dye | knit | spin


November 12, 2019

Thank you for your comments on my last post (in)visible mending. I read them all but did not manage to reply…the last couple of weeks have been rather fulsome and I’ve been needing to rest more.

Normally, I am a utilitarian maker, I make things to be worn or used, I make practical, durable things. If I experiment, it to make something more durable such as the Tuff Socks Naturally project or to find out something I don’t know such as in the Waysides: Local Colour in Our Home Grounds project. I don’t often just play…for fun or whimsy or curiousity. Yes, I am a little on the earnest, literal side of the spectrum!

I am however a dedicated de-stasher and recently found myself playing around with my left over stock of English Leicester hand dyed locks. You can read more about how I made these locks here. They are such beautiful beasties and too precious not to be used. So I shook off my utilitarian shackles for while to make some beautiful, silly things.

I tail-spun a batch of blue locks and a batch of fuschia. Tail spinning English Leicester locks is about the best method I know for preserving the wave and lustre of the locks into a yarn. Knit the yarn as normal, pulling all the locks through to a single side before setting with a warm soak and block. The collar sets of those locks magnificently I think. Imagine this in a natural silver or dark grey…it gives me chills to think of it.

Here is the cape…whoa…a large departure for me…colour…texture…bulky yarn…a lie down is perhaps necessary.

The cape contrasts the tail-spun fringe with wolf yarn for the main body. Wolf yarn is an art yarn method where a soft internal core is spun at the same time as wrapping that core. It is best made with long stapled, wavy fibres from the Long wool family or Angora goats. It makes a light weight, bulky single and is very strong and very warm. In the picture below, you can see wolf yarn on the left and tail-spun yarn on the right.

Now, I am getting excited…there’s all kinds of garments to be thought of. I might need to make more locks.

Does anyone else suffer from utilitarian shackledom? What happens when you shake it off?