Spun yarn

Nothing beats spun yarn. It has a life and texture of its own. It is very much a tactile experience. As a spinner you can spin whatever you want. You can dye your own fleece . You can buy ready dyed tops . We practise and extend our own skills and then like to support local people who are involved in producing hand dyed fibre and who sell fleeces. Each fibre and fleece feels different. If it is dyed it tends to feel dry. All of this is an experience which is far richer than working with commercial wool. Commercial wool feels odd when you work with it after you have worked with hand spun yarn. We can ply our spun fibre with cotton or acrylic fibre or a commercial yarn. That always ends up interesting . That’s the thing. There can never be enough texture or choice!

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Show and tell

show and tell 11th FebruaryShow and tell this week was testimony to how energising our dyeing workshop had been and why it is worthwhile having dyeing days.

Cathy: Purple dyed fleece, pink dyed rose fibre and butterscotch fleece dyed with avocado pips, onion skins and lichen from Sonya.

Sonya: Green mermaid coloured fleece, rubine cake dyed over grey spun wool.

Karin:  Plied cake. Opalescent dyed wool skein dyed on white.

Hilary: Oatmeal and green dyed wool and cake of orange and pink dyed in cake.

Margaret: yellow tiny teddy crocheted in once piece.

Wendy: Dyed pink , turquoise and opalescent spun wool

Anne: Dyed sunburst colour fleece and a pair of woodland colours knitted socks.

Marina: green and pink dyed alpaca fleece.

Jan: Turquoise and mauve dyed wool using icing food colouring.

Sheila : red, white yellow and blue dyed skein, grey dyed in balls. White wool dyed in rainbow colours. Her tip is the longer it sits the more the colours run.

Marjorie : knitted beret in pinky lavender and blue/green.

rubine dyed over grey

Painting a wool batt

Mixing colours and making wool batts is creative and can be fun. You need to master the carding skills and then you can use colours and your imagination to come up with original and interesting wool batts. painting them adds hints of colour which creates a richness and colour depth. it is also a good way to use up odd bits of carded fleece which would otherwise go to waste. Hints of colour are what make colourways interesting!

Make art yarn

There’s been considerable interest in the magical art yarn post we put up the other day. People are excited about colour and colour blending. Great way to start the year. We love making our own art yarn. We like sharing ideas about colourways and how to spin something which looks both original and attractive. Colour and texture are always important. Art yarns can use up your bits and pieces of dyed or leftover fibre. You just need the ideas. The UrbanGypZ video does just that for you. Shows you a way of getting an interesting yarn together.