I've been keeping busy with my hand-spinning coursework! Last weekend I went to visit my friend Andrea Leigh so we could play around with dyeing some yarn. We have to produce an 11 step gradient for class... We had a great time spinning and dyeing and eating vegan delights.
Vegan fish and chips!
It was my first time using the Greener Shades acid dyes. They were a little bit spotty and we were not sure if it was because we crammed too much fibre into each jar or if we needed to add more acid to the dye-bath or if we needed a leveling agent. So much more experimenting to do!
We were also lucky enough to be invited to a friend's farm to meet her Shetland Sheep! They are so cute and all different, wonderful colours. We even got to take off with a bag full of fleece each to spin up and experiment with!
My continuing course work is going well. I've been working on my Homo/Ortho spinning this weekend. The exercise is to produce a yarn that both singles are of different colours (orthogeneous) and another yarn where the colours are carded before hand then spun and plied to produce a yarn that is all one colour (homogeneous). I finished the Ortho part and prepped the rolags for the homo part.... I really have to practise more spinning from a rolag though, I'm finding it difficult to get a smooth yarn there are lumps... practise makes perfect though!
I've also been working on my "in the grease" homework. This exercise involves flick carding greasy fleece and spinning it without washing it. So the wool still has all it's waxy goodness in it. My hands are very soft! Half the fleece is spun "in the grease" the other has to be washed and carded then spun. I wanted to try washing the fleece in very hot water only. This is the way one of my classmates from Germany washes her fleeces. The idea is that the hot water melts off the wax, you don't let the water cool too much or all the waxy grease will coat the wool again. So you soak the greasy fleece for about 1/2 an hour then dump the water and repeat. I did it 3 times and the fleece seems pretty clean. I'm going to see how it spins.