Thursday, September 25, 2008

A Wool Gathering

Last Saturday I spent the day in a large tent surrounded by sheep, goats, llamas and hundreds of people! This wasn't just any gathering...this was a gathering of FIBER!

Whether you wanted to make something and needed to buy the yarn, or wanted to spin, felt or whatever, you could have found it here! Or maybe you wanted something already made, yup... lots of vendors for that too!

There were sheep shearing demos, weaving, spinning, knitting, rug making.... all you had to do was ask and there was someone who could tell you about FIBER!

My tent showed people just where wool and fiber comes from and the process to get it to you! I answered questions for 8hrs and spun for about that long too!

I thought it would be fun to post a few pictures from the Wool Gathering, then show you just what I did with the fiber I spun!

We took 3 llamas, Diego, Fusion and Shadow.
Here's a closeup...the white, fluffy piece I'm holding in my right hand is "roving". Roving is done by carding the fibers, aligning all the hair in the same direction. My bobbin and flyer are moving very fast, that's why it kind of looks blurry. I'm not spinning the fiber, I'm just guiding so it's even consistency . I'm pretty sure this fiber is from Fusion.

This is Jenna and her ewe, Bacardi. Diego wasn't quite sure just what this was! He had to sniff and sniff.

Here is the full bobbin, single ply. I used a ball winder to take this off of the bobbin, then spinning from the ball, made it 2 ply.

Here is the finished yarn. Now, it could be made into something right from this point, but I thought you might like to see how I dye my yarn *wink*

Yes, Kool-Aid works as a dye! Now you know why mom always told you to stay OUT of the living room when you were drinking it!

The yarn was wet thoroughly with warm water, with about 1/2" of water in the dish. Then the fun part!! There is no rhyme or reason, just sprinkle the powder over the yarn. Sometimes I dye the roving first (in the same manner) then spin it.

Now, I'll add a little more water, smoosh (technical term) the Kool-Aid into the yarn, and pop it in the microwave. I let it "brew" for about 5 minutes at a time, checking frequently the color of the water.

I can hear you saying...HELLO! You just put red and green in there...what color do you think it's going to be!! LOL
But, when the fiber has absorbed all the dye, the water will be clear!

Pretty cool,huh! The water in the spoon is clear! So now I can rinse the yarn in cold water, squeeze the excess water out and hang to dry.

This is the dyed, dried yarn....say that 3x real fast! This is a 2 yard skein and weighs 5 ounces. I would have liked a little more green, but that was all the "green" flavor I had! I'll wind it into a ball and start knitting something. When I get it finished, I'll post pictures.

So, there you have it....that's what I do with my llama fiber! If you get the chance to visit a fiber festival, do it! I guarantee you'll be amazed.

Thanks for stopping!!



Anonymous said...

You have such a nice fiber blog. You kool-aid how to dye fiber pictures are great. I use the same process with acid dyes, but I put the dish of fiber in a microwave to generate the heat.

Keri Lee Sereika said...

Ok now that is THE COOLEST POST EVER!!!!!!!!! I totally loved seeing it from start to finish and now can't wait to see you make a totally awesome end product!!!

Emi got her puzzle! Thank you!! Cole loved and took it upon himself to show her how to put it together...more than once...and she was just as happy to let him do it as she dotes on Cole.... :) You are too sweet to think of her!!! Thanks!!!

Vicky Gould said...

I really enjoyed seeing your photos, Dawn. Who would have thought to use Kool Aid - makes you wonder about drinking it! Anywho, I did love seeing you at work - such a talented woman - spinning, knitting, card making, canning - you are just da bomb!
Can't wait to see what you make.

- dlm. said...

Thanks so much for sharing this part of your life with us, Dawn! I loved seeing the steps that you took to spin the yarn and dye it. Now I can't wait to see what you create with it!

Holly said...

TOO COOL!!!!!!!!! I love how you use Koolaid!!! Now I wanna see more postings with other colors - purple, orange, blue, pink......... what else is there? I wanna see em all, and I wanna see what you knit with them. :-)

Anonymous said...

Gosh I wonder if my insides are still dyed red from all the Kool-Aid I used to drink when I was a kid!

This is so cool, Dawn. Love seeing the pics... Will look forward to seeing what you make with your yarn.

Anonymous said...

Whodda thunk that Kool-Aid would die the yarn that brightly?!! (and, I'm wondering too, if my insides are still red!!) Guess it's a good thing that I'm a "mean" mommy and never buy Kool-Aid for my kids!! LOL
Thanks for sharing the whole process....very interesting!

Elaine M said...

Oh - that was so interesting!!! I wanna try my hand at that! Who would have ever guessed you'd use KoolAid - amazing.

Anonymous said...

What a cool process!! Totally loved it!