About this blog space

This blog space is a place for me to primarily put all my wool gatherings, adventures, experiments. I am now a mum of two astounding daughters, and I used to be a DIY musician and co-ran a tiny independent label (Slampt), so this punk can-do attitude plus feminist analysis and Art school experience somehow informs my wool work! I am also deeply moved by GREEN, trees, weather, colour combinations in nature, and texture. I aim to source wool from round the corner or at the very least UK grown and processed, and to create no toxic waste. This means I get to see sheep as often as I can, sometimes at wool fests.
I am on Ravelry and Etsy as FatHenWildWool and Facebook as Rachel Holborow.

Sunday, 29 May 2011

Fleece Swap cobweb weight

Phew! I've been testing my limits with this yarn: It's turned in at 26 Wraps Per Inch officially a cobweb weight, and it's spun from a Blue faced Leicester  X (mule) wool fibre prepared by Someone? in the UK Spinners Ravelry Fleece Swap into a fluffy batt with a little bit of slubbiness. I was sent 50 grams of this in the Fleece Swap and I've only spun about half that. It was lovely to spin, but why did I choose to spin it so fine? Well I was testing out my smaller whorl on my Traddy flyer, and with the fibres of this batt being so long it worked out I could do this with it. ( The ratio was 12:1). It's silky and shiny. I'm hoping to spin the rest of it sometime, but colour is calling me right now....

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Dyeing, dyeing, dyeing

Somehow it always seems wrong to write dyeing, the "e" really feels like it shouldn't be in there. But hey, the vaguaries of the English language....

 Anyway. Done alot of dyeing. All onto Blue faced Leicester. All with natural dyes using mordants such as vinegar, lemons, alum: From top base of golden rod overdyed with lac and madder. Nettles, black beans and onions. Lac, onions and cutch. Onions, beans, golden rod. Beans with alum. Cabbage and onions and dandelions. Will write more about some of  these sometime soon.........

New fleeces!

How very exciting! I've had some new fleeces given to me AND swapped some via the UK Spinners Ravelry swap.
I got given 2 black hebredians and one white mystery fleece, which I'm slowly processing, and in the swap received some black Alpaca, mule (BFL x), coloured wensleydale and moorit shetland. So far i only have spun a little of the hebredian (to sample it) and the black Alpaca.
The Hebredian was lovely and soft and bouncy and I made it into rolags and longdraw spun it. The Alpaca was such a different story though. It's really short staple and slippery with no crimp, so in the end I spun it from the fold on a 7:1 ratio, slow draw in. It's come out uneven, and a bit ropey, but I suspect it will drape well: Hebredian bottom: Black Alpaca top.

Sunday, 8 May 2011

spinning, carding, plying release.

The above pix are all of a yarn I recently spun for my good friend Cath's birthday. It was a big release making it, as apart from colour scheme it was a blank canvas for my imagination to run free.
I've been working on stuff for the York Steiner School Craft group, as we've got Spring Fair coming up, and also being quite specific about what I want the outcomes to be for what I spin, so it's lovely to let my hair down and have some fun with a yarn.
We started a Family Spinning Group at Grace and Jacob (Walmgate, York, Last Saturday of the month), and Fiona, the shop owner, let me loose on her drumcarders last time, so I made the batts that much of this yarn was spun from.Only once blended. Lovely fluffy, squidgy big batts, one made on a Louet, the other on a Barnett. (Think I prefered the Barnett, as it was easily adjustable and had smaller springier teeth. I suspect a more even blend will be possible with it than the big industrial teeth of the Louet, but would probably need DAYS of time and KILOS of fibre to play with to really be sure...)
Cath is fond of pinks and reds aswell as black, so I spun up a squidgy thick thin single and thought I might ply it with a thinner single of naturally black shetland. However when it came to it I decided on gold stitching thread, mostly because I wanted an exagerated "bumpy" plying effect, but also a bit of "bling" that might pull the at times disparate colours together; black might be too bold and distracting from the colour graduations too, especially when knitted up. A warm colour of a quite intense saturation seemed the thing. (I did unfortuantely run out of the gold, and had to use a very similarly toned brown, and then pale pink to complete the ply. The brown works better than the pink in my view). Cath was, in her words "delighted" with the yarn.