This week I decided to do some yarn dyeing. I bought some ends of cones someone brought in to the guild. They are perfect for me as I don’t need large amounts of any yarn.
I couldn’t find my niddy noddy so I just wrapped the silk around a plastic box of curls. This is the largest cone I got. There was only one so I guess that’s why no on else wanted it. It is quite fine and it is a single yarn. I liked it because has little nubby bits. The other cones I got were almost empty.
I did 3 kinds of silk or at least I hoping the other two were silk. More on that farther down.
You can see the other tow yarns in this close up; there is one with slubs and one that is super shiny and has little loops.
I planned to use MX or fiber reactive dye for these. I wanted to do them with more than one colour so I soaked them in a soda ash bath. I was surprised at how dirty they were.
Next I made up small amounts of dye and dipped the yarn into them.
I made sure they were wall soaked in the dye then squeezing the excess out with a gloved hand. Then they are places on some plastic wrap them up.
They need to sit a couple of hours before rinsing. Two of the ones with purple on them took a lot more rinsing, one of the silk noil and one of the shiny ones. Not sure why.
This is the silk noil. The grey areas were turquoise. I am assuming it is grey because of the original colour of the yarn. You can also see it got some twist energy back and has little twists now. this is the one from the first picture. The other two were very white.
This is the one with the slubs. I was not sure this was all silk. I think that one of the ply’s is not silk. It must be a cellulose fiber but it did not take the dye quite the same. The fluffy slubs are definitely paler.
This is the last one. I really like the lavender that happened because I forgot to wipe the purple off my gloves before squeezing the excess dye out the turquoise part.
Last night with the help of guild friends I put them all into center pull balls.
All in all a very satisfying dye session. I am sure they will look very nice on some felt. I may use some of the silk noil to ply with something else. I am not sure I will have to see.
I only realised yesterday when I started to plan my blog post, that all my photos are still on my old hard drive. I was looking for another felt scrap piece that I recently started on when I came across a piece I made quite a while ago which I never posted about. If any of it looks familiar, it’s because I used it for the banners for the studio site and the forum 🙂
I wanted to make a piece with colours and textures inspired by the natural colours of the landscapes between Manchester and West Yorkshire. I used lots of different coloured natural wools and wool tops: Merino, Bluefaced Leicester, Manx Loaghtan, Zwartble, Black Welsh Mountain, Jacob, Gotland. I also used raw gotland locks and Lincoln locks. I mostly used mid to dark shades of wool and animal fibre, there’s some sandy coloured Alpaca in here too.
For texture I used some wool nepps.
And also some silk noil, I added a lot of this so it would look like a solid band.
To create a kind of mossy/spongey moorland type grass look, I blended some plastic fibre with some natural shades and green shades of merino.
I was really pleased with the way it turned out, especially the shape, I wanted an organic shape because I thought this suited it better.
I did find the scrap piece that I was working on, I think this will be the outside of a notebook cover.
I mentioned in my last post that I’d finished my white texture piece that I’ve talked about recently. Here is the photo from the last post of it all sewn up. I finally managed to get a bright enough day to take a photograph. With all of the locks it’s really quite big, so I had to take it outside and photograph it on a large piece of cardboard. It’s roughly 16 inches x 11 inches, but the locks at the bottom are almost 11 inches long.
I wanted to try something different, so when I laid it out I left a space in the centre without any wool then added a piece of cotton gauze after the second layer of wool. It was here that I added the wool locks around the edges as well. I then added another two layers of wool. The surface texture around the edge of the gauze is soybean top, a piece of cotton gauze and silk noil.
In this close-up, you can see a few wisps of wool have crept behind the gauze.
The wool locks all kept their shape really well and none of them tangled together. The Angora, Wensleydale and Teeswater locks in this next photo show how nicely they turned out.
I kept the whole texture piece soft and spongey by using wools like English 56s, Swaledale, Texel and Cheviot. For surface texture I used cotton gauze, scoured Bluefaced Leicester and Wensleydale as seen in this photo.
I also used Mohair, wool nepps, raw Gotland, Teeswater and Wensleydale locks, and embellishment fibres soybean top and silk noil.
I’m really pleased with the way it turned out, especially the gauze panel in the centre. Doing this piece has given me some good ideas for future projects.
Do you buy fibres, wool or other felting supplies online? Could you spare a minute or two to tell me your favourite places to buy supplies online and what your most commonly bought items are? I’d also like to know what fibres you would like to try that you haven’t yet. For a long time, I’ve been planning to do a blog post comparing the prices of online suppliers. I’d like to choose one main supplier each from Australia, Canada, UK and USA, then compare the prices for a few commonly bought felting supplies and the shipping costs to each of the same countries.
I know everyone would like to support their local communities and small businesses, but with the current economic situation, we also like to save as much money as we can wherever possible. I know too, that for a lot of us, we just don’t have local shops that sell fibre supplies or nearby farmer’s markets, or there are other reasons which make buying online a necessity.
I’m hoping that by being more informed about the costs of supplies online, we can find the best places to buy from. Hopefully, it will make a wider variety of fibres more affordable and accessible.
I think it will really help new felters too, it can be overwhelming searching for online suppliers and trying to compare prices in different currencies and a variety of weights.
I’d also like to post about any bargains or exceptional quality wools or fibres, so if you have a favourite seller/supplier who you think deserves being more widely known, I’d love to know about these too. They don’t have to have a huge range of items, just something of great quality and great value for money.
We’ve decided to have a giveaway in celebration of our new Felting and Fibre Studio and also just for fun! To enter and win this fibre pack you need to leave a comment on this post for one entry. Competition will be for 1 week and the winner will be announced by random number draw.
The pack contains just over 100grms of Fibre
Some hand dyed and carded small batts
Natural Merino Roving
Merino Silk Blend
Natural Silk Noil
This is a fun pack to use in your fibre arts.
Competion will end on Sunday the 16th at 9.00pm Australian Time