Wooly Workshop Days in Woodville

Wooly Workshop Days in Woodville

Its a little like a dream already, two days spent in the amazing fibre wonderland that Tracy White calls home. Inspire Fibres: Woodville New Zealand. SO worth the trip 🙂 I was there to teach two workshops earlier this month, a day of dyeing and colour play, and a day of spinning and fiber prep. I had to get up early to get there too. My drive from Napier was less than two hours, but notable for the large quantity of water that was falling from the sky, for the entire trip. So what else could I do but turn up the radio and drive 🙂 By the time I got there the rain was starting to fail and Tracy had a cosy fire burning invitingly in the studio and coffee ready to go. Perfect! And the perfect day for playing with colours. Bright, alive, hot, cool, calming, crazy, emotive, provoking. Colour is amazing! We started with a bit of painting, playing with the effects that colours have on each other. I am pretty sure that playing with colours is just good for the soul. Gloves were donned and dye was splashed, smooshed, dripped and tipped. And the results were diverse and amazing!! Check out the colours that Nanda chose! Her roving came out just stunning.. Our day included four different ways of dyeing, masses of rich colour, using dyes provided by Tracy and Teri Dyes – also Woodville based! I have to say I really enjoyed these dyes, very vibrant, they exhausted easily, and the results speak for themselves. They sell throughout NZ, and I am already planning on my next visit to buy up their range and bring some home with me 🙂 Tracy also provided some amazing fiber, including these gorgeously silky Gotland locks:   The second day was equally enjoyable! Of course, how could it not be in the midst of this magical stash cave! Requests of Tracy for specific kinds of items, fiber, core threads, roving.. usually resulted in quantities of rummaging, exclamations of ‘oh I have this too’ followed by oohs and aahs as Tracy pulled out yet another fibre treasure from the depths of her bountiful shelving. Are you getting the idea how much I loved being there?! 🙂 If you are in NZ, or plan on visiting there at any time, Inspire Fibres is (IMHO) a bit of a mecca and very worth visiting. Ok back to the workshop! We started our spinday with some fibre preparations. We had enough equipment!  I had borrowed some cool toys from Majacraft while I was there the week before (thank you!!), so we had their Combs, hackle, and blending board, and Tracy had a...

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Dye Another Day! Dyeing wool in a bag tutorial

Dye Another Day! Dyeing wool in a bag tutorial

Hey! Glad you could make it. In this post I am focussing on dyeing, because I just got a huge box of undyed roving delivered! Dyeing is definitely a current and ongoing activity and one of my favourite parts of the yarn making process. I love colour! I love how there are infinite shades that create even more beautiful tones and colours when they mix and blend. It really is endless possibilities when you’re dyeing, and wool and fibers provide such a wonderful medium for experimenting, allowing not just for colour play but to take it further, what happens to my colours when they are spun? How do different spinning techniques change the colour mixes in this roving? And then what happens when that yarn is knitted! See its so cool! So today I am going to show you one of the simplest ways I know of to get some pretty colours mixing it up in your roving. I’m going to show you how I do my ‘boil in the bag’ dyeing. If you came here from my Newsletter, you already got the ‘what you need’ list, but in case you didnt, here it is again: – about 150-200 grams roving (5-7oz) soaked in water/vinegar solution – ziploc or similar sealable plastic bag with plenty of room for the wool – large pot (this is stovetop dyeing) which you have dedicated to dyeing not food prep, filled with water – premixed dye stock solutions, in three or four colours (ones that blend well together, not contrasting)     In the roving you see pictured here, and in the video, you can see some gorgeous white streaks through the fibers, i LOVE this! I chose this blend specifically to get that effect, its merino with bamboo through it, and the bamboo doesnt take the dye but stays wonderfully white and streaky – its such an easy way to get this really pretty effect! If you dont want that though, just use a roving thats unblended or blended with fibers that will take the acid dye (protein fibers). This is a really simple technique, its fairly kitchen friendly (unless youre a Mess Goddess like me and it just generates itself around you), and you can get some lovely vibrant colours and pretty blends without the extra time it takes to hand paint. If you want more pastel and softer shades just make your dye stock solution weaker by adding some more water into it. One of the advantages of setting the colour with this technique, is that it basically steams in the bag, so unlike in the microwave, the heat is dispersed evenly through your fibers, its less damaging and gives a...

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