Tag Archives: dyeing

Twisted Tuesday: join me for spinning and other fiber-related fun

In the past couple of years I’ve occasionally posted something about spinning or other topics related to turning fibers into thread or yarn. I really want to focus on this more, so I got it in my head to set aside Tuesday’s to share some kind of spinning article or other fiber-related fun.

Want to come along and play with me? To give you an idea of what I have in mind, here’s a brief review of  a sampling of past articles like those I have in mind.

With articles like Moody Blues, handspun pima cotton plied with silk, I plan to continue to explore the creative structure of plied handspun yarn along with a dose of serendipity.

moody blues is handspun cotton plied with silk

Spinning a 2-ply laceweight yarn for a scarf unfolds a story about turning fiber into yarn, and then into a knitted lace scarf.

Hand-painted silk roving
Hand-painted silk roving

We might play with a bit a dyeing, too, like in Cotton Roving – braiding, dyeing, spinning and knitting and follow the process through “what will it become”.

Stages of dyeing and spinning cotton to result in a casually rustic lace scar
Stages of dyeing and spinning cotton to result in a casually rustic lace scar

Exploring sources of fiber and making custom fiber preparations is part of what makes the hands-on experience so satisfying, and I plan to share it with you in articles such as Spinning Jacob Wool – one fleece, many colors.

Singles and 2-ply yarns spun from sorted Jacob wool
Singles and 2-ply yarns spun from sorted Jacob wool

I also hope to bring in guest experts to help, or help lead you to them such as when Deb Robson explains scouring fleece.

Another aspect of spinning and fiber-play is the “toys of our trade”. I have plenty of stories to share there. I can even help give you justification for your obsession such as this article on Deco-organizing a spindle collection.

"Deco-organizing" my spindle collection
"Deco-organizing" my spindle collection

I hope you’ll join me over the next several weeks. Tell your friends. The more the merrier. And that will encourage me to do even more. If you are interested in something particular, do leave comments and I will put it on the agenda. Spinn-i-o!

Cotton Roving – braiding, dyeing, spinning and knitting

I have some photos to share from a “cotton study” project I did quite some time ago. It was always my intent to do a write-up with the pictures, but you know how intentions can sometimes go by the wayside. Here I am many years later looking through my photo albums and was reminded again of that short article that I still wanted to write. Well, here it is finally!

Unfortunately I don’t have any photos of the step-by-step process I used. I will just have to talk it through. For those familiar with dyeing and spinning, you should be able to follow along well enough and surmise. For those unfamiliar with these, maybe you can just enjoy the pretty colors and inspiration.

Stages of cotton dyeing, spinning, plying and knitting
Stages of cotton dyeing, spinning the singles, plying and knitting

The above photo shows

  1. the braided un-spun roving after dyeing
  2. the singles yarn
  3. the singles plied with fine rayon sewing thread to make the 2-ply knitting yarn
  4. and the result of using the 2-ply yarn to knit the HeartStrings Reversible Lace Cables scarf pattern

Dyeing the cotton: I started with un-dyed white cotton roving. I broke off lengths of roving about a yard long each and braided them. Then 3 colors of fiber reactive dyes were applied to the braid. After the dye was set and rinsed, I let the braids dry completely.

Spinning the singles: I undid each braid (sorry I can’t remember how many I had, but the total weight was 1.75 oz / 50g) and spun each length of dyed roving separately into an S-twist singles. I used long draw from the “wrong end” of the roving on my Lendrum spinning wheels highest speed whorl. For you spinners, you know that cotton roving will draw out more smoothly in one direction than the other. I intentionally used the other direction to produce a lump, bumpy textured singles strand of spun yarn. (this is harder to do than you’d think after you’ve spun for a while!) I wanted a yarn that when knitted into the lace, would produce a casual, somewhat rustic look.

Plying: I plied the spun singles Z-twist with fine rayon sewing thread to make a 2-ply knitting yarn.

Here is a photo of the knitted scarf that I took recently with a different camera in different lighting (the original picture above was taken in the 90’s! — my, how digital cameras have advanced, haven’t they?)

Reversible Lace Cables Scarf in hand-dyed, hand-spun cotton
Reversible Lace Cables Scarf in hand-dyed, hand-spun cotton

Here’s a bit more of a close-up so that you can see the texture of the yarn in the stitches.

Detail of the textured yarn knitted into the lace stitch pattern
Detail of the textured yarn knitted into the lace stitch pattern

p.s. Do you recognize this scarf as having been knit from the same pattern in last week’s blog article Spinning a 2-ply laceweight yarn for a scarf?