Sunday, August 11, 2013

Bilberry hunting season

Most of the bilberries became jam, some were eaten raw, the lucky ones made it into a pie, and about 2 kilograms of berries ended up in the dyebath.
That was more than enough to dye 500 grams of yarn (mordanted with alum and cream of tartar) a deep purple colour, hovering between blue- and red-purple. I read somewhere that the colour is not very lightfast so I hope the bilberry "overdose" helps a little.

The colour of the yarn is much deeper and darker
in reality than is shown on the photos.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

More wool combing, spinning, dyeing and band weaving

Here is how I spent some of the long summer evenings on my veranda, defying the gnats and mosquitos and  occasionally stirring the simmering dye pots:
From front to back: Spælsau - natural white; Blæset sau - natural black; yarn dyed with St. John's Wort (no mordant used); another skein of the same white spælsau; yarn dyed with  birch leaves (alum mordant) and dyed over with parmelia lichen; and the same black blæset sau.

My first tablet woven band, all wool. Pattern draft from Eqos.
1.9  cm wide, 170 cm long.
Flower band, woven on a rigid heddle. Unbleached linen and pattern threads of green embroidery wool.
1.5 cm wide,  222 cm long.

On top: yarn dyed with St. John's Wort (no mordant). The yellow skeins were dyed with birch leaves (alum mordant); the light green yarn was dyed with Lady's Mantle and some lupin flowers (alum mordant).

My new mini wool combs.
Handspun 2-ply wool, entirely from scratch!
Skirted, washed, combed, spun and plied - a long process, but quite satisfying. The wool has a beautiful lustre but is a bit scratchy. The white wool is from Spælsau sheep, the black from Blæset sau (crossbred), from local animals wandering  in the higher mountain areas all summer.