Wednesday, June 23, 2010

What a fun day!

I had so much fun today at a dyeing class at my favorite yarn shop.  It's my favorite for many reasons but the best reason would have to be the people.  When I moved here 13 years ago, I really didn't know anyone who shared my love of all things wool.  People would say, "You have sheep? Really?  Interesting."  Nobody really "got" me and it was so frustrating not having anyone to talk when I bought my loom and then my spinning wheel.  It wasn't until about 3 years ago I found this wonderful place where the people did not look at me like I was some kind of freak when I explained that I just spent the day  trying to over dye a beautiful gray Shetland fleece. I also love these people because we do a Bible study together every Monday and that has been such a blessing to me.
Today we did a dyeing class of both spun yarn and roving.  I have experimented some with dyeing but it was great getting together and hearing so many great ideas and just plain experience that these ladies have.  You can't get that from a "how to" article. 
This yarn turned out much prettier than the picture shows.  She did a technique I had never seen.  She placed the yarn in the pan with the dye mixture in the bottom then sprinkled dry dye over the top and sprayed it with a water bottle.  It is a really nice mixture of purples and green.  I would have never picked these colors personally but it turned out nice.  I really don't understand why, but I don't like purple yarn, I don't buy purple clothes.  I do, however love the movie The Color Purple
My favorite was dyeing the roving.  We had 7 colors in mason jars and we dipped the roving in 3 colors at a time, then rotated them after about 10 minutes.  We had some really cool combinations!
Here are the finished products. She recommended dividing the roving in  half to make the sections of colors shorter. 
I can't wait for it to dry so I can see what it looks like spun.  I think I might dye some more roving one solid color to ply with.  I'm afraid it might look funny otherwise but maybe not.  I may just try both ways! 

Friday, June 11, 2010

The beginnings of a coop

It's amazing what you can create from stuff you already have lying around the farm.  Granted, I was starting out with an existing "sheep shed"   My husband built me these little sheds for pastures that don't have access to our barn several years ago.  They have really come in  handy and now one of them will become a chicken coop!

I still have quite a few fencing issues to deal with but I just couldn't believe what a difference a coat of paint and a new front door made!  We also cut circulation vents in the back of the shed and covered them with mesh screens.  Not quite ready for chickens yet but getting close.