Thursday, April 21, 2016

Sunshine!

So, black gives way to blue....
I have been looking forward to getting back to the dyepots, and this week has afforded me some amazing weather, and the headspace to do so.
The soundtrack to my dyeing has been my beloved Alice in Chains, notably Layne Staley AIC.... his voice just hits something inside me that makes my heart sing. 
The harmonies between him and Gerry Cantrell are magical too :)

I know you guys probably don't share my taste in music, especially when it comes to AIC, the lyrics are quite dark at times ...

This song though, off their 1990 'Facelift' Album, contains a lyric that is resounding constantly at the moment....


'Memory, set me free, yeah
I don't care no more ...'

Always been an Emo... :P


So, my lovely friends, here you have it... my tentative return :)
Dyeing Yarns I love to dye, to music that feeds my soul.

I hope I did you proud ?


Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Colour is COMING !


I dyed this yarn up in November last year, and cast it on to make a 'West Hills' as sanity knitting over Christmas.  Green is my favourite colour (of course) and garter stitch is very soothing. Also, the simple repetitions in the pattern were what I needed.
I took a photo, whilst on holiday last year in Cornwall, of some seaweed I saw on the beach. The way you construct the colour spots reminded me of it... so I tried to mimic the textures... as well as trying to create a general reptilian feel to it :)



All in all, it was a really fun knit... with just enough brain usage to keep me interested :)
This yarn is just up my street when it comes to dyeing. It's a 75/25 Sock weight Merino~silk mix, spun in the same way as my Flump sock, so a high twist 2ply. There's just enough silk in there to help with drape, and just enough merino to allow for 'memory', so it won't stretch itself out into oblivion.
Stretch is great when you've made a scarf (like me) or a shawl, but if you want to make socks, or a hat, you need a little memory :)

The stitch definition is divine...


It dyes beautifully too, again the mix allows for the powdery colour you get with Flump, but with a little shine too, from the silk...

Now the weather 'seems' to be improving a little, I am really looking forward to getting the dyebaths out and having a mad colour day, as I have a few new albums to listen to.
Plus, I think I've been woefully neglecting my lovely knitters by only dyeing fibres!

So... watch this space.

Colour is COMING *GRiNS*


Sunday, April 17, 2016

Troughs... with a side helping of Indecision

The Black Dog has bitten me really hard over the last couple of weeks.
The annoying bout of insomnia is still hanging about, making it hard for me to formulate clear and confident decisions. 
I doubt my decision~making on a GOOD day, so this fog I am currently wading through is maddeningly debilitating.

It's not all bad, am still getting the basics done... I mean, I had a wakeful baby who trained me well for this sh!t... 
I am still spinning every day, and have also been dyeing fibres for the shop so I am still really trying to keep a positive spin on things, you have to, eh? 

At least the Dog hasn't robbed me of the ability to do that... YET >.<

A few weeks ago, I put a couple of my handspun min-skeins up for grabs, and the lovely Marce (aka Brownberry) was the lucky recipent...

She has a podcast, called 'The Brownberry Chronicles', where she talks about her life, her knitting and other great stuff, like what people send her in the post.
In her latest episode, she opens the package I sent her containing my Handspun, it's a bout 39 mins in but I'd highly recomend you watch it all ! !


It was a complete surprise to me that she was going to put it on her podcast, so, seeing her reaction and especially the look on her face was such an unexpected joy. 
A little overwhelming to begin with if to completely honest, because of the headspace I am currently inhabiting, but once I'd processed it, it gave me a real sense of achievement and happiness. You know what, I might actually have been proud of myself... yeah, don't all faint with the shock :P 
But ultimately I was just happy that I'd made someone else happy, you know? 
It's only every now and then I get to experience the effect of what I do has on people in real time. Words on a feedback page, or comments on social media don't come alive quite so much as seeing the look on someones face :)

Thankyou, Marce, for your amazing words, and I cannot wait to see how you incorporate my handspun into your work. 

It's gonna be awesome, I know that much !


Thursday, March 31, 2016

Test Spin, and give-away result :)


Here it is... I ended up with 73g, @ 174yds. It was very easy and enjoyable to spin, drafted with great ease, and the resulting yarn is very springy. 
I am very happy to offer it up for sale, and I should be getting some more in the next few days. 

It'll be £10 for 100g, which I think is very reasonable, don't you think?


In the test spin, I split out the yellow and orange into one ply, and the blue/greens into another




For the third ply, it wasn't hard to choose some amazing blended merino tops from Candy and Lora at NunoCo 
(pictured here nestled between the Ile de France)


You may remember in my last post, I offered up about 40g of this hand-dyed Ile de France fibre in a giveaway, all you had to do was leave me a comment... Well, I managed to tear my ray of Sunshine away from his friends for 2 minutes today so he could choose a winner...


Congratulations to Christie ! ! !

Thankyou everyone for taking the time to visit me here and comment, I'll be doing another one again really soon I expect !



Saturday, March 19, 2016

Playing with new Fibre ...

My lovely friend Laura recently went on a visit to Winghams on a Fibre Sampling Mission and brought me back some of thier Ile de France Fibre. The sheep this wool comes from was originally developed from crossing Leicester with Rambouillet Merino, so I was quite excited to get it, as I love the handle of Rambouillet. 



And at £1.35 per 100g, it's quite a bargain!


Things have been a bit bonkers round here because of birthdays, plus the weather has been rubbish, so it took me a few days to get around to dyeing it up!


But it was worth the wait, as I think it's taken the colour beautifully... I am really pleased!

I've split the colours out for test spinning... so I'll have one ply of the blues/greens, another of orange/yellow/lime and then I'll stash dive to choose a third solid ply. 

It's spinning up really well too, very bouncy, no slippiness at all, so I think it's a fibre suitable for all ability levels.

It was dry enough today for me to take a sample of it to my local Guild of Spinners, Weavers and Dyers meeting, and it got quite a response from all that saw it, which is always a good thing :)

We had a 'Spinning Wheel Speed Dating' event at guild today, a few members brought more unique/less popular wheels for others to try.  I got to try and get a Frank Herring Saxony to work, but he was having none of it... little monkey! Great fun though !




I have a 40g dyed sample of the Ile de France to give away, lucky you :)
Just leave me a comment and you'll go into a hat to win the fibre sample and free postage off your next order from my etsy shop !

Please be sure to let me know how to contact you... Rav/IG username etc

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Give-away results!!

There's been birthday madness around here the last week or so, as my eldest son was 17 on Sunday, and today is my youngest sons 13th birthday ! !

I am pleased to announce the winner, drawn out of my wonderful Sumner Hat by my beautiful Teenogre, is....


Congratulations Marce!!
And thank you all for your comments, better luck next time !!

Friday, March 04, 2016

Looking Forward

So, I am really looking forward to better weather, so I can get into the studio and dye to my hearts content. I have quite a few new albums that need their colours documented !
I am also trying very hard to keep to the resolution I made to myself in this post at the moment... fighting the urge to allow headspace to particular demons that are continually plaguing me and repeating the Dog's lies. 
Kinda hard when you're fighting your way through a bout of insomnia, which allows the cracks to widen, and the irrationality/lack of patience seep in...
Perfect example of this was yesterday. 
Now, anyone who knows my youngest, knows he's a breath of fresh air... sails through his days without much of a care. This is something I envy, but it's also something that irritates me greatly, especially when homeworks aren't done and forms are 'misplaced'. 
It's not that I care so much about these things in a 'obey the man' kinda way, it's the fact that he's just so disorganised ! Being a mother, it's my job to help him with this life skill, and I fail miserably at it. I keep telling myself that there has to be a line where I have to stop 'helping' as he needs to learn it for himself, but eventually, the buck will always stop with me, as I am his mother.
He just has other priorities, ones that don't involve remembering where you put boring school stuff :P 
Anyway, he came home from school yesterday, and within 10 minutes of him being home, my spoons were completely gone and my head had caved in. 
One ... thing ... after ... another... 
It was like I was in the ring with myself. 
Every positive move I made was being preempted and countered.
Control lost. 
Uppercut.
Sarah down.

The crazy then decided to infect my spinning, as suddenly my plying went haywire and I was like... WTF??!!!



Plying for me is like being on autopilot, and for it to demand any attention from me denotes extreme turbulence and the need to STOP.
...so I stopped, and stayed down and out for the count.

Good job really. 

This yarn I have just finished is a beauty, if I say so myself :) 

The two main ingredients are some beautiful Merino/Bamboo (60/40) from Ginny over at Fatcatknits and some Polwarth from David at Southern Cross Fibres ... the third ply is solid merino, in a new colour I have named Grellow, because it couldn't make up if it was on Team Yellow, or Team Green :P




(top 'Budgie' Polwarth from SCF, bottom Merino/Boo from FCK)



The resulting yarn is amazing, very springy, and it shines beautifully because of the bamboo and the flashes of white/undyed fibre from that particular ply. Ginny is so right when she says that white is a colour :)




It weighs in at around 149g and prebath it measured @322 yds.

The Merino/Boo ran out first, and there was a fair amount left on the other two bobbins, so I spun some more of it, resulting in a crazy little mini-skein (on the right), as the Grellow then ran out so it was replaced in the mix with some purple.



If you'd like the chance at winning these two mini-skeins, just leave a comment for me, telling me how you are 'looking forward' and in a week from today, I'll get the carefree manshape/awesome warp tensioning Master to choose a winner :)
You'll get the handspun mini-skeins (well, they're not THAT mini, they weight 80g all together!) and a voucher code for free postage (anywhere in the world) for my etsy shop.

Please be sure to let me know how to contact you... Rav/IG username etc

Thanks for getting this far!
Much love and light to you, my friends :)