Often when we participate in local events, children and adults alike are surprised at seeing our children spinning away on a wheel. Children have commented, 'She can't do that!' or 'Kids can do it too?' or 'But she's a little kid!'; while the parents point and say - 'Look at him, he's making string - or is it yarn?' and 'Wow, look at what she's doing!'.
As we're harvesting more wools and having the short heat wave I thought to capitalize on the quick drying time and dye up some angora fiber, fine sheep wools and over dye some yarn! Over dyeing simply means your covering up the old dyes with another color you prefer. The deep purple and charcoal blend hand spun yarn used to be a washed red that I did a while ago. I really like how the purple took to the fiber.
I draped a bit of the violet dyed Angora that is showing more of a blue in that batch. That bright green and yellow is German Angora as well. I actually over dyed a black wool so you will see traces of that black as it is combed out.
You can see some more angora done in salmon and teal on the fine sheep's wool - but I also dyed some angora with the residual teal in the dye bath... Don't worry a bit about how it all looks rather clumpy while hanging. It did not felt. It spreads readily with a little work of the hands, it's just easier to dry with what I have and I keep spreading it and turning it to keep it drying on all sides.
I took what used to be a charcoal and white blend wool yarn and turned it into 'Forest Moss'...It's harder to see the variation in the green tones, but I LOVE it. You can also see that the bluish angora actually does have some lilac in it on this side of the rack.
This was a pleasant, productive activity during the early summer heat and I really enjoy the bright colors hanging in the house. It brings a smile to my face and is a unique way of bringing in the colors of spring grasses, flowers and blue skies...
Have you considered a project with your fibers lately?
How do you think you'd use these fibers and colors in a project?
What colors do you have yet to try?
Feel free to share your creative ideas!
She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands Proverbs 31: 13
We've had another blessing, Licorice had her first ewe lamb!
After first, she was highly stressed and had a challenge recognizing her little one as something other than a rabid animal trying to attack her. Only after we segregated her with her mother and helped her to calm down and nurse she took to mothering without issue.
Her new little one looks nearly identical to her father - she has a white tail that differentiates her just a bit!
Watching the lambs run and kick up their heels together is such a treat! Our alpacas consider it their special job to keep their eyes on them and as often as they carefully sit while the little ones play, I'm sure they'll soon be mounds for the lambs to leap upon. I'm including a picture of Frost in full coat because next weekend he and Jack will finally be shorn! We'll have help with their hooves and teeth as well. I can't wait to start creating with all that luscious fiber!
We harvested over 4 ounces of primarily 7" long, scrumptiously soft fiber that more than filled a gallon sized freezer bag. That's not all of his fiber (it was his 'saddle') but it gives you an idea of how wonderful the fiber from one rabbit can be! With one rabbit you can actually make a sweater from the year's harvest. You can do more than that if you add another rabbit so you have a pair to bond and romp with each other, as they are happier with family.
There is a reason some have called angoras
'Apartment Sheep'. Many have litterbox trained them to keep as the perfect, quiet, indoor fiber pet.
This is our journey.