My drop spindle will be on its’ third skein of yarn soon and I really love spinning! I wasn’t surprised by this at all since I love yarn and crocheting and almost love dying it even more. I have been walking around with the look of a weird woman sometimes stopped on the side of the road trying to remember if Queen Anne’s Lace dyes yellow or green?
The yarn I have now is all hand spun and dyed by me and it was a gift from a local friend and her animals. I get almost emotional about the whole thing because things just seem to tie together for me.
I didn’t know how to crochet a few months ago and now I can spin my own fiber into yarn, use my own plants to dye it and then crochet it into something warm for the coming Winter.
The idea of crocheting or spinning wool for that matter seems kind of odd in the summer but I became interested after the animals were sheared and then went from one thing to an invitation to a gift of help and fiber and now I can’t imagine why I didn’t do this before.
The purple I get from frosting dye, blackberries, cherries and Oregon grape berries. To get the color to stick I have been using salt but you can also use oak gall or iron or alum or even a little bit of miracle grow since it had iron in it. You have to be careful about adding chemicals to your dyes obviously but I added the turquoise powder of the miracle grow in the dye pot as the last thing to set for 30 minutes and wasn’t boiled or heated just warm.
The second yarn that I did was spinned Merino wool. Bottom photo shows the lavender color. I spun it first and dyed it in a pot with blackberries, cherries, oregon grape berries and then blue food coloring and salt. You can dye the fiber first before spinning or after and I don’t know which one I like better yet. The alpaca fiber was a beige color and it’s so soft. I dyed it with about the same dye mixture but added some red food coloring to balance the blues. It looks like a raspberry shade now and is drying.
Since I started to crochet I tried lamb for the first time ever and even though it was stew meat and in a stew I had made it was very good. I can see the benefit to having a few sheep when I have my farm. I have been researching different breeds for wool or meat and they are beautiful creatures that my great great-grandparents and further back raised in Scotland and in this state.