I have been busy, busy, busy:-)
Yesterday I took my spinning wheel round to spin with a friend of mine, J, who lives a few villages up from ours. She keeps some Welsh Black and Soay sheep and we did a bit of a fleece swap. I took the Jacobs that my neighbour gave me and swapped a bit of that for some of Js Welsh Black. Here it is
You can just see a bit of the Jacobs under the Welsh Black. J has a drum carder so we had a go at carding the Jacobs....it needs washing again though as it is rather sticky with lanolin and was more dificult to spin than the Welsh Black.
We drank tea, spun and chatted away, had some lunch, chatted some more and then I had to go off and do some shopping for food (boring).
Today as well as carding (by hand... would now love a drum carder...sigh) and spinning some more of Js Welsh Black I also had a play at dyeing some of the BFL combed top that I bought on the expedition to the Spinning Weal that my neighbour and I took a couple of weeks back.
First I soaked a length of tops in warm water. The tops was weighted out in lengths of 100g (ish) in the shop so that is what I used. I put a slosh of white distilled vinegar into the water before adding the top to soak for about 20 minutes.
While the top was soaking I covered the kitchen work surface in newpaper (the Times sports pages do have a use afterall) and layed cling film on top of it. Then I made up four colours of acid dyes - yellow, blue, green and jade. I then took the top out of the soak and squeezed out most of the water laying it onto the newspaper in a zig-zag so that I could work on one section at a time like Picperfic describes in her spiral dyeing tutorial
I didn't dye my top in long sections of one colour though....I kind of just dyed it in a random colour sequence and blended the colours into each other.
Here is the roll of dyed top in my steamer on the AGA. I got it going on the hob, put the lid on and popped it into the bottom oven for ooooh about....30 minutes or so.
When it was done I took the steamer out of the oven and just let it cool down to room temperature. Then I rinsed the top in lukewarm water with a bit of vinegar and then just plain water. I squeezed the water out as much as possible and then put the whole lot into the salad spinner and gave it a good old spin to get as much water as possible out.
It is now drying on the rail of the AGA ...........................