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More Spinning and Dyeing (now there’s a surprise…)

June 5, 2009

Lets start with the spinning. I haven’t managed too much this week as I’m trying to spin some very fine yarn and it’s taking a lot longer than usual. I did manage to squeeze in time for a couple more navajo plyed yarns though. First off, this is the BFL roving I bought from Spindlefrog at Wonderwool spun and navajo plyed.


I’m very proud of this yarn – it’s my best to date – so here’s another picture of it….


and one more for good measure…


I’ve set this aside for now as I might offer it for sale once I’ve got a few more saleable yarns to go with it. I’m thinking of booking a place at a craft fair in September but I’m not sure my current level of output is enough to fill a stall – we’ll see, I need to mull it over a bit more first. 

Anyhow, buoyed by the success of the previous yarn, I then decided to get a bit experimental and try spinning a thick and thin very softly spun yarn which resulted in this:


Less pleased with this one but it was good practice and I’m sure it’ll be ok crocheted up – when I can think of something to make from it that is….

Finally, I also managed a bit of dyeing – this time using Acacia Gum extract. This was my first time using extracts and I’m not sure I’m a fan yet – I can see the advantages (repeatable colours, longer shelf-life, ease of mixing, time saving etc) but to me it feels less natural somehow. I have no idea how the dyes are extracted for one thing or their provenance. A good deal of extracts do seem to be from quite exotic dyestuffs and I’ve mentioned before that my ideal dyestuffs are things I can either grow myself or forage for locally. Well, I’m pretty sure Acacia Gum doesn’t fall into either of those categories. Plus, although extracts are heralded as being much more convenient, I like the process of boiling up vats of plants – there’s a part of me that wants to mutter ‘hubble bubble” as I dye…. 🙂


Still, I am very pleased with the colour so perhaps I shouldn’t complain too much. Here’s what the wool looks like in the process of being spun fairly finely:


I’m planning on navajo plying it eventually but must confess to being a wee bit nervous about it breaking during plying. I guess I’ll just have to give it a go and hope for the best!

10 Comments leave one →
  1. June 5, 2009 6:47 pm

    What a lovely yarn! I’d be proud of it, too. For Navajo-plying it’s so nice and even.
    I’m with you as far as the nat. dye extracts go. I’m not against using them, but if I’m going to go out & purchase commercial, powdered dye-stuffs, they could just as well be chemical dyes. For me (right now, anyway), it’s all about growing/gathering plant material for dyeing; yea, the whole process. I’d like to experiment with hand-painting rovings, though, and perhaps extracts or chem. dyes would work better for that. But until then, find me in the field!

    • June 6, 2009 12:02 pm

      Thanks Beth – hand-painting really appeals to me too and I guess that’s the big advantage of extracts. I am going to try some dip dyeing using various dyebath exhausts to see if I can achieve a similar effect that way though…

  2. June 5, 2009 7:40 pm

    I am very impressed with all your spinning and dying – I would be immensely proud if I was you as I wouldn’t have a clue.

    Have a lovely weekend,

    take care,

    Nina x

    ps. the crochet is becoming very, very addictive, Must…go………some……..more!

    • June 6, 2009 12:03 pm

      thank you – looking forward to seeing what else you create 🙂

  3. June 6, 2009 12:11 am

    Beautiful work.

  4. June 6, 2009 2:26 pm

    I really liked how the color varied in the first one.

  5. gossamersong permalink
    June 6, 2009 2:58 pm

    That’s beautiful!

    And all your photos are really artful, too.

    (Hi, Yes, I’m a stranger–but love surfing the fiber blog world here. Yay, pretty yarns!)

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