Saturday, 29 September 2012

Dyeing to show you!

I don't pretend to be an expert on dyeing, well I'm clearly not, this is only my second go at it. I just wanted to show you what I did and maybe you will have a go.
Honestly it's ridiculously good fun and soooo easy.
I did a bit of research on the interweb and found loads of useful information particularly 
here and here
And after the success of my Southsea Rock yarn I couldn't wait to have another try.
 You must do it, it's like magic, one of those things that makes you feel elated and contented!
Give it a go, grab your food colourings from the cupboard a bit of vinegar and hey hey, 
you're good to dye!
Oh, you'll also need:
cling film
something to cover the table ( I used bin liners)
a large pot
a trivet or something to rest your yarn on when you steam it
an old towel

First I soaked my roving in lukewarm water for 30 minutes you can leave it for longer it just seems to need a jolly good soak.
My roving weighed 4ozs so I added about 1/4 pint of vinegar to the water, the vinegar makes the dye bind to the fibres and makes it permanent.

Whilst the roving was soaking I mixed up some colours.
Some of my food pastes were dried up but I just added hot water and gave the bottle a shake till the colour came out. I didn't measure how much paste I put in each glass I just dabbed a bit on a piece of kitchen towel to see if I liked the tone! I also added a teaspoon of vinegar to each glass.

It's getting very exciting now isn't it! My Lovely Assistant stuck the bin liners to the table.

After that I lifted the roving out of the water and onto the towel. I gently rolled it up and pressed down to get as much water out as possible.

Then we laid out the cling film, this is definitely a two man job, very tricky to handle that cling film!

Here am I laying the damp roving on the cling film.

Here it is ready for the dye.

No not a drink just me pondering where to start.

I bottled it and used a spoon to spread it onto the top of the roving.

It poured off quite alot.

Anyway we went at it with our different coloured glasses of gorgeousness. At this stage I thought there wasn't enough dye on it.

It looked really patchy and there was lots of white showing.
I have to say I didn't think the results were going to be very good.

Anyway I rolled it up in the cling film and kind of squeezed it around a bit before 
I rolled the whole thing up.
This was done by folding over the short ends first and then rolling it long ways.

Then to the pot, I had a trivet in the bottom of the pot and I rested the roving roll in another trivet.
The water didn't touch the cling film.
I brought the water to a simmering heat.

I simmered for 30 minutes ish. It was very spectacular the cling film puffed right up rather alarmingly i was worried it might all pop and I'd end up with green wool all over the kitchen ceiling!
then I turned the pot off and waited and waited and waited until it was lukewarm.
This took ages and it was so hard to wait, I could see lovely things had happened.
Let me tell you I did a little jig round the kitchen!

Anyhow after what seemed like forever I was able to take it to the sink for the 

That cling film was tight.
I'd already run some water into the bowl, lukewarm again.

Very carefully I wrestled it out of the package.

Ta Dah!
Will you look at that
How gorgeous. 

I couldn't believe my eyes. Lovely Man and I stood gazing at our creation for ages.
It reminded us of a beautiful rockpool, I'm naming it Summer Rockpool
So many pretty colour combinations and not too much white after all.

And not much colour leached out in the rinsing water. I filled the bowl up with lukewarm water again and gently squeezed it out. I did this a few times just to make sure all the excess dye was out.
Then I put it back in the towel rolled it up and pressed the water out of it.
Next I hung it on the line to dry 

Doesn't it look pretty.

It took a day to dry completely,
 such a long time to wait.

It spun up like a dream

And once plyed, well amazing!

So the rest of the week has been spent crocheting my first garment.
Ta dah, Ta dah!

My Summer Rockpool scarf

D'you like?
I wound the ball so that each end of the scarf would be the same shade, clever huh!

I adore the variations of shades and and the fringing just finishes it off nicely.

I can't wait for the weather to turn colder I've been prancing around the house wearing my creation at every opportunity. From fleece to garment by my own hand.
I love my new hobby
love, love, love
spinning and dyeing and creating lovely things.
Makes my heart very happy.
Right I'm spinning some merino yarn now, what colour shall I dye it? What shall I make it into?
Oooooo just don't know.
happy happy me!
Lots of love

Friday, 28 September 2012

Hit the whisky it's Friday!

I know it's terrible but I've reached the point of no return, whisky it is. 
For medicinal purposes only you understand!
I've made it through the week with a streaming cold and a rather painful collection of cold sores in my NOSE!!!! (not nice)
Yes, I deserve a bit of indulgence.

woman drinking whisky

I shall mostly be mixing my whisky with honey and lemon till I'm too sozzled to bother.
After which I shall probably just slurp it from the bottle, declare undying love for my family, pets neighbours, plants etc and fall into bed with my socks on!
That, my friends is my Friday night all planned out.
Roll on Saturday!
Lots of love

Oh and I shall be posting about all the exciting spinning and dyeing I did last weekend.
 Oh boy how much fun was that!

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Under the weather

Oh dear!
I got too close to them........I have their germs.

Normal service will be resumed A.S.A.P.


Friday, 21 September 2012

Progress Report

Can't believe it's Friday already, the week just flew by didn't it.
Right to business.
My new wheel has been VERY busy this week, humming away way too late of an evening.
But this is what I've managed to produce.
What do you think?
This natural fleece is a joy to spin even for a beginner like me and I have to say I am really pleased with what I've managed to spin.
Just not sure what to make with it.
Any suggestions for a memento of my first efforts are welcome.
What do you do with the first spinnings you've ever made?

Now you may notice there is colour in this ply (yeah I know some technical terms too!!!!)
Guess what, I dyed some fleece with food colouring, if I'd had my wits about me I would have taken photos of the wonderful alchemy that took place in my saucepan, however being a numpty and being waaay too excited I didn't. But OMG I was gobsmacked when I looked in the pot and saw clear water!
I can't wait to play with lovely colour combinations, I have all tingly feelings when I think about it.
( I know I'm sick, I have yarn fever!)
Tomorrow I'm going to have another go and this time I shall take some photos, promise.
Has anyone else dyed their yarn, did you think it was magical?

I'm calling this 
Southsea Rock!
So to sum up here is the total skeins I have spun since I started 3 weeks ago!
The difference is amazing and extremely satisfying. 
I do declare I have a new love!!!!
So much so that I'm dreaming about spinning and dyeing and constantly running a little bit late because I'm just having a little spin...............................

I haven't just been spinning my latest project is coming along nicely,
a rainbow granny lap blanket.
And very jolly it is too.

So it's Friday night I have my jim jams on and a nice cuppa to sip,
my blanket will be growing a bit more tonight.
But not much think I need an early night.
Goodnight my friends

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Spinning Adventures

Oh Boy!
Tuesday morning and I'm already pooped.
Free flow play all day constant counting of small heads (114 in the year group),
searching for jumpers. "Now tell me which classroom you were in when you took your jumper off? Right, thing is we didn't go in there!!!!!" You get the idea.
30 children squashed into a tiny classroom trying to organise them with all their stuff.
They had 
lunch boxes
water bottles
They couldn't even carry it all, bless em!
I came home yesterday and just kind of sat........
.........for quite a long to do it all again today!
And what I really want to be doing is playing on my new
That's right I bought one, about ten minutes after arriving at the September meeting of  the 
Hampshire Guild of Weavers Spinners and Dyers
What a fun day, what alot of knowledge packed into that room.

Saturdays meeting was a taster day, loads to try and very busy.

Plenty of spinning going on

We spilled out onto the patio and sat sharing tips and jokes for the whole day.
There I am spinning away after having a masterclass from a lovely lady called Bev ( she's showing the little girl what to do in the photo below) she taught me so much in only half an hour. Thanks Bev it was wonderful.

Jo and I came away with a car full of wheels and fleece and other bits and bobs.
Honestly we did restrain ourselves...........honestly!

So there you are a new toy to play with, a new pleasure to enjoy, a new journey to adventure on.
I'm so excited!
I'm spinning constantly and my wheel, ha ha yup MY wheel sings so sweetly.

Still producing lumpy yarn..... but d'you know what I don't care. 
It's one of the most relaxing things I've ever done.
Perfect after a day with all those little cuties.

Just one problem.
I left everything all neat and tidy.
Who could have been responsible for this?

It's alright Miss Marple's on her way!
Righto off to work, have a great day, thanks for visiting!

Friday, 14 September 2012

Made it............ the end of the week!
First week of small children at school. Ahhhh they are 
Never worked with tiny ones before,
think I'm going to like it although I did spend quite alot of the week reminding small ones to wash their hands LOL!
Good looking bunch they are, I have high hopes!

Anyway now it's the weekend and I'm pretty excited because tomorrow I'm off to The Hampshire Guild of Spinners, Weavers and Dyers September meeting for the whole day!
I'm slightly nervous because my friend has said I can use her spinning wheel on the day, that means spinning in public, in front of experts OMG!!!!!
I'm hoping to glean some tips from the talented ladies and maybe
 treat myself to a bit of fibre to practise with!
I'll let you know how I get on.
Have a great weekend

Sunday, 9 September 2012

A post about fairness

I've had a lovely weekend, plenty of outdoor time and walking. Time with the people I love the most,
and time for a bit of me time. All's well in the world.
Or is it?
I've just had a conversation with my Mum and she's told me that my Dad needs some new eye drops to control his Glaucoma, these drops are vital to keep the pressure in his eye low enough and stop any more deterioration in his eyesight. Seems straightforward enough doesn't it. Apparently not, our local chemist can't get hold of the drops, there's a shortage! NO I'm sorry that's not good enough, my Dad needs those drops without them what's left of his sight will go and he will be blind!

It makes me so angry that ordinary good people face this lottery of treatment.
 It is disgustingly unfair.
He's an old man he just wants to grow old gracefully and enjoy his time. Not be fretting about how long he can go without the correct medication.

My Lovely man has experienced the same problem with his Parkinson's medication, being told that the chemist cannot get his drugs for a few days because there's a shortage. What's going on? We have to make sure we have a good weeks worth of drugs in hand at all times. It's all just hassle. Bad enough for my Dad and Lovely Man, but what about people who have nobody to help them how the hell do they manage?

Sorry for the rant but to me it makes sense to spend the money on preventative or controlling medication, to keep people ticking along in their own homes, with the people they love for as long as possible. It's a shame that the powers that be don't seem to care about that.
Thank you for reading my words.
I'm off to hug my family, do the same to yours, they're very special.

Friday, 7 September 2012

End of the week.............hooray!

 First week back at work and boy have we been busy and that's before the children start!
Quite a stressful day today, it's hard to please some people if you know what I mean!!!
So I took myself off for a lovely walk along the seafront.
Ahhh the perfect way to relax.
How's your week been?

The downside of working of course is the lack of crafting time, but I have a few projects on the go at the moment.
Little bird on a driftwood branch.
Cute or naff? 
What do you think?

Retro colours bag, just needs some handles which I'm getting on with in a minute.
Can't decide if I want to line this one, hmm have I even got anything that garish in my stash!

I'm pleased with the bottom shape ( oooo scuse me sounds a bit rude)

And this project is probably going to be the longest 
all these little daisy squares ( I made the pattern myself, although it's probably been done before) are going to be a double bed sized blanket.
At the moment I have enough to just about cover our feet. Let's hope it's not a cold winter eh!

On top of all that I'm still spinning and loving it.
Oh I'm off.
Sorry too much to do!
Have a great weekend.
 Get outside and enjoy the world!
Lots of love