Hand painted roving

I really should have been focusing on my MDSW or Bust goals, but I am a fickle crafter so other endeavors have been catching my eye (and time).

Dyeing my own fiber/roving is an idea which has been floating in my mind for quite a while now. I’ve done a bunch of experimenting before but never anything larger scale. Until a few weekends ago I decided I wanted to attempt my own space dyed roving.

4 ounce braids of hand dyed fiber seem to be the thing to do these days in the handspinning community so that was my goal. I already had some blue RIT dye powder from a project last fall and I picked up a box of green from Michaels. I thought the colors should go nicely together in a happy green/blue teal spring-ish type of way.

Before dying the whole 4 ounces I tried a few samples.

First up (on the left) was just straight up green and blue. It came out fine but much much too dark. It wasn’t at all what I had in mind.

Next (middle) I tried the same green and blue but using a lower concentration. It was a little better but still not a result that I could get excited about.

With the green and blue not getting me the desired results I branched out (right) and tried including some yellow using food dye (from last summer's dye experiments). I wasn’t really a huge fan of the result but it was at least more interesting. And I was getting tired of all the testing, so I just went for it.
This picture is the truest to color. Capturing color really is dreadfully difficult at times.
  I’m pretty pleased with the results. It’s been very tempting to spin it all up and see what the yarn looks like. I’ve held off in part because I really do need to focus on the other goals I set for myself. But also because I think it would be fun until I had a few dyed braids that I could spin together for some kind of crazy sweater project or something.

Given the relative success of this project I already have many other ideas in my head for what’s next. I’m excited.

MDSW or bust

Some fiber-friends and myself started thinking/talking about Maryland Sheep and Wool in March. The only problem with this awesomeness is that I really do have a ton of things purchased from previous MDSW visits that haven’t been used yet.

I had already set myself a goal of getting all of the raw fleece purchased from the 2014 MDSW washed. But after washing the last of the awesome Jacob fleece in mid-March that goal was accomplished. I decided I needed to step up my game and accomplish some serious pre-MDSW project/stash busting. And to add to the fun I decided it needed to be multi-craftual.

While my 2014 fleeces may have been washed they were still pretty far from being a finished craft of any kind. So to start things off I decided to use my newest toy and hand comb the rest of the Tunis fleece from last year into top. I was thinking I ought to have enough fleece for some kind of a sweater, although I may have used up more of the fiber than I realized earlier in the year. I am still rather new to combing but I really am loving it. That being said this goal is also kind of insane as I now have dozens of little balls of combed top. I think normal people either comb as they go or are only combing fleece for smaller projects. Awesome but very very weird looking to have a giant bag filled with fiber prepared this way.

The next step after one has prepared fiber is to spin it up. I choose this amazingly soft blend of baby camel and angora that I purchased at least years festival. It’s a fun and easy spin mostly just because I love soft things so much. I’m going for a fingering-ish weight yarn with the thought that the finished yarn can eventually be used to knit some kind of wonderful luxury accessory.

And lastly there is actual knitting. I think I actually started this project before I came up with this themed objective but it fits in perfectly. I bought this Snapdragon fiber as dyed/prepared roving at the 2013 MDSW. It was spun into many yards of laceweight yarn during the 2014 Tour de Fleece. And this spring I decided it should become a shawl. I’ve had the simple lines pattern on my to-knit list for quite some time now. And since I like using simple patterns to show off handspun yarn it seemed a good fit. Although I did adjust to use the laceweight instead of the original fingering weight yarn. As of today I only just managed to use half of the yarn. The project feels entirely endless. And I’m just not in love with it. But I’m pushing forward. I really think the lace border will change my feelings about it. In the end it should be awesome.

I’ve wasted enough time typing now. Must keep crafting!

PS: It took me pretty much all month to actually get this posted online. Oops. I'm almost done everything now!