Waste not, want not – an alpaca scrap rug

Rigid heddle alpaca rug

What to do with a sackful of alpaca that’s really too short and scrappy to spin? Spin it anyway! Two passes through the Ashford fine drum carder and it was looking relatively decent. I then corespun it on the Country Spinner over some dodgy commercial mohair blend and thew it at the rigid heddle loom and voila, bedside rug. Yep, you really want to get your toes into …

Blackberry-dyed Gotland locks
Blackberry-dyed Gotland locks – Gorgeous heathery mauves and lilacs over a mixture of grey locks.
Blackberry-dyed Gotland top
Combed into top using my fantastic (and lethal) new wool combs by Jürgen of Wollwolff.

 

Dying with tansy
Andean plying tansy-dyed merino X valais blacknose

Dying with tansy

Dying with tansy - wannabe vintage mitts
Wannabe Vintage Mitts – lovely free pattern on Ravelry by Jennifer B.

 

 

Dyeing with tansy

Dyeing with tansy

Having collected the tansy from a particularly dodgy bit of scrubland at the back of our local bakery, my hopes for this dye experiment were mixed … Luckily, it was a happy experiment. Followed the directions in Wild Color, pre-mordanted some lovely but muddy coloured wool batts from a bargain eBay fleece (Valais Blacknose/Merino cross … the rest of it was silvery grey and gorgeous) …

The trials and tribulations of raw Gotland fleece

Love it. Hate it. Is is me or is this stuff the most labour-intensive fleece on the market? An hour on the floor with this (super stinky) stuff and you’ve only pulled out enough locks to make one puny baby sock. And the smell. I mean, this little thing sauntered in during a particularly fraught scouring session and rather than buzz around and annoy me further, it just keeled …

Dirty sheep fleece
When it’s 34 degrees outside and you’re up to your eyeballs in steaming sheep fleece …

Solar-dyed roving – a good use for summer sun

Solar dyed roving

As the temperature hit 36 degrees, I decided it was time to put all that hot air to good use and set up my big black dye pot for a bit of experimental solar dyeing. I took a few 100 grams of tussah silk-merino roving from Das Wollschaf, which is just gorgeous, and put it to work with procion and acid dyes. I was inspired by …