Sunday, February 24, 2013

Art Yarn and Roving Showcase

I can't believe I haven't posted on this blog for almost 2 years, time has gone by so fast since we moved to Hippyland, and we've been so busy here with taking care of all our animals, all our businesses and with building a new workshop. For the last year, I have been posting on a new blog I call the
  Museum of Craftology, so check it out! 

Ever since my last blog post here, I have been spinning on my Ashford Joy Wheel, carding with my Ashford Wild Carder and dyeing up new colors with Dharma's line of Acid Dyes. Here are some of the latest yarns:

This yarn is in the Pluckyfluff 'Aura' style, a thick center single of different purple colors, simultaneously spun while wrapping with a thin puffy layer of teased white angora goat mohair (mixed with barbie colored sparkle) and wrapped with a black thread. Phew. A lot of work considering the yarn only goes through the wheel once, and the 'autowrap' on the Joy wheel is not exactly automatic because of the outie orifice...

The next yarn was also inspired by Pluckyfluff, but from her new book Hand Spun. It is a thick black merino single spun with fire-colored roving added in and crocheted into a braid on the spot, resulting in a continuously spun yarn.  It was really fun to make. This is going to be very interesting when knitted up, as the black is thin but the colored sections are super bulky.

This yarn was a result of my first venture into crock-pot dyeing, and I will never go back to dyeing in the oven. See my tutorial on kitchen counter wool dyeing on Museum of Craftology here. Handpainting roving is a little different, with the stripes and all, but a tutorial is forthcoming. This one is 300+ yds of a very fine single spun in order to get long large sections of color in the trend of Noro yarns.

 This yarn is a 2-ply, one ply is my homegrown brown and the other is a carded blend of angora goat, bamboo, silk cocoons, wool and a touch of gold sparkle. I made it to mimic the weight of some pink&purple yarn I had made previously which my mom knitted up into an original cabled cowl scarf that I love to wear this winter. I will feature some of these finished garment pictures in another post.

I had some super bright wool locks that I wanted to use but I didn't want to break them up, or for the final yarn to be too bright and crazy. So, I made a brown single with the locks tailspun in, and I love how the locks pop out, but the brown always goes with every color. 

 This yarn took a long time to conceptualize: the original colors I had envisioned were those of a peacock feather. The bronze is a bit more golden yellow than I was going for but the final colors look great together. At the same time I dyed the BFL roving, I also dyed some Honey Tussah silk roving. I spun the wool thick&thin, though I tried to keep larger blocks of color by not stripping down the roving very much as I spun. I spun the silk thinly and so that the whole length of it was divided into the 4 color blocks, then I plied the two together extra wiggly. In this way, the beginning of the yarn is purple silk and the end of the yarn is yellow/brown silk. Should be a neat effect when it becomes a knitted item. 

 The rest of the photos are some rovings I dyed but have not spun yet. I have been trying to make the colors BOLD, as that is usually what draws me into buying those wonderful painted rovings at a fiber show. I love color, and dyeing, and especially mixing dyes to get the exact color that is in my mind's eye. I want colors that look good together, but that are exciting too, colors you might not think of at first as going together at all. The peacock yarn above is one of those and here are some more:

The Monarch roving: Black, yellow, deep orange, with bits of white like a Monarch Butterfly:

A classically rainbow roving in bright fluorescents that will be a gift for a new baby:


And a yarn inspired by the Hot Spring Algal Colors of Yellowstone National Park. I call this one 'Grand Prismatic' after the Hot Spring of the same name, though a second spring that comes to mind is the famous Morning Glory Pool. I imagine the final yarn crocheted in circles somehow...

Here is the aerial view of the spring, so you can see the amazingly bright colors. This photo is from in a post about 8 surreal natural landscapes. The other 7 are pretty cool too!

Here is a picture of us at Grand Prismatic Spring in Yellowstone National Park in 2006.

 Hope you enjoyed my new creations, and I promise the next post will be much sooner than the last!
Peace, Love and Craftiness Forever!