Patience is a virtue…

…I’m still not sure I’ve got a bundle of. At least, when it comes to dyeing. After my first attempt, where I wasn’t sure if I’d partially felted the roving (it just came out looking somehow frizzier than it went in), I thought I might try being super-gentle, and leave it in a jar in the sun..


..but it seems the road to felt is paved with good intentions. About an hour or so after I’d sat it on the windowsill, it was zzzzing away in the microwave. So much for that.

(I suppose I should mention the fact that initially, I was just dyeing this with turmeric, to make a hopefully similar yellow to that in the single now known as Wee Tut, and then had a small brian wave and thought I’d drop a spot of black onto it – going with the Tutankhamen theme, and all — and that ended up smooshing through the roving, separating into browns and greens. At this point, I swore, and realised I’d made something that might not actually go with the Tut single at all.

So, it became this –


Bad shadow there obscuring the greener part of the roving, but you get the drift. And I’m sure you can see some of that aforementioned frizz, too.

Still, it did spin up, in a fashion (was harder work than I’m sure BFL should be) and here it is, pre-twist-setting –


I decided to call it Yellowhammer, because as it chequered across itself on the spindle, that’s exactly what it made me think of.

I’ve now got my 500g of BFL from sitting ready to be processed in some way or another, and my first couple of attempts have convinced me that the methodical, scientific approach is the way forward. Lots of control samples, lots of records, lots of patience. And lots more reading. Because I’ve only been doing this a couple of weeks, I’ve only spun up a few different bits and bobs, and already I’m finding myself looking at similarly coloured bits of stringy stuff and thinking ‘hmm… was this from spinning experiment x, or spinning experiment y? And did I spin that as tight as spinning experiment z?’ (Though there’s one advantage to the dyeing – I know which one was which. Though that’s probably also because there’s only two of them.)


The same day I dyed the roving, eldest daughter dyed some Cygnet superwash with Supercook food colourings, with pretty successful results – I’ve only got this photo of it sat in its post-colour-dotting state uploaded at the moment, must take a photo of the skein and post that too, as while there’s a lot of undyed space in it, it’s quite pretty (not least because it has no frizzy feltiness going on at all).


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