Tuesday, June 26, 2012

I Have A New Tool

Hello All,

I came accross this beauty in a local "Antique Barn".  It was hiding in the corner with a very dead spinning wheel.  i took a moment to say goodbye to the wheel before I, literally, jumped on this.

The arms had been broken off and when I brought my new found friend home, my sweet hubby was puzzled.  It was dirty and broken and he wasn;t sure why I would bring a piece like this into our clean and orderly home.

I bathed it and I lemon oiled it and soon the importance came to light.   As you can see it stands alone and rotates by the turning of the crank but what you can't see it that it is ALL made of wood.  The interior crank and the gears are ALL made of wood.  Such wonderful craftmanship.  The only nails int he piece are on the outside where some misguided soul attempted to "fix" it.

The built in counter marks 40 rotations.  Once it marks that it "snaps" and continues on. 

The arms my extraordinary hubby has put on it will hold 2 yards with one rotation.  80 total yars each time it "snaps"  He also improved on the arms to make them adjustable.  I can bring it in to only one yard per rotation if it is needed.  Or when I need to remove the yarn from the machine I just drop in one hand and the skein comes off perfectly.

I plan on darkening the new pieces to match the original.  Oh yeah, and the arms are removable to make it easy for storage.  Like I'll ever NOT be using this.........but it was a nice idea.

I've used it many time since I purchased it 2 weeks ago.  It is light and very easy to use.  I love it!!
Oh and BTW, I got this gem for $20.00.  Some guys just don't know what they have......
He has another larger version that I may have to go snag for Jenn for christmas........

Happy Crafting all!


Fun with Dye

Hello all,

I've been working with my techniques and my mixing.  Seems like my recipe cards are a little old school and need to be updated.  I've been going thru my colorways, slowly, and checking on my dye mixes and seeing if they are easily expandable for more fiber.  I dye in multiples of two right now.  Two 4 ounce hanks of fiber.  For that I have my recipe card......but Jenn is looking at coming up and I want to be able to mix the specific dyes in large enough amounts to cover the pounds of fiber we will be working with.   I don't want to fall short on a dye lot, you can try to re-mix a dye to match, it'll be close but it'll never be exact.

This is what the fiber looks like after wetting and pouring on the dyes and then sprinkled with vinegar and wrapped in plastic wrap.
Dyes blended and placed in their bowls with the appropriate amount of water.

Then it's flipped over and gently manipulated to get the dyes to "chat" , the cool color changes you get where the dyes marry is where the magic happens.  I sue a soft roller and a tilt board, to get my dyes to move about without beginning the felting process.

Mixing bowls are emply and the dyes have merged.  This is a "camo" pour technique.  Named because.........yes! it looks like camoflage. 

Other side, I've purposfully left white patches, they won't stay white once the package goes into the steamer.  The colors will wick over and fill the spot with a interesting translucent shading.

All done!  Steamed and hung out to dry.  I use an old salad spinner to gently take out the extra water.  It helps it puff back up to its original fluffiness.

See where the white has been invaded by the color.....this picture sucks.   The pales portions are a golden tan.  The black broke into a steely dark blue

This is the picture that went into the shop.
Soft, fluffy and fantastic color variances.

Mmmmmm, see where the rust and the black meet.........yum!

Thanks for stopping by and taking a quick trip into the dyeing of this fiber.  It's a BFL Silk mix called Jasper and you can find it in our shop.

I'd love to try and answer some of your dyeing questions.  Feel free to comment on this blog or e-mail me at juneprycefiberarts@yahoo.com

Happy Spinning!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Custom, Custom, Custom!!!

Hello All!

I've picked up another custom dye/spin comission from a wonderful man.  DH has asked me to dye, in a June Pryce colorway, something fun and colorful.  BUT it must be washable, no problem SUPERWASH to the rescue!  This stuff is wild to work with.  It drowns itself in the water, and floats apart if you'er not careful. 

But once you get it on the table it plays hard ball, grabbing and hoarding all of the dye placed onto it.  So you can't move the dye about, blending it together.  Knowing this I intentionally poured on extra dye manipulating as much as possible before it struck and I left white patches.

You can see where I was able to get some marrying of the two colors to get that great green.

The next step was to spin it, you see he wants this dyed, spun and then knit up into a hat and mittens for one of his nephews.  Completely hand made, so sweet, my DH. I'll get to do this again for another of the nephews with a different colorway. :)

So here is my first bobbin of clockwise spun singles.  I'll spin another whole bobbin and then ply them together in the opposite direction.  Its should fluff and puff up.  Squishy wonderfulness!

As soon as I have them spun and plyed and before I send them off to one of our test knitters, I'll take some pictures and post them for you to check out.

Happy Spinning

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Trying Hand Painting

Hello All!

I've been comissioned to dye some of our Beavertail Line DK weight yarn by this delightful woman.  This stuff is great 80/20 Polwarth and Tussah Silk. 

Well when she approached me we talked colors and shading the first step fun stuff.  Then she asked me to make ther repeats only about 3 inches in length.

Can't, no...... won't,  do this project as a dip dye.  OMG.  So I pulled out a old paint brush and wet my yarn and set to work.  It was difficult gage how much water was left in the skein as it was on the table.  I had left alot and had to abandon my mixed (water to dilute) dyes and go straight to the stocks.  Once I got the concentrations correct with was alot of fun. 

I've kept the repeats about 3-4 inches in length varying each colors size.  I wrapped it all up in plastic wrap just after it was sprinkled with white vinegar and set it into the steamer for 30 minutes. 

The colors, as you can see, stayed put and did minor mixing.  I'll need to be careful of that when working on the custom order, she wasn't interested in any white/pale spots.  I also want the colors richer and deeper.  Not super dark just more opaque/saturated.   

The test run came out pretty and I think that with the modifications to the dye strengths and limiting the amount of water still residing the the yarn, I'll get the results I'm hoping for.

Happy Knitting


Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Live and Learn

Hello All!

Long time no blog......

As many of you know we are now Phat Fiber contributors.  Very cool, Jessica Booth is a genius! 
That being said, each month you have a theme to "help" guide your muse.  This months seemed to be easy, "Ice Cream Social" Yum!  Sprinkles and chocolate and gummy bears!!
So I decided to dye this GLORIOUS  Merino Tussah mix to look like vanilla soft serve with multi color sprinkles.  I did and it does!  But along the way I loose my faith in how this would look SPUN UP, would it become mud?? 

I couldn't risk it......all those people waiting, hoping to snag a box only to find, UUGH???.  So I decided,just to be safe, to keep the samples and NOT send them.  What was I thinking?  Darn knee jerk reaction.

The rovings are quite "bright" sprinkles and the underside was left white for the vanilla.  Multi color sprinkles were squirted on in layers.  When it came out I was devastated!! Too Bright!!  What was I going to do?

When it came down to it and I spun some (to get my self more depressed about what a loss this was) I found I was given a lovely muted heathery single. Soooooo soft and the silk gave a killer sheen.

Long story.....short: I should have sent the samples and I'm going to finish off one of the 4 ounce hanks.  Then for funnsies I navajo ply it.  Trying to keep the like colors together and make up for any spinning gaffs. 

Then I'll put it up on the shop along with other unspun rovings. You'll be able to spin this cloud yourself.

Learn something new everyday.

Happy Spinning