Sunday, April 11, 2010

Spinning a yarn.

A couple of months ago I decided to flip through a book on spinning yarn at a local bookstore. Within 48 hours, and after a failed attempt to make a homemade drop spindle from cds and duct tape, I had purchased a $5 drop spindle and some Shetland roving. Armed only with a youtube video and a determined will I began my first attempt at hand spinning.

Unfortunately, I couldn't quite take a picture of myself while I was spinning the yarn. But I did get pictures of the dying process...

First, we put the spun yarn in our crockpot and put just enough water in to cover the yarn. (I say 'we' because the kids helped - it was part of our 'Colonial period textiles' studies. :o) ) The contrasting yarn is what I used to tie the skeins together so the yarn didn't get all knotted up.

Then we mixed our dye which was just Kool-Aid mix and water. I used two lemonade packets for the yellow and two pink lemonade packets for the pink. Just add a little bit of water until you get the color you want. (You can see this was only about a cup or so of water.)

Carefully pour the dye over the yarn. I wanted more pink than yellow so I purposefully poured the pink over 2/3 of the yarn and the yellow over the rest.

Cover the crockpot and let it warm on a low setting until the yarn absorbs all of the dye. Never stir the yarn, just let it sit. You will know that it is done when all of the water is completely clear. You can then remove the yarn and very gently squeeze off the excess water.

Next, hang your yarn overnight to let it dry. Weight it down with one or two additional hangers.

This is how my first yarn turned out...skinny in some places, fat in others. I *think* I'll get better with more practice!

I fretted over what to do with the yarn and finally decided to make a hat for L1. I didn't have enough yarn for the brim, so the yellow is actually a manufactured yarn, but I added a little flower from the homespun to the brim.

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