The Spinners and Weavers group I belong to had a retreat last weekend at Awhitu. The weather was beautiful, and Saturday was perfect for dyeing. I had a few bags of fibre that other people had given away that I decided to dye in the hope that I will now do something with the results. Everything was dyed using Ashford wool dyes and the microwave method where you paint the dye on and wrap in gladwrap for steaming. You can find a tutorial on this page.
First up is what we decided is probably mohair, it is very hairy whatever it is
and has a slight sheen to it. It is the fibre equivalent to having a Welsh Springer Spaniel in the house as it just keeps on shedding.
Then some carded wool fibre of unknown breed.
And finally some mohair locks, they're still a bit wet in these photos so the colour is deeper than when they dried.
I'm spinning the locks above with some red merino.
I bought a secondhand 4-shaft loom, assembled it and then let it sit in the lounge been taking up room and collecting dust for a month. Finally I decided that I had better do something with it so I whipped out the copy of the book "The Four-shaft Loom" by Anne Field and followed the instructions in there for a first project, the result of which you can see below.
Of course there were a few mishaps along the way, mainly due to me not reading all the words before starting but I got there in the end and learnt quite a bit which is after all the point of practise. My navy wool was slightly thinner than the cream and I beat too hard for most of this project so the twill weaves didn't come out properly. Then I continued with the same warp and tried out a couple of other yarns for the weft. About a quarter of the way into using the grey I finally realised that I was beating too hard and after that the twill weave patterns looked a lot better. The cream and red yarns shrunk more than the grey when I washed the finished piece which is why it narrows.
I haven't forgotten about my rigid heddle loom though, here's a laptop case and bag I made using a piece I wove on that. The bluey purple colour is actually a dark purple and I'm pretty pleased with how they turned out. Now I have to decide what to do next, better start something before I forget everything I've managed to learn so far.
I've bought a second-hand dollshouse from TradeMe. It's a Classical Dollshouse and Basement from
Dollshouse Emporium. Some of the interior was completed but not to my taste so I have spent the last couple of days stripping
wallpaper and carpet ready to start the makeover.
I thought the
dollshouse seemed quite large until I started putting my Mackintosh
furniture in it. The furniture is from a range the Dollshouse Emporium
used to sell, there was a house
as well but it wasn't ever in my price range. It is a lovely house
though, so if anyone wanted to give me one I wouldn't say no.
Next step, undercoating the interior and exterior, getting rid of that dark blue, and deciding whether I want to try wiring the house.