Sunday, March 11, 2007
I just want to start out by saying that I hate springing forward! The extra daylight in the evenings is nice, but I really miss that extra hour of sleep!
In spite of the missed hour, though, I've had a very nice weekend. Dye Day: Part Deux was fun and I'm (fairly) happy with the results. Please see the results here to the right, in all their drowned cat, non fluffed glory :-) First, I dyed a quarter ounce of silk in a pretty violet color for a carding experiment. Early on in my spinning days, I bought a lovely roving that was white with hints of violet blended it, along with some irridescent purple angelina. It really had a gorgeous look to it, but it was made from romney and mohair, which I don't personally find condusive to frog-hair type spinning. It just turned out far too rough to my tastes when spun gossamer weight. I ended up gifting a spinning friend with it, minus a sample for me to try to replicate one day. Hopefully, that day has come. My drum carding skills leave something to be desired, but I really want to learn. So, I'm going to blend this violet silk with some white wool/silk and the pretty angelina. Hopefully I'll come close to the roving of my dreams :-) Next in line is some wool/silk that I painted hoping to replicate the "It Takes Two" colorway of Sock Hop roving from Crown Mountain Fibers. I love the Sock Hop colorways, and I think Teyani does a brilliant job, but I dislike superwash wool, and they won't do special orders in another fiber. So, that leaves nothing but to be a big ol' copy cat. I'm not totally happy with this one, the pinks came out brighter than I wanted and I'm not sure there's enough white, but (say it with me now) I'll have to spin it to really know the whole story. Last is wool/silk in a (badly done) Iris colorway. My mom had irises in her garden when I was growing up and I always loved them. I wanted to do a colorway reminiscent of those irises, with purples, violets, yellows and white. I like this roving for what it is, but it did not come out the way I planned. This may sound weird, but this makes me think more of pansies than irises. I was hoping for something more subtle, with more pale purples and not so many bold, saturated purples. Again, I'll spin a sample to be sure, but I think I'll have to try this one again.
I'm a little frustrated with the dyeing, but this is only my second time around, so I know I need to give it time. It would be one thing if I was dyeing fiber to sell and it didn't come out the way I planned, because it would be SOMEONE's cup of tea, and they'd be happy with it. But I'm dyeing these for me, and I have something in mind, and it's frustrating to not get what I was hoping for. It's not that I dislike anything that I've dyed so far, but I still want the rovings that only exist in my head (so far). I know that practice makes perfect and I'll get there one day, but I'm being very Veruca Salt about it. I want it now! Ah, the perfectionist (and spoiled princess) rears her ugly (but perfectly coifed) head.
While I'm on the subject of my dye experiments, I've been sampling the "Claudia" colorway I dyed last time around. I'm thinking that I may use this fiber for my next big project because I love it and I'm really excited about it, and I don't want to let it sit around unused until I've got more dyeing experience under my belt and realize how much I screwed it up :-) I tried spinning it up two different ways, and each has aspects that I like, so I'll have to knit the samples to choose a winner.
For the sample on the right, I used the direct route. I pulled a thin piece of roving off and drafted it out, then spun it up worsted and plied two singles together. For the sample on the left, I pulled a thin piece of roving off, broke it in half, put the two strips side by side and drafted them out together. I then spun the "blended" roving worsted and plied two singles together. So, on the right there could be up to two colors together at any one place, and on the left there could be up to four colors together at any one place. Unknit, I like the sample on the left better, because I love all the bits of color popping through, but I think it may be too muddy once it is knit up. I think that the right sample will look best when knit. It shows the colors well, but not in an obnoxiously striped way (I hope). The proof will be in the puddin' though. I'll be picking my patterns and sample knitting this week so I can determine whether this is the roving I want for my next project, and if so, how I want to spin it. I love planning new projects! Too bad I'm not as good at finishing as I am at starting.