I had a fantastic day today playing with dyes at Rochana’s. We started the morning carding some of the washed fleece and moved onto painting it with Ashford dyes.
1) Carder + washed fleece (more on the washing method later when I wash a little more )
2) We soaked the carded bats for about half an hour in luke warm water until it “bloomed” (I still don’t know what that really means). After soaking we covered the bench in cling wrap and pulled out our mixed Ashford dyes. Using paint brushes we painted strips of colour (teal, green, black and rust) until the entire fleece was painted
3) We wrapped the painted bats up in the cling wrap and placed them outside in the sun to keep warm then put them in the oven on 100 degrees Celsius for several hours.
4) the end result drying
5) dried bats, as flat as crepes
6) I pulled the bats into strips and put them back through the carder and they all fluffed right back up
7) I split the roving to make slivers for spinning (*note to self, take photos and show how Rochana taught you to split the bats)
I’ll update with photos of the spun wool in a few days.
When I return home there are several bags of fleece for me to wash and play with and several bags awaiting my collection. Apparently my shearing friend Kevin says that he can’t sell coloured fleece, so any fleece that is not considered to be white is mine for the taking – free! This means that I will no longer have to worry about “waisting” fleece as I practice and play and I have packed up my spinning wheel and will be bringing it home to Auckland (from my parents house in Wodonga) and dedicating a chunk of time to relearning to spin.
Also, for christmas my mum has agreed to either buy me a knitters loom (about $180NZD) or to contribute towards a drum carder (about $350NZD) and now I have decide which one I wan/need more. At the moment I think I’m leaning more towards the carder as I don’t even have any hand carding paddles anymore so…
While researching drum carders I did come across the most coolest toy and would LOVE to get my hands on it. It’s a double carder
and it’s probably about the size of my lounge room. Now if I got everything I wished for I would need a museum to keep it all in I think. We just went for a visit to a second hand store in Yackandanda, which is about 15 minutes from my parents house and I found a very cool butter churn, two 19th century cameras (they are HUGE, and cost several grand each), add that to the double carder and the floor looms *sigh*
Now I know that I’ve been silent for the last several weeks, but I haven’t been totally no crafty while I’ve been visiting oz. I’m actually proud of myself really, I’ve been knitting, well I’ve knitted one thing, a beret, it’s the first knitted project I’ve ever actually finished and didn’t give up on out of boredom (scarves suck and so do blankets that are essentially scarves sewn together). Doing this hat, I managed to do increases and decreases, undo and repair mistakes (I made a lot of them) and pickup dropped stitches, and I’m very proud of my finished item.
I still need to do the little flowers to make it extra pretty but they will take very little time to whip up. I’ve never been very excited about knitting, my grandmother was an amazing knitter and I’m sure I’ll never match her for speed, but I have decided to attempt a little more knitted projects – just no scarves thank you very much.