Saturday, June 16, 2012

Flagstaff alpaca yarn into this......

From the snowy hills of Dunedin white fluff is grown on the back of Andy's alpacas.Last year they were shorn, sorted and finally washed and spun at the Milton mill. Well I just can't resist using a skein or three from the big pile of yarn waiting to be dyed or reskeined, labelled and sold. Some of the yarn is dyed already but left in a small heap in the shed because the colour has 'gone wrong' is too patchy, stained or just not of the quality dye job our customers expect. Sometimes the skein is a bit short in meterage and gets culled. I blame Andy (the chief winder) although I may be equally to blame if I didn't notice the counter was stuck.

But waste not, so some of it ends up on the loom. Above is the far right scarf on the loom. I know.... very white. So it is handwoven which takes a while. I try to put two or three scarves on a single warp to save some time, but handweaving is not fast.My favourite shuttle is a Leclerc with a very easy tension adjustment method.
This purple yarn above was very patchy and not in a particularly pleasant way. Woven in a slightly textured point twill improved the look of it considerably. Did I leave it at that. No.... I like to live dangerously. Have I had my failures? yes of course. Does it slow down my experimenting? Not really.So I twisted the fringes of the finished scarf, soaked it in water and scrunched it up
Its not really this purple, just wet and darker than above. Next I removed some of the colour using colour run remover (CRR) and a little soda ash. I know I'm mad. But its only yarn. Then wash and rinse.
This is the white scarf bundled and tied in its first dye bath, which happens to be a natural dye.
Next the scarves are washed, dried, pressed and folded. The folds are clamped or tied tightly and the scarf goes into another dyebath.
 If everything goes well then the scarf looks like this.(originally the purple one). You can see where the colour seeped into the folds.
Different folds, or twisted material creates different patterns on the cloth.These four have taken me all today to dye, fold, re-dye, wash and dry. Fortunately it was a glorious sunny day.
The third one along from the left is a handspun suri scarf which I was disappointed with when I first wove it as it was quite a boring metallic grey with a patchy dye job (my fault) inattentive dyepot watcher. I like it better now and it feels so silky.