I went home and visited the family over Christmas and New Year, and I spent most of the time making use of my mum’s (shared with a friend) new carding machine as well as local wool, dyeing facilities and a spinning wheel.
I was way too busy to do any blogging, and I’ve been quite busy since I’ve been back in Leicester as well (including setting up the new blog), so it’s only now I’ve made the time to blog about what I’ve been doing.
Project 1: English 56s
I bought some English 56s wool from Adelaide Walker shortly before Christmas. I had 200g to go before the shipping cost increased and the 56s was on offer, which is why I got it.
I used acid dyes and dyed half of it a somewhat subdued blue, going towards purplish, and half a lovely burgundy-ish red. I would say that having a carder is, if not essential then at least a great help if you’re dyeing wool tops. No matter how careful you are, there will be some amount of felting and compressing taking place, and giving the wool a spin in the carder returns it to a wonderful fluffy state. In addition to this it gives you the opportunity to make ‘heathered’ yarns by carding together different colour fibres. I love this effect which adds depth and interest.
So I mixed in a bit of the blue in the red, and a bit of the red in the blue. Actually, the blue made a much bigger difference to the red than the other way round, so I ended up adding quite a lot of red to the blue in order to make it noticeable.
This is what the carded wool looked like:
And this is what the finished yarn looks like:
I’m very happy with the result and would happily buy more 56s. It spun very nicely and has made a light, fluffy and soft yarn.
I’m thinking of adding in a few more colours and making a fairisle scarf, but that’s a future project.
The blue yarn is:
The red yarn is:
I have a bit more of the red stashed away somewhere, hence why it doesn’t quite add up to 200g…