Friday, September 9, 2011

First hand-spun skein of yarn

I am learning to spin and ply my first 2 spools of handspun into a 2-ply skein. I made a 'Lazy Kate' with a box and a few straight metal knitting needles. My first skein came out...not perfect...but, not to bad either. I've been reading Maggie Casey's book--Start Spinning...

Creative Juices are flowing with the process of Plant Dyeing

First of all dying with plants entails that I gather enough quantity to dye a skein or two--and/or a handful of roving(raw wool used for spinning or felting). So, I drive a short distance to find beautiful places...and on the way I find enough plant material (mostly on the roadsides). I am drawn to the mountains and forests and this has given me more excuses to go out into nature! I gathered sorrel, goldenrod (large quantities grow on highways), bark from lodgepole pine(dead from pine-beetles) and a small amount of lichen from ground.
I had made a batch of Iron mordant and that is what I used as a mordant before dyeing with Sorrel. I used copper mordant(not sure the recipe for making my own with copper pipe worked)and alum. I bought another yarn from Currow Hill Ranch (Actually purchased at Local Harvest)a local farm in Shasta County. It is nice light worsted perendale yarn. Much of what I dyed was raw wool from the local shearer-I plan to spin. Anyways, the Sorrel dyed the same color as sorrel example in Rebecca Burgesses' book, 'Harvesting Color'. It is a khaki green. Alittle bored with all the yellow greens--so I thru the golden rod dyed yarn into the sorrel to see if it will darken. I used the recipe for copper mordant and GoldenRod in Rita Buchanan's book.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

High Desert

Spent Labor Day weekend in the High Desert.
Herd Dog Heaven--as Pema demos here ability to fly thru the grasses.
The dogs are sticky from walking in the grass. They smell so yummy!
Also, found a dye plant called 'Rabbit brush' near the Little truckee off 89.
It produced another lovely yellow dye.