I have had a glorious week in fiber. In brief, here are the high points:
1) Inky the Squid Boy has turned out to be, not Shetland as I thought, but Corriedale. I two-plyed it anyway, and made something very puffy, slightly shiny, and altogether lovely. I think I shall keep one of the two skeins for myself, and make some fingerless gloves for my mother's husband for an X-mess present. I'm thinking of doing more Corrie as an Aran weight two-ply, and ditching my whole two-ply shetland idea. I may keep the 4lbs of the stuff all for myself, and do some glorious hand dyed, handspun fairisle work with it. Will keep you posted.
2) My skeinwinder, which clamps onto the top of my spinning wheel, arrived in the mail. My previous process for winding skeins involves using a swift clamped onto my dining room table, holding a yarn-filled bobbin on a long knitting needle, and tensioning the bobbin with a beleagered UNO card while I whirl the swift around with my right hand. Thank goodness I have really long arms, otherwise this system would be a total no-go. As it is, it's weird and inconvenient, and if I do more three skeins in a row my shoulder cramps up. My skeinwinder only involves threading the finished yarn up to to the winder, and using the hand-crank to whirl a skein up directly from the laden bobbin. This new device is $100 that will pay for itself in no time, what with all the carrying, tying, cursing, and massaging my shoulder that I'm no longer doing.
3) I have finally gotten the hang of this colour theory thing. I have finally put together some key pieces. My two blues, two yellows, and two reds? (well, magenta and red.) Warm and cool versions of the same underlying colour. Warm and cool. If I want a warm green, I should mix the warm yellow and warm blue. If I want a clear, bright orange, I should mix the cool yellow and the magenta. I know that many people learned this stuff in grade school, but I stopped taking art in grade 6 and never looked back. that's the one piece. The second key piece which I knew about, but wasn't successfully getting to work, was the art of toning down a colour with its opposite, its complement. To tone down red, I should add green. To mellow out a yellow, I should add purple. Put these pieces together and I have successfully created....
4) GREEN!!! Twice in two days, I created more or less the green that I was looking for, and nothing really unexpected happened in the dyepot. I even got a beautiful, even, bright spring green. If you have been reading this blog, you will have heard me complain about the difficulty of managing green, but I'm finally getting it. Expect lots and lots of green coming up.
5) I managed to dye a couple pounds of fiber while my two year old was at home. I usually wait until she's at daycare before I break out the poison and boiling water, but I wanted to see if I could accomplish the task with her underfoot. See, her last daycare day is tomorrow, and I have to see if I can keep dyeing even if she's around, otherwise I'll run out of fiber to spin before December is out.
I have no pictures for you today, because it's dark outside. When I start moving my new fiber inside onto my railing to finish drying, I'll show you some stuff. You'll see some gorgeous carmine red, some fuschia, some spring green and bright blue -- so much fiber all so very pretty that I might even offer some of the corrie for sale.