Sunday, 26 May 2013

Airing the stash

 Much as I appreciate the subtle charms of the colour grey, now that the sun has finally decided to show its face, all of a sudden I am greedy for colour. Some people will tell you very firmly that there are some colours that they love and others which they actively dislike. I have to admit that I am happy in most cornerss of the spectrum. There may be particular shades that I struggle to love, which might have less than pleasant associations, like school uniform bottle green or surgical appliance beige for example but in general I embrace them all.

Not being one to 'waste all that lovely sunshine' as my mum used to put it I thought I would take the opportunity to air my fibre stash and show you a little of what I mean about my love of all colours.

 I decided to air the stash for several reasons. Firstly, to get an idea of exactly what was there. Secondly to give it a good going over to ensure it hadn't fallen prey to the wee wool chewing beasties whose name we will not mention. Tidying my kitchen cupboards during the week had revealed that I had rather overdone it regarding the purchase of freezer bags so i thought I would put the glut to good use.

Over the course of the afternoon I aired, checked, plaited and re plaited, bagged and sealed just over 5kg of hand dyed fibre. It was a really worthwhile thing to do as not only did I reassure myself that there were no signs of wee beasties, by closely handling the fibre I discovered things about it that I might have overlooked, subtle gradations of colour, clever colour placement and the spaces in between.

Taking care of what are effectively the tools of my trade is important to me, not only as someone who is trying to live within a modest income but also as someone who cares about the environment. I don't want to be in a position that I have to throw away fibre because I wasn't careful enough to protect it properly. It was quite sobering to realise how much I have accumulated. You know what it's like, you buy a pretty braid here, a pretty braid there and before you know where you are you have enough to keep you spinning for a couple of years without adding to it at all. I have to remember this next time I go to a fibre festival. Please remind me if you see me hovering over fibre at Woolfest or Fibre East!

I am also developing some ideas for spin to knit projects so watch this space and see this fibre appear again in some new and interesting guises.
And just to prove that I have been spinning recently I thought I would show you my latest project. This pretty skein of Corriedale by Spindlefrog has short colour repeats as well as white space in between. 

I wanted to make sure that the colours stayed reasonably unblended as there was a danger of  the finished yarn becoming a little too murky with such a range of shades in the braid. I decided to enhance the space in between and maximise the size of the individual colour repeats by not splitting the braid down and predrafting the single.

 I then decided to ply it against some cream and beige natural Corridale roving from Black Hills in New Zealand and ended up with 200g of  DK weight yarn. As you can see it's also a way of making a little bit of relatively expensive hand dyed fibre go that little bit further.

Now I need to come up with a project that will show the variegation off to its best advantage - any suggestions?

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