Fiber Corner

Daily life of a knitting designer/publisher of handknitting patterns

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Magic with Dyeing & Plying

Okay, finally! the pictures and review of Patsy's class at John C Campbell Folk School. The title of the class was Magic with Dyeing & Plying. If you've never taken a class with Patsy Z. I highly recommend it. She is very well organized, a marvelous teacher, and was completely open to allowing each student to concentrate on the areas in which they were most interested. Nice! Since I have taken a dyeing workshop in the past (and now know that it's fun but I'd rather concentrate on other things), my main emphasis was the spinning portion of the class--how to use those pretty multicolored rovings others dye.

We started out choosing a multicolored roving from those that Patsy brought. There were several different types and colorways. Here's the one I picked. It's a little more pastel than it looks. Each morning, we'd use this roving to spin small samples and learned ways to record what we were doing so we could repeat them.

Here's the ring of my finished mini-skeins. We started out just spinning a simple random 2-ply yarn, then made a faux cable, added a new color to make a tweed, spun a true cable and made a carded neutral. The next day we spun a spiral slub, a spiral plied against a sewing thread and also plied silk against wooly nylon. In subsequent days we made knotted yarns (fun!) and both 3 part and 2 part core-spun Boucle (for those we used mohair, however I did also spin one of them with my handpainted roving). Lastly, there was a thick Lopi-like single, 2-ply matched colors, navaho ply, and what Patsy calls Illegal Yarn which is an S and a Z plied together S.

Yes! we were busy! Class ran from 9a-4:30p and we were given the opportunity to have 1.5 hrs off for lunch. We generally stayed from 9a-9:30 or 10p, just taking time for quick meals. As long as there were two people in the studio, Patsy had no problem allowing students to be there without here. She generally joined us in the evening and would demonstrate things that weren't officially included in the class.

One of those things was how to spin directly from the comb. Here's an in action shot of her doing that. Some of the other things I learned were how to use a drum carder and how to do a true long draw. Oh, and I forgot to mention that we worked with silk caps--dyeing and then spinning them.
This pick shows some of the dyed caps drying on the clothesline. That's mine in the middle with all the different colors. I thought I might be able to use it in a project along with a very brightly colored merino skein I spun in a Deb Menz workshop last summer, however, the cap turned into a pastel when spun--nearly a perfect match for the roving I used for the mini-skeins.

I didn't take any pics of the rainbow dyeing, however, we did a scour/dye pot that was intriguing. The first pic shows the raw locks (perendale/merino) placed in a net bag and just submerged in water. Dye was poured in and then the temp turned up.

This is the pot when it's finished cooking.

And here are the dyed and cleaned locks. I love that it's washed and dyed at the same time, though, you could use the same procedure with clean locks, too.

Attending the Folk School was a wonderful experience. Now I can't wait to see what Maryland Sheep & Wool is like.


At 12:22 AM, Blogger Melanie said...

You did such a wonderful variety of spinning, and those perendale/merino locks are totally yummy.

At 4:23 PM, Blogger Angela said...

I love that ring of mini skeins. Something else to add to my to-do list - go to the JCC Folk School!

At 4:39 PM, Blogger vanessa said...

great photos!


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