my handspun yarn: madder, weld, walnut, camomile
In recent years spinning (with a hand spindle) is something I've enjoyed during Winter evenings, but this past Winter I looked at the spindle and the wool and just did not feel motivated. Some Winters are like that for me. I get tired easily because of the lack of sunshine.
Then recently I began to think again about all the wool I have stored, some dyed and some undyed, and felt inspired. So, this time around I am spinning for Spring, and so am working toward a Spring project. At the moment I'm dyeing and spinning and then will begin to knit some kind of simple scarf-throw project. I'll begin the knitting on the Spring Equinox, the day I consider to be that all important 'first day of' - so that's this Saturday. I'll knit and continue to dye wool and spin, and will work through April, hoping to complete sometime in early May. But there's no rush. This is a project for myself, something to enjoy in the evenings now the days feel longer. The wool used is a mix of British breeds: Shetland, Shropshire and Falklands, and some merino I have had for a while. Mostly these days if I buy wool tops to dye/spin it will be from a supplier who sells rare British breeds because I find that more interesting to use.
I'll hope to share the project as it moves along - in simple stripes of natural colours. I am not a very adept knitter, I like to keep it simple and can't be asked to follow knitting pattern instructions! I'll be knitting the singles rather than plyed wool because I find I can spin quite balanced singles and they knit up quite pleasantly enough.
I'm dyeing the wool using mostly my tried and tested solar jar method. For dyes such as weld, I am cooking up the dried dyestuff and then straining the dye solution, pouring it into a jar to use. Some dyes, such as madder, will work well if put into the jar and covered with hot water from the kettle, but weld and alkanet for another example are dyestuffs that from my experience need a little more persuasion. I really like the yellows of weld on wool, and yellows will be the main hue for this Spring project.