Friday, February 23, 2018

Raw Wool

I like to purchase most of my spinning fiber from the farmer and raw, meaning unwashed and full of lanolin and dirt.  This is what the fiber looks like when I get it.

After I purchase the wool I scour it.  This really means that I let it soak.  Usually I rinse and soak several times to get most of the dirt and poo and pasture particles out of it.  If I agitate the wool too much, it will felt. If I decide to dye the wool, I like to use the rainbow dye method.  Below is a modified version of rainbow dying which I did last week.  

I started by filling a large stainless steel pot with water.  The water should be prepared according to the dye manufacture directions which usually means that I should add salt or vinegar to the water.  Place from one to two pounds of wool into the pot.   The wool should also be wet when placed into the dye pot.  I made a big M across the top of the wool with fluorescent green color dye.  Then I used a pine green dye across the top and the bottom of the wool in the pot.  In the center of this M, I placed cantaloupe melon color dye.  In the center of each of the M arch, I placed yellow dye.  I let this mixture sit for a while and then I may flip the wool over and get all of the dye mixed in.  Normally I can skip this step, but I used a new fluorescent dye for the M and it needed some aid in order to penetrate into the wool.  If the wool is too tight together, natural wool color spots will show.  (This may be a desired affect).  If I get a little heavy handed with the dye and I use too much, I will place more wool on the top of the dye so sop up the excess.  I weight it down with a plate and a jar of water on top of the plate. Once I get the water and wool to a boil, I turn off the heat, place a lid on the pan, and leave the dying wool over night.  The next morning I rinse the excess dye out of the wool and lay the wool out to dry.

Most of this wool came out to be a beautiful bright avocado color with a lighter color of yellow green.  A few areas of brownish show up from the melon colored dye.


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Thursday, February 22, 2018

Just a spinning....

eye candy

3 months ago,  I signed up for a fiber box from  It is a Mystery Box containing several different fibers and fiber blends.   Themes and colorways change every month. It is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you are going to get. You can sign up for one box at a time, or for longer commitments.  The box is worth the money.  The first box had a lot of fall colors in it, including orange.  I am not a fan of the color orange, but it gave me a lot of fun items to spin.  The next two boxes had less orange wool in them.  Usually I buy directly from the farmer and process my own wool, so it is really a treat to use fiber which is ready to use.


I spun a batt from the spinning box to crochet this cute little baby hat.  I plied it with gray Romney wool.  The gray fake-fur pompom also came in the spinning box!

Gift for an expectant mother.

The baby hat above is crocheted with 78 yards of most anything spinable.  It was made from many kinds of wool, mohair, alpaca, and nylon sparkle.  When you are tired of spinning a bobbin or more of one color and/or one type of yarn, do what I do.  (I know my entertainment is not the same as most people.  LOL)  I spin from 12" to 3 yards of one fiber and then I switch to another fiber, repeating different fibers until my bobbin is full.  Much of this fiber is spun lumpy bumpy or with some other technique to give the yarn a different look.   This yarn can be used as a one ply yarn or plied with a skein spun this same way, or plied with a regularly spun yarn.  This is fun yarn for hats, mittens, trivets, tea cozies, etc.  I don't use fancy fiber for pot holders if the fiber hangs down because I fear it could catch on fire.  

I made a trivet that is a little unusual.  I crocheted a regular circle with home-spun yarn and then I needle felted dyed wool locks of mystery wool fiber around the edges.  It looks kind of like it will start crawling, right?  LOL  It displays a teapot very nicely.  It is probably a little large for use as a coaster.  

I am playing with wool locks as you saw with the above project.  I am crocheting a chain with little circles.  Then I place a few locks into the circle and needle felt them in place.  This is will be a banner/bunting to string across a room or area of a room in my fiber area.  I think all fiber studios and yarn shop owners need one of these.  Don't you???  😊😊😊

More eye candy.  It is a dreary winter day and you probably need something to pick you up.


PS  Don't forget to go to my website at: or my website at: or my Etsy shop at: