Winter Updates!

I disappeared into an intense bout of spinning lately, trying out my new colorway with a fractal ply to test the harmony of the colors. It turned out GORGEOUS, and pictures will be shared as soon as I’m done setting the twist. The second run of the colorway, “Mango Punch” is officially available in my Etsy Shop, along with my second signature colorway, “Dyed Leather.”

Enough talk. Pictures now.

Mango Punch -Superfine Merino, 3.62 oz. I replaced the muted sage green of the first run of this colorway with a bright apple. I love both versions!

Dyed Leather – on Gray Gotland, 3.62 oz. The natural silver tone of this fiber took the dyes exactly as I was hoping they would, creating complexity and depth.

I also indulged in some doodling over Thanksgiving break, freehand with sharpies on a poster board. I do believe I will color it..

I guess you would call this a Zentangle, although I prefer less dense patterning in my mandalas.

And finally, I am stoked on my very first homebrewed batch of kombucha! I love this stuff, and I have wanted to brew some for years. I finally obtained a Mother, and now I am seeing the formation of the daughter! Woohoo!!!

Slowly, ever so slowly, I inch closer to my goal of being a weird, hippie art teacher who brews magic potions in the woods and wears sweaters made from her own goats. Because it’s important to have goals.

-MF

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Mango Punch, Etc

After waffling about whether or not I wanted to try this color scheme I’ve been toying with, I finally bit the bullet and used some superfine Merino to test dye (sometimes exhaustion lends you just enough crazy). I have to confess I adore it. It’s called “Mango Punch” and I’ll be tinkering with the colors and amounts more in the future, as I’d like to make it my first signature roving colorway.

MangoPunch1 MangoPunch3

I also played with getting multiple tones out of a one color + silver dyes in Marsala:

Marsala3

What else have I been up to? Lots more playing with color in these hooded cowls (for which I am working on a pattern!)
HarvestSpirit3 ForestDawn4

The cowls themselves are both available right now in my Etsy shop. If you’d like to get notified when the pattern becomes available, make sure you subscribe to my blog or follow me on Facebook!

My Mandala Top pattern still yields me lots of color therapy – I just worked up with autumn-toned version in size small with some extra flounce added to the bottom. It reminds me of browned leaves falling to the ground. Can you tell I have a forest obsession? I have a forest obsession.

AutumnMandala2 AutumnMandalaShrooms

For more Morale-boosting fiber-y goodness, check me outΒ on Instagram.

-MF

After a Weekend in the Woods

Even with school and rushing from one place to the next and releasing a new pattern, I had time to order and play with some of Dharma Trading Company’s limited-time release 2015 Fall Tones, which were DELIGHTFUL.

Falltones

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I also added a new pair of floral mitts to my Etsy shop, a pair that I am particularly proud of. The first three rows of petals on each of these pretty half-gloves are hand-dyed by me and handspun with a Navajo-ply technique. They reminded me of big, beautiful garden roses.

TeaRoses3

Those of you who follow me on Instagram and Facebook already know that I recently did some vending at my favorite local festival community, Lothlorien Nature Sanctuary. I always receive such love and support from my fellow community members there, and I couldn’t be more grateful! Plus the dancing and drumming ain’t bad.

drumzz

Plus, look at that VIEW.

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But now it’s back to reality – or semi-reality – as I crochet some mushrooms for my visual journal project and write about Greek amphora painting.

-MF

Roving Adventures: Steam Setting

As I walked in the door triumphantly with my 33 quart enamel ware canner I got super cheap at Goodwill, I had prepared my explanation about how useful it would be when I had my future garden or got a good deal at the farmer’s market to preserve the theoretical fresh produce. The justification for buying a pot too large to even fit through our cabinet doors, if we even had the cabinet space in the first place (we don’t) was loaded and ready.

My very intelligent boyfriend was not fooled.

“You’re just going to use that to dye stuff, aren’t you?”

Yes. Yes I am.

 

This was my first true venture into steam setting – I tried to do it in the dye crockpot once but it was a pain in the ass. The resulting roving from the crockpot steam was pretty, but not as dark as I intended.

“Mermaid Hair”

MermaidHair MermaidHair4

 

I’m thrilled with how my two latest batches came out…

“Ardor”

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Ardor1 Ardor2

“Witching Hour”

WitchingHour1

WitchingHour3 WitchingHour2

I can’t wait to spin these. Unfortunately they are pretty far back in the “to spin” pile. I guess I need a wheel!

-MF

Playing With Color

Yesterday was the nicest day so far this year, and I woke up with a mission.

Okay, I woke up, drank two cups of coffee, and THEN I had a mission: dying the recycled sweater yarn I’ve been sitting on for months.

It’s not the same yarn as from my Recycling Sweater Yarn Tutorial, but this one is also whiter than Bill Gates and needing some color. This one has a gorgeous feel, though – at 42% rayon and 17% cotton it’s firm and strong, but the 20% wool content fluffs and softens it some, topped with 5% rabbit hair for a suggestion of luxury. There’s also a 16% nylon content but… whaddyagonnado, it’s recycled sweater yarn. It’s WPI is about 14-15 with loose plies – I could respin this batch to tighten the plies but I decided not to because I didn’t want to ruin its loftiness.

Recycle Sweater Yarn Dye 1

I needed to know how many yards I had in the dye batch (this does not affect the dying process, but I needed to know for later). So I measured out 17 yards and weighed it, coming up with 6 grams. Using the formula of grams over yardage, I figured that each yard weighed .353 grams.

Recycle Sweater Yarn Dye 2

 

 

 

Time to separate the sections.

I wanted long color changes, so I decided I would change colors every 20 yards. I sacrificed precision for speed and used three chair backs – each wraparound a bit longer than a yard, but whatever.

Recycle Sweater Yarn Dye 4

There are devices that one can use to make color-changing yarn dying easier. I did not wait to secure one of these devices, so chair backs it was.

I wrapped all of the balls together, deciding I would sort them back out later. I am patient with tangles.

I took my three conjoined bundles and dunked them in hot water to soak. The dye instructions advised I add salt for cotton or plant fabrics OR vinegar for wool fabrics. This yarn was both. I added neither – knowing that this would be a color gamble anyway. Plus I was out of white vinegar.

Recycle Sweater Yarn Dye 5

Time to dunk. I used bamboo skewers to stir my yarn in the dye bath, poking and prodding for 30 minutes.

Recycle Sweater Yarn Dye 6

Although they didn’t look like I had originally planned, the colors looked really good together when rinsed. Yes, they were muted. Yes, they weren’t what I had envisioned in my mind’s eye – but dying them and getting something a little surprising was a lot of fun. Sometimes it’s good to not get exactly what you want – it forces you to innovate and move outside of your comfort zone.

Recycle Sweater Yarn Dye 7

In the end I am thrilled with my first recycled yarn dye attempt, and am practically hopping up and down in anticipation of stitching with it.

-MF