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Dye, Spin, Knit

August 13, 2008

The week at Harrisville with Lynne Vogel was great. It was relaxed but productive. There were 16 students, most with more spinning experience then me. But it did not matter. Everyone was friendly and helpful. Lynne’s teaching style let everyone work at her own pace and skill level.

The first day was an introduction to spinning with color. We took painted rovings and experimented with how to divide and spin it. The first project was to knit something with the energized singles. I made a little bag to hold my orifice hook or what ever. We did a lot of spinning, which was good, since I have a new spinning wheel.

The second day was the first day of dying. We had 6 ounces of Blue Faced Leicester to dye. Lynne gave a demonstration in the morning and we had a few “assignments” but then we were free to do what ever we wanted. We had access to several dyes, learned dilution and mixing techniques. The heat for setting the dyes were microwaves. We then left the hot packets of fiber in a dark pail to slowly cool and rinsed them the following morning. It was so much fun.

Here are some pictures of the “dye studio”  (which was the loading dock):

And pictures of finished rovings:

On Wednesday, we had a choice of more dying, or spinning and knitting. I dyed in the morning, I had some merino and alpaca I wanted to try. Then in the afternoon, I worked on spinning the roving from the previous day. I was not happy with my roving after I pulled it apart, there was too much green and not long enough sections of the other colors. My yarn was coming out just green. After thinking about it overnight, Thursday I finished spinning one single with the green then using the bits of other colors to spin randomly with the green for the other single. I plyed them together and this is what I got:

It is not a great picture, but I am very pleased with it. I am making a neck scarf. (Lynne’s goal was we spun something for a project). I’ll post a picture next time when I have more done.

As I said in the beginning, a lot of the women were more experienced spinners than I. And more productive, as evidenced by these photos:

Of course, most of these women were staying at the boarding house and I suspect spun into the evening after I left. But they were great women to hang out with and to see their finished work. Amazing.

One last picture, my dyed rovings:

I am very happy with the experience at the class and my work. I am ready to do some production dying so keep an eye out for handdyed alpaca yarns in my store.

“Color is one of the most powerful means of nonverbal expression.” Lynne Vogel (from her book The Twisted Sisters Sock Workbook)

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