For a variety of reasons, some personal, some structural (as in setting up a studio, aka My New Happy Place), some environmental (as in this wasn’t a very good year for dye mushrooms), my dyepots have been cold for the last few months. That will soon change, however, once my new workspace is ready and functional.
My spinning wheel hasn’t slowed down all that much, though; here are some interesting textures that resulted from some of my play sessions.
More posts to follow as soon as I can fire up the dyepots!
While my dyepots are finished for this season, the spinning continues. I’m working on the merino from the multiple exhausts of the beautiful little Cortinarius sanguineus—all the mushrooms went in at once, and I put the wool through successive dyepots until the colour was more or less gone (see my post of February 9). I’ll have four good bobbins of singles, which I plan to then chain-ply, or Navajo ply, which will result in a three-ply yarn without any waste.
Because I plan to crochet with this yarn, I’m spinning the singles in a counterclockwise direction, to be plied clockwise. I have no idea how many yards I’ll end up with, but because I want to make a shawl with it, I’ll choose a pattern that will allow me to continue until I run out of yarn.
My Phaeolus dyepots are all done now, so while I move on to the mushrooms that have been drying for the last few months, I’m spending my evenings spinning these beautiful gold fibres.
I dyed some llama rovings in a Phaeolus dyepot (the three strands of fibre on the right—mordanted in copper, iron and alum, left to right)—and I love the gentle way they picked up the colour.
The llama was beautiful to spin, but very slippery. I blended the three hues into one yarn, then used two plies of that with one ply of thick-and-thin merino, to give the final yarn some body. This skein feels lovely and soft.
Then I carded together several shades (in merino) and got an interesting heather effect.
I also had some mohair locks that just soaked up the brilliant gold. I cut these into manageable bits, which I encased between plies of the merino. Unfortunately, it didn’t go very far—next year I’ll have to dye much more than a couple of handfuls—but this little skein is magic and would be good to use in combination with the merino yarn.
Even though my dyepots are still going strong, it’s time to start spinning the mass of fibre accumulating around the house. The first yarn of the season, which I’m spinning now, will be a blend of these three colours.
I’m preparing the fibre on my handcarders as I go, making some rolags of one colour and some with two colours blended. This merino cards up so beautifully—it’s a dream to spin.
CELEBRATING THE BEAUTY OF SUNSHINE COAST MUSHROOMS