Fiber Swap, Spinning and Dyeing

IMG_0716This is supposedly silk condenser waste.  Even after Google’ing, I still don’t know what it is.  I came across this through one of the blogs I read regularly, Highland Hefalump.  Liz used this for decorating a vessel which was really lovely.  When I mentioned I had never heard of this, she kindly offered to send me some and this is what I received.  I just need to think of something to make with it.  The fibers are very soft, so I might use it for decoration on some mittens or hand warmers, or even a scarf.  It was very sweet of her to send me a sample.  I hope she likes what I sent her.

Later in the week my Guild friend made contact with me on Facebook.  It must have been serendipity as I had been thinking about her recently.  I joined the Guild to learn how to spin and to meet new people and Anna was one of the few people that I really enjoyed talking to and made me feel welcome.  She is the one that made the lovely yarns I used in the samples I made recently.  We had a nice chat and it seems that Anna needed some help with some dyeing and I needed some help with my spinning.  So, we arranged to meet.  Anna has two young children and she doesn’t feel comfortable dealing with dyepots on the stove around the children, so she came over to mine.  We dyed some batts she made in different shades of white wool and other fibers and we dyed some homespun.

GQGY7050This is the homespun which was dyed in a pot on the stove.  Photos courtesy of Anna Anyan.

HYAS9330These are the batts and roving which were dyed in the microwave.

Anna has a YouTube channel called A Little Bit of Everything With Anna.  She took some videos of the dyeing process, so I may have a couple minutes of fame.  In return for helping her with the dyeing, Anna showed me how to spin.  I might have mentioned that I wasn’t sure that my wheel was working properly, but after a couple of minutes on the wheel, I was assured that the wheel was fine.  It was me. Heh!  I am really happy there is nothing wrong with the wheel for a lot of reasons, I just need to up my game.  

IMG_0724So, this is my first spinning.  I am not sure what wool it is, either Shetland or Corriedale.  I spun it from the roving.

IMG_0723This is Anna’s spin from the roving.

IMG_0725You can see the difference.

Anna gave me some tips for how to spin with roving, but I really wasn’t getting it.  So we made a batt with this roving combined with a batt Anna had made from the mixed breeds of roving I gave her and then we made rolags.  Anna showed me how to spin with the rolags.

IMG_0726So, my spinning is still not that great, but it is better than before.  Working with the rolags is a lot easier for me.  After an afternoon of dyeing and trying to spin, I went back to some knitting.


The following day I had another go at the spinning.  It was a struggle in the beginning, but the more I tried, the better it felt to me.  It may not be perfect, but now I at least get the idea.  I just need to keep practicing.

But that is not all.  Every time I dye there is always some blue or green that doesn’t always get taken up.  When we finished dyeing the batts, there was some greeny blue left over.  I decided to try dyeing the tub washed Wensleydale sample I felted and this is what I got.

IMG_0731I am really surprised by the variety of colors that were taken up by the locks.  The greeny blue was made up of turquoise and the mixture of purple (which is made by mixing magenta and turquoise).  I really love this.  The locks are very shiny and there is no yellow in there at all.  There is no doubt now about dyeing the rest of the tub washed locks I posted about. 


Before and after.

2 thoughts on “Fiber Swap, Spinning and Dyeing

  1. I just love the colours of the locks. I hope you get more comfortable with your spinning. I bought my spinning wheel some years ago as I had the dream of sourcing, washing, dyeing (or not) my own fleece and carding my own fleece. I had further dreamed that some of the fleece I would then spin into yarn. Thankfully I have now got a teacher for helping me learn to spin which I’m really excited about. Fantastic results you have and I do hope you find a creative use of your new silk condensor waste. Is it like silk carrier rods possibly?

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    1. Hi Carol, the color of the locks was totally random, but I really love it. I am trying to think of what to do with the sample as it is so pretty. Spinning is like learning how to drive, best shown in person. I tend to pick up most things quickly, so you can imagine this is a bit frustrating, but at least it isn’t the wheel! This condenser waste is very soft, so not like carrier rods at all. 🙂


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