Fibre Friday: Spinning and Dyeing
Last weekend I had the great fortune to help organize and of course attend the Maritime Spinners Retreat. This year it was held here on Cape Breton Island. What a time we had! The theme was “Dyeing to Spin” so we spent time dyeing fibre as well as spinning.
I dyed some wool from Cape Breton sheep with G&K Dyes – blue, teal, and black. I simmered it in a pot:
Citric acid was then added to the water to make the dye set (vinegar can also be used). Then I rinsed it out and let it dry. The colours came out beautifully:
The next step was carding the wool to prepare it for spinning. Instead of hand carders, I used a handy drum carder:
And then I had this lovely batt of wool ready to be spun:
I thoroughly enjoyed spinning up the wool on my spinning wheel. I decided to make it fun, lumpy, bumpy art yarn:
During the weekend, in addition to enjoying the company of other spinners, I spun up some beautiful super wash merino wool for sock yarn. I also dyed some silk hankies to spin and the colours turned out just gorgeous. I haven’t had a chance to spin them yet, but I’m looking forward to it. I hope to attend the Maritime Spinners Retreat again in the future. I hadn’t been to one in several years. Next year it will be held in New Brunswick.
Here is what a gathering of almost 100 people with their spinning wheels looks like:
Do you ever have a chance to get away from it all for a weekend at a retreat? What are you or your kids knitting, crocheting, sewing, or spinning this week? Please let me know in the comments below!
Love, Luck &
For Fibre Arts Monday this week I thought it would be fitting to share a Fibre Arts curriculum. I received this curriculum in exchange for an honest review 🙂
Harrisville Designs provides fleeces, yarns, looms, educational toys and more for those who love fibre and the fibre arts. They have also put together WoolWorks! a curriculum designed for Grades 3-8. Created for use in a classroom, this curriculum is easily used in your homeschool or local co-op. It comes in a binder, which I find very practical because I can easily add any extra resources or patterns I find to supplement the curriculum (for instance, instructions for making a spindle with a CD for the spinning lesson). This curriculum contains 12 Lessons:
Lesson 1: A Brief History of the Sheep Around the World
Lesson 2: The Science of Wool
Lesson 3: Humans Discover Textiles: Felting
Lesson 4: Simple Machines: Spinning
Lesson 5: Nature’s Rainbow: Natural Dyeing Dyeing Nature’s Rainbow Lesson 6: Braiding
Lesson 7: Introduction to Weaving
Lesson 8: Weaving Around the World
Lesson 9: Introduction to Looms: The Rigid Heddle
Lesson 10: Tapestry Weaving
Lesson 11: From Grandma’s Knee: Learning to Knit
Lesson 12: Domino Knitting
There are some very easy, quick, and fun things to felt with your children’s little hands and some fibre in lesson three 🙂 Each lesson is full of ideas, projects, and photographs.
One of our favourite parts of this curriculum is the map of sheep around the world. We were already knitting and spinning in our homeschool and doing some simple weaving on a frame loom before we started using this curriculum, but since then we are also weaving on a rigid heddle loom, as I have shared in some previous Fibre Monday posts. After being inspired by the felting lesson, we’ve also experimented with needle-felting 🙂 I used this curriculum with my 7 year old and 12 year old, and also for some ideas for an interactive fibre demonstration with children at our local library. Although recommended for Grades 3-8, I believe it would be great for Primary (Kindergarten) through Gr. 8, and even perhaps beyond.
WoolWorks! costs only $39.95 US plus shipping (9.50 in the US and 11.95 in Canada). Or you can pick u individual lessons for 7.50US. Check out some of the great crafting kits and tools Harrisville Designs has on their website while you’re checking out WoolWorks!
Love, Luck &
It’s Fibre Arts Monday! I’m still working on my three projects: a lacy scarf and a summer sweater for me, and a baby project for my expectant friend 🙂 I’ve also been working on spinning my beautiful blue-faced leicester wool in the “grand tetons” colourway. Here is the fibre in a braid, before spinning. I’ll show you the finished yarn next week!
Love, Luck &
Fibre Arts are a BIG part of our home and our homeschool. We handspin, knit, cork, weave, sew, and kneedle-felt. So, I’m joining Teaching Good Things in posting weekly about the Fibre Arts we’re working on.
This week, I’m knitting the Suri Lace Scarf from Creative Knitting Magazine – my very first lace project! I’m using beautifully soft baby alpaca laceweight yarn that I picked up on sale at Baaddeck Yarns for just $1.50! It’s the softest yarn I’ve ever worked with. I have only knit a few rows so far, as you can see (and yes I am using ridiculously long circular needles LOL):
My son and daughter are combining their efforts on the Cricket Loom they got for Christmas (we bought it from The Bobbin Tree). My daughter picked the colours for the first scarf, and my son will pick the colours for the next one. Here it is, almost finished!
Next week we might just have finished projects to show you! And I’d like to get started on some baby things for a friend of mine who is expecting 🙂
Love, Luck &