Monday, 22 July 2013

Busy, busy, busy.... teaching at Alston Hall

This year's spinners' gathering at Alston Hall was a bit fraught in the expectation, as I was teaching a class on natural dyeing and just didn't know when I'd have time to plan it out. But in the end, I turned up with equipment (LOTS  of equipment: freshly checked electric rings, my spinner, pots and pans, and a reasonable assortment of dyestuffs.

Dyeing party

We were a fairly small group, but that meant we could whip through stuff fairly quickly. We started off with madder and dyers' greenweed, added cochineal and indigo, and meadowsweet that one of our party collected on Saturday lunchtime. We got some lovely colours.

Dyeing - greenweed, madder, meadowsweet

We were very lucky in that Alston Hall allowed us to set up all the hot pans outside under shelter, so we didn't suffer with the hot weather at all. This is Sunday morning's pots: greenweed on the left (a pale yellow that makes a particularly good green when overdyed with indigo), the leftover madder and cochineal in together, and the meadowsweet.

Dyeing - indigos

I set up an instant indigo vat on both days, but we really got carried away with it on Sunday morning.

Dyeing on sw bfl

This was my result from Saturday. I wish I'd had more yarn, but someone switched from the other group to ours so of course had brought no yarn with her; I donated one of my two skeins of SW BFL to her.
From left to right: cochineal/indigo, cochineal, cochineal/madder, second soak madder, first soak madder, weld, weld/indigo, greenweed/indigo, indigo. The two on the top are madder/indigo and greenweed.

And a few quick bits on Sunday morning:

Dyeing on handspun bits

Near-exhausted madder, indigo, and meadowsweet/indigo.

Much fun was had, and my feet needed an awful lot of scrubbing before they were respectable again.

And now it's Fibre East this weekend.  All the fibre and yarn are done. Just need to collect the hire van ( because sadly the roof box we bought last weekend didn't fit) and sort out change/gear/camping).


  1. I missed you all this year. I am glad that I cancelled earlier in the year though, because I ended up spending a month in hospital and was in no fit state to come. Hope to catch up with you all next year.

  2. What a lovely blog! So much beautiful yarn...