A few days ago my friend Hanne and I went to Lystbækgård to look at some spelsau wool. We are both members of the same “spinning circle” and next time we meet (on tuesday) we are going to play around with primitive wool types. Primitive sheep races features wool that has both long guard hairs and soft down wool. We are going to separate the down fibers from the guradhairs and for that purpose we of course need some spelsau!
Berit Killerich (to the left in the photo) is a professional shepherd. She owns Lystbækgård and raises the spelsau sheep. She gives sheep dog shows, makes shearing into “show-and-tell”, has a weaving school, a farm-shop with a wonderful café with organic food and drink and of course lots of premium quality wool in the barn.
Hanne (to the right) tries to decide which fleece she’s going to bring home. In the end she got 3, one more lovely than the other!
I held myself back and only purchased one fleece. But what a soft and curly beauty it is! It is a light fawn or oatmeal colour (with variations), very soft to touch and with long guard hairs (curls) not so coarse as they sometimes are. Berit told me this wool came from “an elderly lady” whose wool has gotten softer over the years.
Here it is, freshy washed but not entirely dry yet:
Doesn’t it just look delightful?
When it’s totally dry I will use my flicker to separate the two fiber types. The down will be good for soft knitting yarn and the long, shiny guard hairs I’ll spin into weaving yarn, for tapestry weaving!
Some natural dying will also happen to (at least some of) this wool. What a project! 🙂
Now, let me show you my newest spindle:
A Golding, a lightweight one. For a Golding it is quite plain and simple, but I have been eyeing this lovely brown-green wood, called Lignum vitae, for some time and now I had the opportunity to get one!
It’s a perfect spinner. Completely balanced, looong time spinning. That’s Golding. Always perfect tools. And lovely to look at too!
Oh! I almost forgot. Here’s the July-colorway. On Blue Faced Leicester:
i kind of like it. How about you?
There’s a lot going on, but I haven’t been very good at blogging about it. Sorry about that. But I’m quite busy all the time, things take time and sometimes I just have to make priorities.
Today I sent out the club-fibers for July fiber-club. The colours are soft and sun-bleached and summer-like, so I just called the colorway “July”. Well, you know. It just came to me.. 😉
I don’t have any photoes of “July”-fibers yet, but actually you can see the colors in my waeving in the previous post. I have spun the July-colors (alpaca/silk) using my Bosworth spindle and the singles yarn is used as weft in my shawl. Still on the loom, but soon to be finished! (if I get the time..)
I have beeen doing a little bit of natural dyeing too. Inspired by an experiment from Jenny Deans book “Wild Colours” I dyed this bunch of very small skeins in one dye-pot, with Curled Dock (Rumex crispus). I had mordanted beforehand with different mordants and then I treated some of the skeins with different stuff after the dyeing. That way I got a lot (25) of different shades from just a single dyebath. I’m going to use these yarns in a fair isle project.
All the shades go so well together!
Last week I was at a tapestry class. Great fun! I learned a lot and really really want to get some work done on my big tapestry loom – but the time is not for that right now, sadly..
Also spinning a little bit. Not much, I mus admit. But in the latest issue of Spin-Off Magazine I read about a really cool technique: Ply-on-the-fly, using a spindle. i just had to try my hands at that method of spinning and navahoplying at the same time, and after a little fumbling and trial-and-error I finally got it. Here’s the Polwarth I spun and plied-on-the-fly:
I have made two of these balls. Still two to go..
The fiber is ready. Packed and ready for sending off tomorrow. It’s still a little too early to show the June-colorway on the fibers, but I’ll show you my inspiration for this months colors:
A wonderful painting by a friend of mine, Karen Margrethe Jelonek. She is a very talented artist, and I was so fortunate to get this beauty in a trade for a piece of furniture.. Lucky me!
The colors of this flower painting are deep and rich. Reds, dark and strong and warm, deep dark blues and greens and browns. I just loved the painting the moment I saw it, and also knew right away that these hues just had to become a fiber-colorway..
I’ll show the actual June-fibers in a few days!
I just want to say that there are a few available slots in the Fiber Club , starting from June. So if you are very quick you can still join the fun for this month and the next two. See my Etsy-shop for details!
Other than dyeing fbers (and yesterday some yarn as well) I am been weaving these days. I’ve warped the loom with a merino/silk warp in three colors and threaded the shafts for a twill structure. It’s going to end up with two shawls. The first one is allready woven and still sits on the loom. Now I’m weaving the second one:
Using handdyed, handspun weft for this one. Alpaca and silk singles that I’m spinning (as I go along) on one of my favorite spindles, a Bosworth midi. It’s yummy stuff!
Well, no, not exactly. Standing by a river or lake with a fishing rod never caught my fancy.. But I do find (most) fish beautiful and I have recently dyed/painted a lot of fibers in the “Perch”-colorway. It’s in the shop.
This is my wolly interpretation of perch swimming in and out of the green plants in the lake on a sunny day..
I look forward to go swimming there again and watching these beautiful colors through my googles as I crawl along. Still too cold for open-water swimming, though. But soon!
A few days ago I sent off the club fibers for May, so I think it will be okay to show off the colorway now! 🙂
Here it is on a BFL/silk blend. I call the colorway “Icarus”, after the small butterfly that inspired me to pick these various blue, lavender and golden shades. Polyommatus icarus. A beautiful butterfly that fortunately still is quite common where I live.
I also dyed it on falklandwool:
I must say, I love it on both fibers, and hope the club-members like it just as much!
These days I’m in the process of creating next months club-colorway. I will not reveal anything about it yet, just that the June colorway will be very different from the “Icarus” of May..
To find out more about my fiber-club, please visit my Etsy-shop.
It runs as a 3-months subscription, and there’s still room for more clubbies.. 🙂
Bye for now, I have some knitting to attend to.
This weekend I’ve been busy moving, with help from my husband and my good friend Jette. In the beginning of this year I had to close down my beloved yarn shop after 10 wonderful years as a shop-owner. Shortly thereafter I decided to carry on in the fiber business, almost as usual, just without a physical shop, and with main focus on fibers, dyeing, spinning and handmade items instead of factory-produced knitting yarns.
Last week I the finally found the right place for my new working life! Out in the countryside close to the forest, in a place that has a watermill that dates back to the 17th century. The mill has not been working for maybe about a 100 years (hasn’t had a wheel for ages) but in the old times it was actually used for dyeing cloth I have been told. That’s pretty cool..
The old mill-building looks like this:
The waterfall comes down where the big mill wheel used to turn. The owners of the place have a dream about setting up a new millwheel and renovating the mill house, but that’s very expensive, they told me.
Anyway, I find it very charming as it is!
From my workplace/studio I can hear the sound of the falling water, and just have to step outside and look round the corner to enjoy the sight of it too. My place looks like this:
Through the window you can see my loom, set up yesterday with help from my husband. Can’t wait to get to work!
But there’s still a lot of unpacking and sorting out to be done first. Lots and lots of boxes full of yarn, wool, garments, books, knitting/weaving/spinning equipment and … stuff has been moved, and I still haven’t moved any of the dyeing gear.
So, now that I don’t have my IRL-shop anymore I sell my fibres on Etsy:
Please click the image to take a look! 🙂
The red fibers (both the “wheels” and the silk hankies) I dyed earlier this week. Colorway “Rose Petal”.
Fresh and very bright green leaves are unfolding everywhere right now. It’s a delight to watch how the treetops getting greener and greener every day. Don’t you just love springtime?
My latest monochromatic colorway showcases the color of the newly sprung leaves of the beech in our Scandinavian woods. A truly inviting color, delicate, fresh, good enough to eat. In fact, you can eat the beech leaves while they are young. They taste really good!
Here’s the Beech Leaves colorway for you, shown on Bluefaced Leicester wool:
I have dyed this colorway on BFL, Shetland wool, Cheviot wool, a merino/bamboo luxuryblend and a set of silk Hankies. You can see it all in my Etsy-shop! (Yes, that’s new too!)
More new colorways are coming very soon. A dark brown is drying out back right now, and I’m thinking hard of a good name for it. I kind of reminds me of some kind of animal fur, but which animal is it now?? I have to think, look through some wild life-books, maybe..
Earlier today I painted some wool in a greyish purple hue. It’s still in the oven, can’t wait to see how this one turns out!
May I present my latest monochromatic colorways:
“Creme” and “Sailor”, both shown on shetland wool.
Each fiber wheel holds 200 grams (7 oz) of lovely wool (or other fiber) top, ready to spin or use for feltmaking. Or other stuff..
I dye on a variety of fibres. Shetland, falkland, Bluefaced Leicester, merino/bamboo, BFL/silk, polwarth and others. Please check out my shop to see the in-stock list, prices and such.
Oh, and I also paint Silk Hankies:
“Creme” and “Sailor” again.
Each bundle of silk hankies consists of 4 hankies, but the weight varies. Mostly each bundle weighs from 30 to 40 grams (1 – 1.4 oz). Just ask, and I’ll be happy to weigh it for you and inform about the price.
That’s fun! I love sampling. I really enjoy knitting swatches, too. Sampling and swatching are activities so full of anticipation, curiosity, and the results are full of promises of beautiful things to come. Or maybe they are not.. Anyway, is’t an exiting process!
Today I spun a sample of one of my new monochromatic colorways, “Savoy”. A rich, strong, warm green hue. The fiber has both light and dark places, at times almost black.
I spun the fiber (Blue Faced Leicester, not shetland which is actually the fiber shown in the photo above.) using one of my supported spindles, a russian style spindle from Aaes. Then plied the two strands together using another beautiful Aaes-spindle:
– Now it needs a hot bath (the yarn, not the spindle..) and afterwards I think it will become wristwarmers.
By the way, another new colorway is on its way: a deep dark blue.