Tag Archive: indigo

Time Weigheth Heavily

Well, it’s not so much the time that weigheth heavily as it is the seeming lack thereof. (Daily dose of Old English has now been administered.)

As for me, well, I’m up to my elbows in a pile of spinning projects. Lovely projects, for lovely people, but there seem to be tons of them.

First off, I’ve been working on spinning up some Aussie fur for a good friend. (Yes, dog fur.) It’s really soft and fluffy, and has been washed. Definite bonus. I’m spinning it on a spiffy new gadget I’ll have to tell you all about in a future blog post.

Theoretically this yarn will end up as a two-ply fingering weight, although there will be some DK weight bits in there, given the nature of the fiber. I carded the fur into batts, but it’s so fine that it spins more like a cloud, which results in a lot of difficulty keeping things even. And there seems to be different lengths of fur in there, which also makes things interesting.

All in all, it’s spinning up to be an interesting taupe color. Almost like sand.

Something Old, Something New

Let’s start with the new, shall we? Everyone likes to see pictures of new things.

I recently participated in a trade with a local dyer. MamaJude does simply beautiful work with plant dyes and can also dye cotton. I cannot dye cotton, so we worked out a swap where she would acquire a couple skeins of cotton boucle from me, and I would receive some indigo batts from her.

The batts arrived a few days ago, and they are gorgeous! There are six of them total. I haven’t weighed them, but I’m guessing the batch is in the six-to-eight ounces category. Here’s the best picture I could nab of one in the fading afternoon light.

I keep thinking that I should mix these with some of the lovely soysilk I have stashed away and make something large. But they’re so light and fluffy, I’m wondering if I could find a light spring/early autumn top or cardigan pattern. That might do them more justice. Whatever I decide on, it’s going to have to wait awhile. I’ve got two or three other spinning jobs lined up, plus the BFL lace I’m finishing up now.

Indigo and Turquoise

I’ve been spinning and spinning away on the indigo-dyed merino, and I have three nice skeins done already. Hooray! I think once the whole batch is finished I shall have to get some “big pile of smooshy blue yarn” type photos.

I tell you, though, spinning this is really eating up the audiobooks. I’ve already done most of The Wind in the Willows, The Jungle Books (part one), and now The Hobbit. Thankfully I was able to get to the library the other day, so now I have The Children of Hurin and one of the Mitford series ready in reserve.

On the knitting front, I have plunged into another stash-busting project. This one is of the “knit until project measures x length” variety, and therefore works for movies and such. It’s called The Floopy Hat and is really just for kicks. And to use up the amazingly large stash of this amazingly turquoise and textured yarn.

New Adventures

I launched a new product today (with more coming) and I’m rather excited about them. They’re batt kits for those people lucky enough to own a drum-carder.
Coordinating colors in the nice, small amounts you need for blending a batt. The only trouble is how to go about spreading the word among the drum-carding community.

I also received permission to do something very exciting. Cyan Worlds gave me the green light on creating some Myst-inspired yarns! (Myst is a series of amazing computer games, very heavy on the visual arts side.) I get to make them! Yay!!!! I’d like to have them available in October sometime, but we’ll see what happens. It’s not like I’m creating the official Myst yarns or anything, but I’ll be able to have lots of fun with it, and, maybe, become the official Myst yarn person. I can dream.

And, last but certainly not least, this is the month of the indigo merino. I have almost an entire bobbin of singles done already.

Once and For Always. . . .

I just rediscovered my spinning wheels. *insert big mushy heart and ecstatic arm waving here* It’s been so long since I’ve spun just for “pleasure” or on a spur of the moment thing. After working on some silk laceweight, I have Bing Crosby in my head singing, “Once and for always, let’s say that it’s agreed. . .” He sings it to his lady love in A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court, and it pretty much sums up my feelings toward the wheels at this point.

On the one wheel I have this gorgeous stuff. It’s the laceweight silk I promised my sister a year ago.

And on the other I have this. Cinnamon alpaca laceweight that will probably wind up in Filigree Willow Laceweights. (Sorry about the nasty photo. I have concluded that TV rooms are out to sabotage photography everywhere.)

She’s Alive!

Hello, everyone. I wish I could say I’ve been spending these last months in darkest Peru, learning the secret arts of cochineal dyeing, but that would be far from the truth. The truth of the matter is that . . . (are you sitting down?) I’ve not been knitting or spinning much, if at all.

There. The painful bit is over. And so is the silence of the blogger! I didn’t have many projects of a fibery nature going, therefore I had nothing to blog about, therefore I didn’t blog, which led to more ventures into non-fiber hobbies, and you get the idea. It really was the Bermuda Triangle there for a bit. But, everyone needs a little lull from life-consuming hobbies at least once in a while, and I’ve had my lull. Now clear the pool, I’m coming in!

Garbage Bags

To lots of people garbage bags carry negative connotations. They symbolize things thrown away, things unwanted, smashed cereal boxes, banana peels, yesterday’s bacon grease, and other smelly things.

But, for spinners there is a magic about garbage bags because, when found in the right places, they usually contain fiber in vast quantities. Quantities so large, your ordinary bag won’t hold them. Sound exciting?

Well, while in Texas I was given an early birthday present. Two garbage bags full of cinnamon colored alpaca. Oh my goodness. Major fluffy soft.

And I even have a project idea for it! But, before I get to new project time, I have to overcome another project. Remember the indigo dyed merino? It’s decided to haunt me for some reason.

Knit For Your Life!

So I’m nuts. I want to finish my sweater project before the nineteenth. I see many late night efforts in my future.

As you can see, it’s grown quite a bit, and I’m now into my third ball of yarn out of nine. I’ve had to make a conscious effort to knit tighter once I got to the easy part, because the garment was expanding when it wasn’t supposed to. By now I’ve gotten down to the waist decreases, so it feels like I’m making more progress faster. I have a feeling knitting sweaters with heavier weight yarn could become addicting. They’re so quick when you actually take the time to knock out four or five rounds at a time.

What The Cotton Didn’t Do

So before my aunt left we ran an indigo vat and dyed some cotton yarn. The yarn was a pale creamy yellow when we started, and now it’s sort of a silver gray. We dipped it twice. You can see it in the middle, there. What on earth happened? IndigoStuff

The only thing I can think of is that the yarn didn’t have long enough to presoak (but we gave it a couple days of soaking!) or perhaps it had some sort of chemical in it, which would be odd because it was supposed to be organic cotton. Queer.

And to make things queerer, take a look at the picture. All these yarns were dunked twice. The one on the right was actually dunked three times. Notice anything odd about the color intensity? The brightest yarn (on the left) is a) superwash and b) soaked longer than the one on the far right. They’re both merino wool. Apparently the length of soak time does effect yarns… but the cotton soaked every bit as long as the superwash!

Twice As Blue

I realize you all might get bored with my constant forays into indigo, but this one was so astonishing in proportion that I can’t help blogging about it. I’m used to two, maybe three hours in the kitchen maximum with a pretty small amount of fibers to be dyed. Throw all that out the window and make room for two pounds of roving and an almost six-hour-long indigo run! There’s the mega bag of roving on the kitchen counter.
MerinoRovingTwoPound

Yes, things got a little crazy. (The house smelled rather strongly afterward.) But things went pretty well. I had to dig up a five-gallon bucket to be able to keep enough fiber presoaked, and then I strung up a makeshift clothesline inside to give me enough drip-drying space.