Filed Under (Dyeing, Spinning) by jennyk on 05-04-2004

Each year, Kennet Valley Guild holds a skein competition. This year, we were given an ounce of washed mohair locks and asked to combine them with an equal amount of something else and bring the finished skein to the next month’s meeting.

I haven’t had much experience with mohair as I find commercial mohair yarn too scratchy (yes, even kid mohair/silk blends). I considered doing something wild (leaving it as locks and letting the curls hang out of the yarn, or adding in feathers, perhaps), but as usual I left it too late, so I decided play safe.

I blended the mohair with Blue Faced Leicester (my favourite wool breed) on a drumcarder, split the batts into pieces and dyed them separately and then recombined them on the drumcarder, Deb Menz style. The picture top left is the dyed sections. The one below it is after one pass through the carder. I was disappointed with how quickly the colours were blending (I think because there was so little of each colour so the layers were very thin) but I still needed to do another pass to get the batt even enough to spin easily.

I was pleasantly surprised by how it actually spun up. It wasn’t as bright as I’d intended but the combination of the shine of the mohair and the subtle colours reminds me of the splitting of light by a thin oil film on water. No, it didn’t win, but it got enough compliments to make me happy. :-)


Filed Under (Spinning) by jennyk on 03-01-2004

Not a lot of news today. I want to check out my Zephyr yarn to see if I have enough of any suitable colour for the EG, but after a long and dangerous expedition into the depths of my stash, the box seems to have disappeared. Now I know I wouldn’t have thrown Zephyr out or given it away, so it must be there somewhere, but I’ve given up searching for the moment.

The good news is I do have pictures of my chair wheel at last. I’ve replaced the one in yesterday’s entry. I’m putting the rest up on my web site as soon as I upload this. Click here to see them.

Filed Under (Knitting, Lace, Spinning) by jennyk on 02-01-2004

First, thank you to everyone who has commented so far. It’s good to know that at least that first entry was read. Charleen, I want it a light colour, possibly one that reflects the garden imagery. I tend to wear blues and greens, sometimes purples or greys, so I was thinking of a light greenish blue or blueish green.

I mentioned yesterday that I was waiting for more merino yarn. The order arrived today, but the yarn for the EG wasn’t with it – “discontinued!” I tried phoning the manufacturer to see if they may still be making it but just not supplying it that mail-order company or, if it really is discontinued, whether they still have any left in stock. No answer. I’m thinking that the mill may be shut down today rather than restart for just one day after yesterday’s holiday. I am supposed to start this knitalong early next week …

Next thought was to try to get the merino I used for the swatch in a colour I’d want to use, but of course I can’t find the samples for that. I decided to phone the shop anyway and ask for a verbal description of any pastel shades, and if all else fails, get it in white/natural and dye it. No answer. It seems the shop is shut this week too. It doesn’t open on Mondays, so even if I phone her again on Tuesday, it isn’t likely to reach me earlier than next Friday or Saturday.

I phoned another mill to get information about their fine weaving cotton. You guessed it … they were closed.

To end on a happier note, we may have found a way to get rid of an unwanted wheel. It is a fairly modern wheel, possibly Russian-made, saxony type with a 16″ wheel. We bought it second-hand a few years ago because we were trying to take two Ashfords (Traveller and Traddy) to meetings in a very small car. Soon afterwards, I treated myself to a Joy, and we replaced the car with a bigger one, so the saxony has rarely been used.

We have 4 other wheels in the house now. DH uses my original wheel (the Traveller). I use the Joy as my main wheel. My old Traddy has a lace flyer on it at the moment, though we may get a jumbo flyer for it eventually. The newest member of the flock is a yew Timbertops chair wheel, bought used just before Christmas. I need to clean it up a bit and oil it, as it hadn’t been used for a while. Jim Williamson (Timbertops) is kindly sending me a copy of the information sheet(s) he sends out with new wheels, so I’m waiting for that, and meanwhile getting the saxony fit for sale.