Friday, 3 June 2011

Preparing the fleece

The fleece is from a local farmer who overwinters the sheep by arrangement with a farmer in the High Peak. The fleece is a Swaledale x Blue faced Leicester cross and it is beautiful. This was washed.
Obtaining the colours
Some of the fleece was mordanted with alum & then dyed to produce the colours for the yarn:
Charcoal grey – this was first dyed with elder and iron as additive which produced a medium olive colour. This was then overdyed with logwood which has produced the colour I am using. (Experimenting went on before this decision!)
Orange – this was obtained by solar dyeing (for a month in my greenhouse) using meadowsweet which I gathered in Cumbria.
Yellow – again this was solar dyed using sorrel seeds from my garden.

The natural, charcoal grey, orange and yellow fleece was combined on a drum carder by forming a sandwich with the colours as the filling. I estimated the ratio of the colours from my source photo, keeping some of the charcoal grey separate.

The carded batt which I will spin looks like this.

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