Instead of cutting mini skeins to dye, when I knew I’d be using at least some of it for weft, I decided to try to dye the unbroken yarn. I wound up small loops, tied, wound another etc. until the whole ball of yarn was used up, and then painted them side by side. I then use steaming so the colours don’t run too much, but having soaked the yarn in vinegar water first and also having vinegar in the dye solutions makes this superwash yarn absorb and hold most of the dye anyway.

The process from soak to dye layout to steaming and then tossed into the hot water to cool after steaming (with more vinegar to prevent bleeding) did cause some tangling obviously, that’s the nature of yarn, but it wasn’t as bad as it could have been. And now we’re ready to weave again.

According to my calculations

…since my shuttle is empty, I must be round about halfway through my rainbow blanket. Perhaps more?


I do have more mini skeins, they are all twins or triplets however, so I think I shall have to dye some new ones. What fun! The variegated yarns don’t show all their glory with the uniform warp, especially since I also decided to try out a closer sett (more threads per inch/cm) – probably not the project to do that, but I’ve been told to think less and just do, right? 😉

I can’t remember the blanket as it disappears around the cloth beam, so it will be interesting when I get to cut off and unroll.


As I was hemstitching I noticed I’d missed a thread in one hole, so I thought it would be fun to try a little fix. Then much later I saw that I’d also threaded two into one slot, but by then I couldn’t care less, I’d already woven a fair bit. I make mistakes anyway, weaving in too dark without reading glasses = sticky warp threads go unnoticed and suddenly you’ve skipped a couple.

5 meter warp thread in the canister and nuts to add tension


As I mentioned we’ve tried to do a few house things during the winter holidays this last week. What with an early, temporary spring – open jackets and all! Awesome.

We never quite finish my the list and I can feel that I’m getting to the end of my “go” where those things are concerned, I know I need a break. But a good chunk has been completed, including improvements on my tapestry loom, last bit tomorrow I hope. Bushes moved, that kinda thing, the house will be pretty orderly come Monday = room to play again. And there’s a reasonable view of what still needs to be done. Focus!

Today, just a few colour bombs for you all. Pretending this is indeed the first day of spring, not just on the calendar.

I thought I’d do little snippets and teasers here until I have time to talk to you again, but then I realized most of my wips have already been presented. So there will be limited entertainment until I can finish my drafts! Here’s a purple spacedyed warp that I was asked to show. More on the project later. I think I expected a bit more indigo, but that’s how it goes when you just wing it.


Dyeing days

I didn’t yet get up to that promised week of just plant dyeing every day and writing up a storm about it, but I yesterday did a bit of odds and ends for future projects. First I decided to use up the bucket of woad solution that I saved back when I last dyed in fall. I had some extra yellows, so I planned to throw them all in together.

The theory is, I think, that you just need to reheat to 50° C, apply hydrosulfite and Bob’s your uncle. PH was good. Blue froth – not so much. Perhaps that black coating on the bucket lid was all the dyestuff?! After all my preparations the dyebath still looked odd, a lot like another which I never used, of Japanese Indigo which I suspected was harvested too late. So this time I tested one skein just for science and got what I expected: FAIL. But at least this task is now off my list 😉

I can’t properly acid dye beyond the solutions I’d already made, since my scales are broken, and I use such tiny amounts of powder when I mix that spoon tips are too inaccurate. So I’ve run out of most colours after today! 🙁

In fact afterwards I had a pot of leftovers with some other baths poured into as well, some kind of brown, I suspected it might even be nice (on the white spoon it looked just like red wine), but which yarn do I put in, as in, which type of project am I likely to use it for?! I don’t like to just pour it out…

I made a purple that I really ended up liking, so now I regret only making a small skein. For the intended tapestry project (yes, yes, I know I said I’d use the plant dyed yarns for that, and I will, I promise! But, you know… one idea breeds another and….) I don’t need a lot of the purple, if any, but perhaps I’d want to use it in another? Oh well. It was something with violet and a bit of black and a bit of rusty brown from the other pot, but did I also include green? (my goto breaker of purple to tone it down a bit) And if somebody now says “what do you need the scales for”, see the above mention of the huge amount of leftover dyebath. 😉 I also don’t know quite what made the gold colour, which I ALSO like, because that too was made from sloshing leftovers into my last bit of yellow.

In the end I found a use for the leftovers, which did not yield red wine but rust. I stuck the end of 100 g top in there until it had enough, next bit in, next dye leftover etc. completely at random. I mean to spin it and weave it as a tapestry, shapes determining what happens with the colours. Or something. It’s cheviot and there’s no way it’s getting near my skin other than hands.

Perhaps not one of my brightest moments. The top ended up looking pretty ghastly, but I’m going to spin it anyway. Who knows, I might get a surprise? And then what happened as I got to the end of the rope and it had taken on enough colour? I was left with ANOTHER bath, this time dark green. So whatever, I added one of the small silk skeins I use for plant dyeing.

And now for some weekend. I wanted to weave now that I’m all warped, finally, but apparently I’ve been overdoing things says the body, headaches for two weeks now. I don’t think I ask it for very much, I’ve been indulging the “no exercise wish” for a while longer, but apparently “projects” are taxing the stress muscle even if they’re fun and relaxed. I don’t feel stressed or anxious, but I know it could be the next step, even though I think I’m doing pretty well with my attitude towards “busy.” I rarely go “OMG there’s so much I have to do”. So it’s probably “I have so many things I wanna do. Just one more…” 😉

Or possibly it’s not my busy-ness at all but my thoughts about “what if someone disturbs me or asks to see me in the middle of my project, not right now please I need to do this thing first. Just go away and come back next year.” And I know I’m blowing it out of proportion. Something to work on.

So I’m not feeling happy about this break as usual, a weekend of just sitting isn’t really my idea of a good time. Probably doing nothing will stress me even more, so I’ll have to pick one, slow project to fiddle with. Back to serial thinking…

Tonight I deserve a rest though, I wheelbarrowed a week’s worth of horse manure out to the back field to try to cure my shoulder tension. And vacuumed the bedroom. Possibly I’ll just spend the weekend doing the rest of the house very slowly and getting my desk ready for a fresh start Monday.

Of things to come (for the yarnies)

Since I really have nothing much to show yet of all my ideas (and sometimes they stay ideas because I get a new one for the same yarn), MotherOwl suggested that I just share some of my design ideas. Today, then, will be yarn. Another day perhaps something more painterly? And some plants are brewing…

So here’s a collection of things that you could get to see more of in the coming months, or a look into my brain. It may seem like a lot, but in fact it’s just a fraction of what I’ve planned and there is no deadline, things may get erased or changed along the way. I have a tendency to just write down my ideas rather than draw them, but if you find it interesting I may be persuaded to change that habit actually, because I think it would be a good practice. Perhaps working more on each project idea will help me weed some out?

Covering the halfdone warp on my large frame in the hope that the kittens don’t find it…loom06

I’m planning to make a small bag with this handspun yarn practising a specific tapestry technique for joins. Homemade bobbins! I just hope there’s enough yarn for the strap too, I’ve calculated and calculated, but since this is a new thing for me, you can’t really be sure to get it right.yarn09

Semi-solid skeins are to be dyed to go with each of these two snow dyed yarns. A dark red/rust (or a dark green – I’ll have to sample) for the one on the left and blue/marine for the right. The third skein I gave to a friend of mine who knitted herself an awesome hat and mitts!snowdye13


Making an inner hat from a soft yarn, then trying to decide which of my oldest handspuns will be the bulky outer hat.yarn01

Drachenwolle sock yarn. Houndstooth weave? Huge cowl/scarf/shawl? I’m not really a sock knitter.yarn03

Trying to make a fun design for the yarn below. Actually I’m not going to use the model shown, but I couldn’t find the other sketches. Still debating the basket weave however, to break up the stripes I’d get if I knitted the yarn. Possibly I’d get really horrible pooling instead. And in fact, after some sampling, this yarn frays way too much to be woven, it’s no good as warp at any rate, very sticky. So now I’m contemplating a linen stitch on large needles, alternating 2 skeins every other row, which is doable even if you work flat. I don’t like to knit the body in the round, then the yoke flat, because that makes the rows half as long = twice as wide when it comes to the width of the stripes = no look good. (imho) Or I could double the strands and mix it with a heavier solid, but I don’t want stripes at all, I also don’t want to have to do stranded colourwork, because then I’ll never finish. In fact this could have been a blog post all on its own…
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Fiber I mean to spin fairly soon:yarn07

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