August 21, 2009

New Yarns

A couple of new yarns- I had a bit of a clear out when a friend brought her friend over to my studio, who is a knitter and she kindly purchased quite a few of my yarns! I haven't dyed any commercial yarn for a while, so I started with this skein I had from Custom Woolen Mills, the working historic spinning mill here in Alberta. I called it Big Sky, and its a 2-ply yarn spun from fibers brought to the mill from Canadian sheep farmers:

I kettle dyed it using the non-toxic vinegar & food coloring method. Totally permanent, and no nasty chemicals involved (well, I think food coloring is actually kind of toxic- if you're thinking about eating it, after seeing how it dyes things). I really love this skein and am having a hard time letting it go!

The second, called Punky, and is a ply of carbonized bamboo I got at the Fiber Yurts on the sunshine coast, with some hot pink corriedale. It's quite nice and lofty, and I'm so happy to be plying on my wheel again- Mrs. Ashford needed some attention as she was being quite stubborn about plying before. It's my first time spinning with bamboo, and it is quite nice to spin. Very silky, but long fibers. I thought this particular type of bamboo was interesting because it's dark grey color is not a result of dye, but of carbonization. I'm not really sure how this is acheived.

I'm thinking about workshopping non-toxic dyeing here in e-town, as quite a few people have asked me to teach them. I'm wondering, do you think people on etsy would be interested in purchasing a kit with some plain white handspun yarn, with instructions and supplies on how to do non-toxic dyeing? (not natural dyeing, as I mentioned before, it is not natural as it involves harsh chemical mordants). It's another thing I'm contemplating for my shop. Let me know in the comments below!

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