Friday, 15 September 2017

Perth Festival of Yarn, and a bit of dyeing

So it was Perth Festival of Yarn last Sunday, and this was my stall. I was really pleased with how it looked.

In fact, I was really pleased with the entire show. It was excellently organised, laid out with masses of space around each table, there were tables rather than stalls so you could see across the whole room, and the venue itself (Dewars Centre in Perth) was good too - catering worked well, there was never a queue for the loos, and plentiful parking.

We had originally planned just to visit, spending a night in Perth, visiting the show in the morning to see if it would work for us next year, and a leisurely drive home in the afternoon. But I was offered a table a month ago, and it seemed a shame to turn it down. And then, of course, our accommodation cancelled on us a week out due to flooding, so there was a panic finding somewhere else. We ended up with an 'ecopod' at Whitemoss Lodge B&B. Incredibly peaceful and quiet, and only 20 minutes drive from the show.


On the way up to Perth last Saturday we managed to get up to Stirling early enough for a visit to the Wallace Monument. Mark climbed it (at £10 a go, I decided that as I'd done it when last in Stirling for Knit Camp of most unblessed memory was recently enough) whilst I sat with the pupz at the bottom, observed some owls and birds of prey, and watch a re-enactment of the Battle of Stirling with two re-enactors and a very big claymore.


It was a very long and tiring drive home on the Sunday evening, with the weather too bad to allow me to snooze, so I've booked the accommodation for three nights next year. The organiser's planning a two day show next year; let's hope I get a stall. 

And I sold out of Copper on fibre completely, so this is a bit more. 


This is Warrior Scarlet on black bfl/silk and plain oatmeal bfl - I've had a request to take some tomorrow, when I'm teaching a workshop over near Blackpool. 


No rest for the wicked, or even moderately naughty; I'm teaching nearly over on the West coast tomorrow, then we're trawling over to the East coast to finally catch Propagansey near Robin Hood's Bay on Sunday.

Sunday, 3 September 2017

Dyeing fleeces from Orkney


I bought a few samples of fleeces from Orkney last year, on the recommendation of someone who'd seen the sheep in question and recommended them to me. It's a small handspinner's flock run by Orkney Shepherdess, with some interesting cross-breeds and generally lovely wool. She also sells by part fleece, has them well photographed and described on her FB page, and is well worth an investigate.

So I posted on FB earlier this year that I was planning to buy a few bits and pieces, and a friend in the US asked if I would dye some up for her and post them on. So here's the stuff that I've dyed - mine hasn't been fully scoured yet.

A large cardboard box arrived at work a few weeks ago, smelling of sheep. They're used to me at work now! All the wool inside was packaged like this, clearly labelled and bagged, and a photograph of each sheep attached. Really nicely done. 


And this is how White Tag's fleece looks like scoured. She's a Cheviot/Shetland, and whenever I've come across wool from this particular cross it always seems to get the best of both breeds: crisp, nice and white, with a good handle and surprisingly soft. 


Rosie is a Texel/Cheviot/Shetland cross - very similar, perhaps a tiny bit softer. This is her second clip - I bought a small amount last year so I knew it was nice. I have a bag of this too.
 This is Rosie's wool, dyed in midnight blues. As you can see, it's kept the fleece structure well, though it's open enough to process for spinning beautifully.
 And this is White Tag's wool, dyed in greens and blues. There were suppose to be golds in there too, but the greens decided to overwhelm the dyepan (sometimes happens when I'm trying for intense colours) so I had to add a little of Daisy's fleece in golds). Again, this has held structure through careful scouring and dyeing, but will open up to carders or combs perfectly.
There's a last little bit of fibre in the pans at the moment, for Perth Festival of Yarn next weekend. I've had a couple of requests in, and as I do my tops dyeing 300g or 400g to the pot, I might as well do a few other colours while I'm at it. And at this time of year I'll get it dried in time for labelling.