Det er jo skønt vejr, og udsigten for de kommende dage er ret solrig! 🙂
I glasset har jeg proppet nogle friske mirabelle-blade. Dem har jeg overhældt jeg med kogende vand, for ligesom at kickstarte processen. Vi er jo ikke i troperne, vel.. Oveni kom så ca 100 gram alpaca/silkefibre, der vistnok er alun-bejdsede. Det er længe siden, men jeg er rimelig sikker på at disse fibre har været i et bejdsebad engang. De lugter også lidt sådan..
Mirabelleblade giver grønt på alunbejdset materiale. Også på ubejdset (omend en svagere grøn), så hvis fibrene alligevel ikke er bejdsede gør det ikke så meget..
Nu skal det så stå og få varmen rigtig godt og grundigt i i hvert fald en uges tid, måske mere. Det afhænger af solen, og dermed temperaturen i glasset. Jeg har tidligere beklædt mine solfarveglas med sort plastik for at hjælpe varmen lidt på vej – måske gør jeg også det denne gang.
Jeg er spændt på to ting: 1: Vil fibrene overhovedet få farve? og 2: Vil jeg kunne pille bladene ud af fibrene bagefter..?
– Med tiden bliver jeg klogere!
In English: I have started a small solar dyeing bath in the hottest corner of my back yard. The weather report says that we can expect sunny days in Denmark, so I went out and picked some fresh leaves of the mirabelle prune tree. They will give a green colour on alum mordanted fibres. Mirabelle leaves also dyes green (just a lighter shade) on un-mordanted fibres, and I’m not totally sure whether these alpaca/silk fibres are mordanted or not. I think they may have been in a mordanting bath with alum. I have kick-started the process by pouring boiling water over the leaves in the jar. Afterall, this is not the tropics! I’m curious about two things: 1: will the jar get warm enough to actually make some dyeing happen? And 2: Will I ever get all the plant material picked out of the fiber afterwards? – With time I’ll be wiser!
I knitted this sweater in no time. Even spun the yarn in no time. I just loved the pattern so much, the stitch pattern was easy and fun to knit, and the ever changing colors of the handspun singles just kept med going and going..
The yarns (because there are two yarns) are: Handspun singles, Noro-look-alike-yarn, spun pretty fast from carded wool/silk/alpaca-fibers in colorway “Delight”. The other yarn (the top of the sweater body and sleeves) is BFL-Steps, my handdyed sock yarn. The latter held double.
The pattern I found in Noro Magazine #2. It’s called “Mesh banded pullover”.
I am really happy with this garment. It fits perfectly and is not too hot to wear indoors. Love it!
I have recently cut down my two twill shawls from the loom. They are now fringe-twisted, washed and ironed – and ready to leave home.. 🙂
The first one is merino/silk yarn in both warp and weft. It is 170 cms long and 56 cms wide. Plus fringes, which are about 15 cms. Soft, shiny, with a nice heavy drape.
Number two has the same warp, obviously, but then I used handspun alpaca/silk in one of the club colourways, “July”, as weft yarn. It is variegated and adds lots of life to the shawl:
It is extremely soft and luxourious. Dimensions: 56 cm x 180 cms, plus the fringe.
Both shawls are now in my webshop, together with lots and lots of fiber!
My loom is now standing naked, so I’m making plans for new weavings. With handspun.
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..
Silk Hankies are so easy to spin, and makes a beautiful, textured yarn.
I would like to show you how I go about spinning the hankies (after I dye them, of course – no fun spinning white stuff.. 😉 . The silk hankies shown here are dyed in my “Juneberries” colorway.)
I will show the spinning done on a drop spindle, but a spinning wheel works equally fine.
Silk Hankies are fiber squares (about the size of a hankerchief, hence the name) made up of many very thin layers of silk. The silk from the cocoon is stretched over a frame to dry, layer by layer until it has a certain thickness. A typical Silk Hankie weighs about 5 – 10 grams.
Use some handlotion to soften your hands before you begin working with the hankies, otherwise the fiber will stick to your hands and be difficult to control..
Peel off a very thin layer from the hankie. It’s like a spiders web.
Poke a hole in the center of the thin layer. That turns it into a ring of fiber. Pull the ring gradually to thin down the fiber thickness.
“Snap” the fibers a bit if they are difficult to draft, and make sure your hands are wide enough apart. The silk fibers are very long and does not draft easily. You decide how thin you want the strip to be – it should correspond with the desired thickness of your thread.
Then pull the ring apart and wrap the silk strip around your fiberholding hand (or make a small nest and set it aside).
Now to spin it: Make sure you have a generous overlapping area. Minimum 10 cm (4 inches). While spinning there’s not much, if any, fiber drafting to do. Just add twist and maybe use your fingers to even out the irregular spots that, because of the textured nature of the fiber, will show up here and there.
When I use the drop spindle I usually prepare and then spin 1 thin layer at the time. When using the spinning wheel it could be more practical to prepare several “nests” of fibers so you have a supply handy when you sit down to spin.
After spinning you can ply the thread, with itself or with something else. I’s also great as singles yarn. The long silk fibers doesn’t require much twist (or any twist for that matter) to hold together, and that makes it perfect for single ply yarns.
I’m plying my silk, however. I’m using it for a modular knitted vest, that has been in my project bag for ages.. I’ll post pics of that some other time, so stay tuned for more!
Silk Hankies are a joy to work with and the resulting yarn is beautiful, both shiny and textured at the same time.
This shows my way of handling them – how do you spin yours?