Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Fall Colors

Inspired by a couple of hikes in the nearby mountains, and photographs taken by friends who visited the east coast, I dyed some Corriedale roving with fall colors.

Hmm, looks a little like the chili peppers we have growing in the back yard garden.  I am pleased overall with the way the colors turned out.  As I have been doing for the past few months, I dyed this fiber in an enamel pot over a wood fire.  I also dyed some wonderful blue roving, which I will spin in Old Town.  Enjoy the fall colors!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Ply Time

After several weeks of spinning in Old Town, I found that all my bobbins were full and it was time to ply.  I don't ply as part of the interpretive program, despite many questions about the process.  The reason is that it takes a while, is rather boring to watch after a minute, and requires a lot of space behind me which I don't have.  So, I demonstrate mini-plying by pulling some yarn out of the orifice and letting it twist back on itself.

This also addresses questions about why it appears that I am spinning thread or too-fine yarn.  When I double or triple the single, the visitor can see how thick (approximately) the final yarn will be.

On the left is two-ply wool that I dyed in color sections that seemed too pastel to me at first.  I decided to spin it and see what it looked like.  It came out with more attractive blue coloring than I thought it would, and when I plied the two singles together, ignoring color bands, it came out rather nicely.  And the texture is very springy and lively.  So, don't dismiss an unsatisfactory dye job until you spin and ply!

The center three-ply is chain plied.  More bright green than I wanted, although one visitor said it was nice, she liked green.  OH-kay.  The chain plying preserved the contrasting color blocks I made in the dye pot.  The skein on the right, also a three-ply, is more to my liking in terms of coloring.  The contrasting colors are bright, interesting, and not too green.

Despite the cooler fall weather and end of summer vacations, we still have quite a crowd touring Old Town. School groups have replaced tour groups.  We have also attracted some repeat visitors, who come back with visiting family or just to see what we are doing again.  Tonight we are going to do some handspindle spinning at Dia de los Muertos in Old Town while we are hosting an altar.  I made myself a waist distaff from a discarded oak branch and I will try it out tonight with BFL roving wrapped around the top.