A blog about my life, knitting, and other stuff.

April 1, 2015

A Fleece of a Different Color

At the Whidbey Weaver's Guild Spin-In this weekend Judith Mackenzie gave a talk about color. I got me thinking about some old fleece that had been sitting in my stash for a very long time (the sales slip in the bag says 2006). It's a small brown Corriedale fleece that I scoured when I first got and flick-carded, then set aside.


I'm always drawn to variegated fleece but when you spin them they're just light brown. I thought I'd experiment with adding some color. I put small bits of fleece in three jars, added a little Dawn dishsoap (just a drop), water, vinegar and a drizzle of dye. I choose Cherry, Violet and Cyan from my Mother Mackenzie dyes. I heated them in the microwave for a few minutes and let them sit until the water was clear.


I was immediately partial to the violet. It allowed more of the original color through and seemed to work well with it.

But you don't really know if a color is any good until you spin it. Since these were just little tufts of fiber, and I already have a project on my wheel, I pulled out a heavy old drop spindle that I never use and made a three mini skeins.


I still like the Violet the most. It shows off the variegation in the fiber really nicely, brightening the lighter bits.

This experiment revealed a new problem though. The fleece, which seemed well-scoured many years ago, now feels a bit sticky. I made an attempt last night to wash it again but there's still a residual stickiness. I should probably wash it all again, this time in much smaller batches, to get it really clean but what a drag. It might just go back in the fiber closet for another nine years...

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