I've been quietly dyeing in little bits and pieces since FibreEast, as there's Yarndale at the end of September and the Bakewell Wool Gathering only three weeks after. I'm not sure how big any of them will be, but I do need to take as much fibre and yarn as possible. But it's been a long year's worth of dyeing, and it's getting harder to inspire myself.
However, this is where Pinterest comes in. I pinned this sweater there a while ago, just because I fell in love with the colours.
It seems to be a child's sweater, and very simply spun and knitted, but aren't those colours wonderful! The deep saturated sienna/turmeric at the bottom, then a grey-brown shading through paler grey to an even paler blue and then white. Very wintry yet oddly warming. Looking at the way the colours spot and streak into each other, I'm inclined to think this was dyed as a fleece and then separated into the colours to be spun.
After posting this photo on Facebook yesterday, I got such a positive response that I thought I'd better have a go at reproducing it.
The blue was easy, and the grey (I thought). The brown took a bit of thinking about - two oranges and black in the end. As for the warm spice colour, I wasted a lot of yellow and orange with black trying to get it right. I ended up using olive green as the base, with both oranges again, and a tiny bit of black to darken and neutralise the warmth.
What do you think:
I wasn't sure when I first spun it out, but actually it's pretty accurate, at least to the colours my monitor gave me. The really pale blue was achieved by using plain water as one of the dye stripes. I may tweak it again by making the grey a little darker and warmer, and the blue brighter without adding intensity. Winter Stone, I'm calling it.
As for the fibre, I'm really pleased with how this came out. I'd bought two Polwarth X Lonk shearling fleeces at FibreEast, intending them for me, but then couldn't face the processing after I'd scoured them. So I decided to take them to my chum Paul at Halifax Spinning Mills, over near Selby. As the two fleeces didn't seem much to make all that journey for, I stash-dove and found a Polwarth ram fleece from a couple of years ago and added that to the pile.
I made a special journey over there last Friday, and Mark picked me up from work on Tuesday and we collected it. Because I'd already scoured the fleeces, it wasn't *that* expensive (this is, of course, relative) to have them carded and the finished product is beautiful. And although it's very light and fluffy, being carded, it holds together well enough to be dyed and still retain its rope formation.
I had been wondering why the Halifax Spinning Company was based at the other side of Yorkshire from Halifax. Well, of course, it's in Hangar 66 at what used to be RAF Snaith, a base for bombers in the last war. They flew Halifaxes out of Snaith...