Sunday, 28 August 2011

Sheep Day!

Today we went to Sheep Day here on the islands! Any day where I get to pet sheep is a good day. So, I headed straight for the fluffy lovelies. 

Some sheep were very cuddly and nice.

Some sheep were a bit angry, like the white one in the back, who just got shorn and is kind of done with all of humanity for the day. (See her signaling with her ears.)

And some sheep were just a little bit more tired than others. 

I also had a nice talk with another spinner, got to see and feel her Ashford Joy. And I had a talk with a nice sheep farmer who said that last year no one wanted the shorn wool so they had to burn it! I gave her my card, looked her in the eye and said to call me next time. She promised she would. 

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Landscape Dyes

My take on the Kraftcolour Landscape Dyes.
I ordered a sample pack from Wingham Wool Work with a yellow, red, blue, green, black and a purplish hot pink. They came in little "hard to manage with gloves" plastic bags, with instructions and a pair of flimsy gloves that was usable one time.
The "colours" of the dyes are fantastic, bright and strong, but you do NOT need to use as much as it says in the instructions. They are blend-able, but the colours are strong and you can see by the palette of the finished roving (in this case) what hues was used. They also say that no acid is needed, only when dyeing silk and to exhaust the bath, but I find that the wool takes the dye better and faster if I add a little acid (ättika).
When using the "plastic wrap burrito method", I get good results, I steam the rolls and let them cool down and then the dye is almost always totally exhausted.
I am wondering though if it would be more economical to choose another brand, since these dyes are quite bulky, you get 1 kg of dyed fiber with 100 g of dye, and I have seen other brands where you get 10 kg dyed fiber from 100 g. But maybe then there is more work with mordants and acids involved. If you have any insights in this feel free to comment.

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Home dyed/spun

This is my first try at spinning my own lovingly hand dyed (rolled up and steamed) roving. It is Falkland and totally yummy. I love these colours and I did a chain ply to keep the sequence intact. I am very happy with this and myself. Pretty!

Monday, 15 August 2011

Mini Art Batts

I have a new product in my shop which I am very exited about. 
These are unique 25 gram batts, and you get four of them, either random or by telling me what colours and textures you would like, or if you would like contrasting or similar colours.
The Batts contain mostly wool, for example Merino, Shetland, Gotland or Falkland, but may also contain other fiber such as bamboo, nylon, banana, silk noil or sari silk, they can also contain sparkle or bits of thread or yarn.
With these mini batts you could spin an exiting four ply, you could make two yarns by plying two colors together, or four separate yarns for something stripy, or you could take random pieces of all four batts and spin them to one lovely colorful single. The possibilities are endless. 

Saturday, 13 August 2011

Wool in the microwave

I am starting to get the hang of dyeing roving, and what is even more important, I am starting to really like it! 
Japanese Tattoo

Rose Garden

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Silk Hankies

So I found something new, and I had to try it. :) Silk hankies, is a sort of residual product of the silk industry, when they have taken off all the long fibers from the silk cocoon, they are left with the inner shorter fiber and this they stretch out onto rectangular forms to make what is known as silk hankies or mawata. I bought orange and yellow from VickeVira on etsy, they were lovely dyed and beautiful. But I found out, I don't like to spin silk hankies. I looked at what information I could find on youtube, to figure out what to do. I found that making a hole in the middle and then stretching it further and further was the best way for me. I now understand that silk is stronger that steel and it hurts your hands to pre draft this. It turned out that a kind of yanking tugging motion with the hands far away from each other was easiest. Spinning it without pre drafting was just a nightmare.
But the result is beautiful, I mixed the colours and I am going to ply it with some white wool to make the most of it. The picture didn't catch the beautiful shine it has though. 
I think spinning silk top would be a totally different and more expensive experience. 

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Wool Combs

After buying 2 kg of raw fleece a while ago, I decided I needed a pair of wool combs. I bought these from Gammeldags, they are lovely, quite small, have a great little cover and smells of linseed-oil. There is just one in the picture because I secured the other one to my work table, combing in an improvised english style, which is better for my still very sore back. I love them, and they work great, making small puffs of fluffy beautiful fiber. I have also noticed that if you put the discarded fiber in a batt, you get a kind of tweedy effect from the little noils, not bad at all. I definitely prefer this to hand carding, it really gets all the undesirable stuff out. 

Friday, 5 August 2011

Apple Butter

From a basket of apples and 2 liters of gooseberries, from my mother in laws garden, I made (with lots of help from the husband) gooseberry marmalade and apple butter. Ok, marmalade you know what that is, but apple butter, well I didn't know what that was until a while ago, when I stumbled onto a video about it on youtube. I love the cooking videos on youtube. :) 
Apple Butter is a spiced more concentrated form of applesauce (äppelmos). It contains NO butter, just apples, sugar, cinnamon and cloves (äpplen, socker, kanel och kryddnejlika). The brown colour comes from the caramelized sugar. And it is very, very, very (one more) very delicious. It is great used as you would applesauce, but also as a spread for toast, especially, I have noticed, with some cream cheese. It takes quite a few hours to make though, but it was definitely worth it. The first jar is already empty. :)

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

A Squash

Home (as in grown in garden) made squash!!!

Monday, 1 August 2011


And I made some sushi maki yarn rolls.