Hello again!

One of my New Years resolutions was to do more on this blog. Well… better late than never, right? (Last post was in September, eeek!)

Well, my little one is over a year old now, I can’t believe it, how on Earth did that happen so fast? I adore her so much. I also have another teaching job which is good fun most of the time.

But what of the crafts?!

I haven’t really knitted a lot recently. Just nothing seems to have caught my eye. Crochet, however, has been quite popular the last couple of months. I found my Attic24 Log Cabin kit under the bed where it had been languishing for quite some time and pulled it out. I think I had done five squares. I’ve now completed eleven out of sixteen. It’s a slow project, but easy going. I cannot wait to sew it all up together.

I also started making my own graph blanket from the popular radio series ‘Old Harrys Game.’ It’s a comedy series based in Hell from the demons and the devils point of view. Very funny. I won’t put that up until I’ve got it a bit more done though. I’ve got two out of nine squares done.

For a while I haven’t really been into my spinning. I’ve found time-wise it a bit difficult, but I went to Woolfest on Saturday and my interest just sort of exploded again! I bought a beautiful Jacobs fleece (you just can’t beat a nice Jacobs!), a Berrichon fleece and a North Ronaldsay fleece. As well as all the other bits and pieces, including seven issues of Yarnmaker for a grand total of £3.50! I have only been thinking the other day that I really could do with looking for back issues of the magazine. It’s a fascinating read.

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This fleece was absolutely massive, it would have carpeted the whole of the upstairs! I was ruthless on all my fleeces. I uhmed and ahed at times but then thought ‘nope, no use working on bits that aren’t the best.’ It just wastes time trying to card out yucky bits or wash out the really dirty areas. There is still a huge black bag full of fleece. The Berrichon was lovely too. I really was unsure about it but thought I would give it a chance. It came in a cotton pillowcase (just how I store mine in the shed) and was pretty clean, with a short staple. When I lay it on the ground there was loads of great, useable fleece, even with the ruthless skirting. I took maybe a quarter away to wash using three buckets. It got a three rinse bath using a 2 in 1 shampoo and conditioner. It smelt lovely afterwards!

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I think this is it after its first wash. Look how clean it is!

I then set about dyeing it. I had been given a great jam pan by my mother in law, which I thought was perfect for dyeing. I set it up with warm water and added in some magenta easy fix all in one dyes.

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I think I put in 5ml of the dye. I actually used it to dye some white wool I bought at Woolfest. I did the yarns one at a time, adding a shade mixer after each yarn to make them lighter, but matching, if you see what I mean. I love these colours. Eliza will hopefully be getting a Fair Isle hat from these.

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I used the final dye to dye my raw fleece. I decided to just dye it straight away whilst it was still wet, which motivates me more than having a load of white fleece and no clue what to do with it. I wanted to make a lovely purple fleece so added in some turquoise, which made a lovely purple.

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It’s a shame it didn’t stay this way!

After rinsing, this was the result.

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On the left is wool from the dye after twenty minutes, and on the right it’s wool after being left in the dye for 24 hours. Both pretty much the same. Because the dye had the added shade stuff in it, I think it prevented much dyeing to be done and maybe also because the blue just wasn’t holding as much as the pale pink was? It’s all a learning curve for me as I don’t dye that much with easyfix dyes. I usually use kool-aid!

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I put the fleece into net bags and hung it on the line outside to dry. It’s been super hot these past few days, and I mean SUPER hot. It’s been between 27-30 degrees centigrade which is almost unheard of around here. Once dry, and filling a washing up bowl nicely, I decided to card some. I cleaned out my carder of all the old colours and bits of old fleece and started going. It’s very theraputic sorting out the fleece and fluffing it up, turning the handle and watching all the fibres align nicely. I managed to get two small batts done on my Classic Carder before dinner time. Not much done, but little and often is my motto at the moment. The pink looks very pale in that photo but it isn’t that pale really.

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It hardly looks like anything has been taken from the tub! Tomorrow, after visiting the local town to see some dolls house furniture in the new recycling charity centre, I plan on having a few hours to myself in the shade outside, sorting fleece, washing it, and then carding the rest of this loveliness up. I have a gorgeous blue fleece outside washing too. It should match this nicely as it is quite a pale blue. I need to give myself confidence in using more of the dye, I can always buy more if it runs out! The batts in this photo need running through the carder again. I usually card it all once, and then once all of them are made, card them again. I love making batts and seeing them all on the table afterwards. Argh, I’m wanting to do some more now!

But, it is getting late and little one is asleep now and I don’t want to leave her. I love just being beside her, watching her sleep. I just keep looking at her and thinking, ‘wow.’ She truly is everything I ever wanted.

Have a good night everyone, and happy spinning/ knitting/ crocheting/ crafting, etc!

xXx Love Kais xXx

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