The Finer ThingsThings to Make and Do

Spinning, dyeing and weaving are taking over.

Looking back, it’s only been a little over a year since the first spinning wheel came into the cottage and a less than a year when it comes to looms. But looking around the other day and there was fleece and yarn at various stages of processing everywhere.

A basketful of unwashed Portland fleece awaiting carding – to be spun ‘in the ‘grease’ in one corner.

Some washed Jacob fleece drying on a windowsill. This went into an old pillowcase and into the washing machine on a wool cycle at 30 degrees and came out fine. It’s for spinning practice on the  newly purchased hand turned spindle wheel. Washed, well prepped fibre is needed for spinning on this antique machine. It will have its own blog post soon, but here’s a peek at the wheel…

Meanwhile there’s other hand spun yarn (the white bits of Jacob fleece) undergoing yet more scouring. This is probably its third dunk and soak. This yarn is destined for a special project – the aim being to take a fleece through the whole spinning, dyeing and weaving process from the beginning, to end with a finished woven piece. So it’s undergoing thorough scouring in the hope that it will dye well. Some people spin, some dye, some weave. But there’s something so satisfying about going through every stage, following the raw fleece as it goes transforms into yarn and then coloured fabric and feeling the changes between your fingers as you manipulate the fibres.

At least a far as hand spun yarn goes it’s not bad….

…this is some already scoured and ready for dyeing. There will be about 350g in all which should be enough to weave something. It’s quite fine (a little over 4 ply weight) and took an age to spin (on the ‘old’ wheel). If all goes to plan it will have its own Ta-Dah  post sooner or later.

Not to forget the dyeing. Amongst all this fleece and spinning there’s still natural dyeing for sock yarn going on.

Not the most exciting colour (tea and iron – dark brown – good for socks). There always seems to be dyed yarn hanging around drying somewhere. The sock knitting is a continuous production line.


And finally there’s weaving. Usually using left over sock yarn. This goes on when there’s enough yarn in the ‘leftover’ basket and time to prepare the warp and dress the loom. Then weaving happens once the sock quota for the day is done.

But there always seem to be socks awaiting hand finishing hanging around somewhere.