sent photos of the second batch of yarns to the customer to see if she would prefer to have the lighter skeins instead. She said she wanted them in addition to the ones she already bought! I was so tickled that my last two days were so productive and that I have a happy customer who will have some serious yardage to work with when I'm done with the next skein of Just Figs and get all these yarns shipped out to her.

I named these yarns Ceres in honor of the Roman Goddess of Harvest. The colors seemed appropriate. I am in love with this new colorway!

9 comments:

randomcreative said...

Congrats on all of the sales! The new yarns are gorgeous. :)

tollykit said...

They are all just lovely. Congrats on the sales. :)

Ann said...

You have been busy. Love those colors and obviously you have some very happy customers.

Rebecca said...

The colors are so beautiful. I especially love pinks and purples and fuschia.

Nancy said...

So colorful! Right up my alley! And posting mostly about kittens, well, what's wrong with that?;)

Mountain Woman said...

Just beautiful Brenda!

Lin said...

WOW! These are pretty. I would love to see what people make with your yarns. Do you ever get photos of finished projects with your yarns??

Janet at New Moon Glass said...

I really love the colors after thay are all blended together!...very cool...andkittens too!

Katherine ( Katie) Corrigan said...

Lovely colors, well done!