Sunday, April 22, 2007

Boredom has set in

Well, lambs aren't due for another 6 weeks. Shearing isn't until May 9th. So - today (like I ever have any spare time on my hands) - I decided to DYE one of my sheep! Seems I've run out of extra rovings while I'm waiting for my rovings to come back from the mill.

Vivien has a great sense of humour (I hope).
She is my friendliest sheep - and seems to have taken this all in stride. We washed her down with a couple of buckets of warm water and cream rinse - and then we applied the kool-aid in various colours. There's orange, blue, green, red and tropical punch (which is a deeper red).
We haven't rinsed her off - I don't think we will unless she appears to be really itchy. She stood pretty well for the whole thing. Then we let her stay out in the pasture until she seemed really dry, and put her back in the barn. All the other sheep crowded around her to check things out.
Probably totally confused by the smell of kool-aid.

We're having friends drop by for our shearing on May 9th. They are from South Africa, and have never seen a sheep being sheared. They are also bringing some other friends of theirs that are also from South Africa. Should be good for a giggle when we bring Vivien out to be sheared.

Now - Let's see what else I can get into.

Sunday, April 8, 2007

More Fun Than Dying Easter Eggs!!

Well, I have been pretty busy the last few weeks, and it's been hard to find the time to write.
But, yesterday - I had a burst of energy. I had spun up all of the rovings that I dyed a few weeks ago, so I decided it was time to start on some more. I spent a few hours in the kitchen, and voila! Here is my finished work - um - I didn't dye the cat, just in case you're wondering.
Pippin is my pest - and if I have wool, or fleece, or whatever - she has to be in the middle of it all.

I worked with both kool-aid, and low acid dyes this time around. I also did some handpainting,
and some dyed in the bag work. By "dyed in the bag" what I mean is that you put the wool into a zip lock baggie, and pour the dyes in on top.
Zip the baggie, and smoosh everything around. You can mix more than one colour this way as well.

I also dyed some loose locks from a couple of fleeces
that I have been spinning.
On the right hand side of this picture, are locks
from Alice, one of my favourite white
Shetlands. She has such nice soft fleece.
I did her up with Cherry and orange
kool-aid, and for the yellow, I used a low acid
dye. The bottom was done with a teal low
acid dye that I mixed up from blue and
yellow dye. On the left hand side of the
picture is some of Merlin's fleece. Merlin is
a grey ram with a very soft fleece that isn't very crimpy. I used teal and purple low acid dyes.
This was done in 2 separate bags. I plan to get a
drum carder later this year, and will probably
start and do some blended up batts or rovings.

This last picture is just another picture of the rovings, sans cat (boy - she didn't like it when I
moved her). You can just see some of the colours a little bit better. The bright blue in the middle of the picture comes from Ice Blue kool-aid. However, I think I am partial to the
red/orange/yellow roving on the left side of the picture. It's so sunny and bright. If I get a chance, I will take more pictures and post them as I open each bag and start to spin.

I've also taken 18 pounds of wool to the local mill to be made into rovings. It should be a lot of fun when it comes back. I'll probably dye a lot of it up as well.

I'm also getting ready for shearing on May 9th. Most fleeces will go for rovings, some will go for
felts to make slippers, and a few will be kept to dye locks and blend when I get my drum carder.