Monday I had the wonderful opportunity to meet another American living here in Trondheim who had me to her home to play with hand-spinning and hand dyeing fiber!
I met Rhonna on ravelry, an online “knit and crochet community”- think of it as sort of a facebook for knitters, crocheters, designers, fiber artists and others who just enjoy similar crafts. You can find patterns, post photos of your completed projects, discuss projects, ask questions and learn new things. Its a really awesome website if you want to get into designing, as you can post patterns you’ve created for free or for a fee and have thousands of people exposed to your work immediately.
Anyway, I digress. Earlier this year I decided I really wanted to try spinning my own yarn because it really gives you the chance to control everything about it- from what the fiber is made of to how thick or thin it is and if you’re into dyeing as well, you can control the color. Hand-spun yarns sometimes have a unique quality that you just cant obtain from machine spun, store-bought yarn.
So, Rhonna was nice enough to have me visit her home and spend the day learning how to dye my own wool and how to use a spinning wheel. I’d spun on a drop spindle before but never a spinning wheel, it was easier than I’d expected and REALLY addictive. I want my own now!
The best part of the day was dying my wool. Rhonna mixed up just some red and blue dye which we then kettle dyed. Basically, we just put the wool into the hot water, sort of drizzled the dye on the wool in a random fashion, then put in the vinegar which sets the dye. After it “cooked” for a little while, we took it out and after a rinse and drying this is what we ended up with:
My first reaction was “well… that’s going to look interesting!” I took it home and decided to try spinning it up on my drop spindle to see how to looked. I was pleasantly surprised that it turned gorgeously purple!
Lovely!!!! Its probably somewhere around a sport weight, and I think when I finish spinning it all up its going to be something nice for my friend Stacy, who likes the color purple. What a cool gift to receive- one that’s been handmade from the beginning!- Hand dyed to hand spun then hand knitted! Its also a superwash wool so it will be easy to care for as well. I’m thinking a nice warm scarf or a knitted cowl would be a good choice!
On a side note, I’ve added a seperate page to my blog for knitting projects. I wanted a place where I could discuss in depth the patterns I was using and the issues I was having with them without subjecting the “general public” so to speak with it.
I think I may also start a seperate page for recipes- I’ll still keep photos here of what I made and maybe discuss the recipe a little, but leave the entire recipe for the recipe page so as not to clutter up the main page.