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, 30 October 2011

Eco dyed batts:spun!

So recently, apart from all my massive work and family responsibilities ( challenging and rewarding, but leaving me little WOOL TIME), I've been spending what time I get developing my fibre eco dyeing and having fun with my NEW Ashford Drumcarder combining the lovely fluffs into delicious, and often "Art" batts. I've been finding it hard to resist spinning the fibre, and mostly haven't managed it, although a little has made it's way into my Etsy shop....
 The top yarn here is something I'm going to knit into "Tree of Life" mittens, along with the bottom yarn (when spun). My aim was to make a wintery sky inspired yarn, to back the tree. A friend of mine had given me a non-specific wool fleece, with short bouncy fibres (and a fair few doublecuts...) from her own flock. I'd  been gradually dyeing it up, using the woad urine vat method, and docks,  nettles, onion skins etc... I took approx 100 grams ( the Tree of Life pattern says you need "2 skeins" of a fingering/sock weight but doesn't specify how much each skein weighs...)of blues, yellows, green-yellows, greys and browns, and combined the bouncy fibres into 2 batts, which faded from blues on one side to yellows on the other, with greys and browns inbetween. The resultant batts were squidgey and bouncy, and mostly lovely to spun, which I did short draw. i say "mostly" because I did have to remove a fair few double cuts along the way, even though I'd been careful to remove any I could prior to carding. Not much of a price to pay for free fleece?(not that I'd generally put such a fleece into my "For Sale" Batts...)
However, the finished yarn is lovely to feel and behold! Bouncy and soft and the colours glow wonderfully together. If only I could knit with it now! (but I will have to wait until I've finished spinning the Black Hebredian first (also full of double cuts;) ))
"Thorn Rose" is the yarn I'm spinning for light relief , which may eventually be used for some socks (which I am currently obsessed with knitting. ALL OTHER PROJECTS ARE ON HOLD whilst the magic of socks grips me.) It's the pink one in the middle and was such a tasty batt to make: All eco dyed wool and silk fibres, all UK grown wool, with some more fun things like recycled sari silk fibres and bamboo fibre added in. It's lovely to draft (I am spinning it in chunks, from the fold, longdraw) silky smooth with texture and colour variation. N.B. that green is from privet....
I happy to find that most of the wool fibre I'm working with is bought, and grown, locally (North of England) some of it Yorkshire, some from just down the road. Hooray!

Some gorgeous fibres that have made their way into the shop (for now....) include curly silky Wensleydale locks and a few 50 gram Art eco batts.