Monday, May 11, 2009

Lambs, Dyeing and Milk Fiber

Posts  two days in a row-the stars must be in alignment, or maybe it's because I am once again able to write a post while sitting in bed.

I went to visit my friend Andrea on Friday, who very kindly gave me some perennials for my garden, and also gave me the opportunity to visit with two newborn lambs-two little boys-one black and one white. At this point, their names are Salt and Pepper.

The Mom was not very happy with Andrea's dog which had come into the stall.  The sheep kept stamping her foot at the dog, to warn her to stay away from her babies. 

I spent some time last week dyeing, partially to get ready for the Phat Fiber May Box, whose theme is Showers and Flowers.  I dyed superwash merino fiber for the flowers part of the theme, using one of my favorite garden color combinations of purple and orange, with a little bit of green for the foliage and some brown for the earth in the garden.  I cleverly named the colorway Marilla's Garden.  Sometimes the hardest part of creating a colorway is the naming.

Here's the roving drying in the back yard.  It was a great day for drying fiber-sunny and windy. The only problem was that the wind kept blowing over the drying racks, but I eventually made a barricade with patio furniture so that the rack stayed upright.

I also sent samples of a sock yarn in the colorway Rainbow Connection.  When I first began dyeing Conor requested that I dye rainbow yarn and make him a pair of socks from the yarn. I have dyed several rainbow variations, but I am happiest with the sample for this month's box. I thought I had a picture to show you, but when my computer crashed I lost a lot of photos, and pictures of the rainbow yarn must have been in the group that was lost.  I have them on a memory card, but I have spent the whole day searching and can't find that card.  I am sure I put it in a very safe place, I just have to figure out what that place is.

The other exciting fiber event for me was the arrival of milk fiber, which I listed in my etsy shop today.  It is a fiber which has been around for a long time, made from casein, which is a milk product.  Milk fiber has the same PH as human skin, is anti-bacterial and has wicking properties similar to wool, so it is great fiber for making socks.  It is really, really soft, and a beautiful creamy color.  I can't wait to start dyeing it, and to use it in the creation of some of my batts.  Do you like my artistic photo of the milk fiber?

Tomorrow Andrea's husband John is coming to put an outlet in my basement so I can use my old stove for dyeing.  The stove has been sitting idly in the basement since I bought a new stove last summer.  I will be able to do some kettle dyeing now, which up to this point,I haven't been able to do, and I am looking forward to it.  It is a technique that is quite a bit less time consuming than hand painting the fiber and yarn, and it also will allow me to create a different type of look for the fiber.  Fun, fun, fun!

I had better go to sleep, and tonight I have to be sure to set my alarm.  I overslept this morning,  I would swear I set the alarm.  Sometimes I think Seamus and Gerard go for walks on my bedside table at night and turn off the alarm.  They deny it though.

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