A Crafter's Diary: 30th May - 5th June 2020

Hi everyone!  Its felt like a busy week here in Stephanelli's crafting land.  I've spent most it spinning yarn actually.  I got really into things and have finished up a load of stuff!  In fact, its pretty much the only thing I'm going to be telling you about today!  Just a reminder that if you're interested, you can check out my Daily Blogs for the 30 Days Wild challenge.  For the first five days of June I've:

  1. Taken my wheel outside and crafted in nature
  2. Looked for insects in my herb garden
  3. Done some wild reading
  4. Searched out and found some fledgling blue tits
  5. Dyed yarn with a natural dye

Its been good fun!  And now, without further ado, let's head into the pile of soft, fluffy goodness that has been the produce of my week!

Finished Objects
(Of which there are quite a few)
Tale As Old As Time
Last week, you saw this as a finished skein and a pile of singles that I was hoping to ply over the weekend.  I did indeed get my plying done and so now I have two finished skeins!  I'm very pleased with how well they match in consistency!  This was a lovely, easy spin that I really enjoyed.  I'm hoping I've got enough for a shawl, but if I don't, it'll just be edged in something different.
Weight: 2-ply DK, both skeins are about 70g and about 100m in length, so pretty good going!

Tale As Old As Time

Sunset Silk
Last week, I was lamenting this project and all the pain it was causing me trying to make a plying ball.  I am very pleased to say that I did manage to successfully ply this yarn and it didn't give me too many problems along the way, thankfully!  I'm actually very pleased with how this has turned out.
Weight: 2-ply laceweight, 42g and 200m.

Sunset Silk

Autumn Hedgerow
I think I shared the start of this project with you last week, I still needed to finish spinning the singles and then ply it.  I managed to get both those steps done this week so I have a lovely skein of this yarn!  This might pair quite well as an edging for the yellow Tale As Old As Time yarns above, but its a little thicker so we'll see if we need it.
Weight: 2-ply worsted, 75g and 139m

Autumn Hedgerow

This was a new project I started this week!  I had previously blended some lovely batts made from fibres that I had dyed myself and decided it was about time I spun them.  I love what this yarn has turned into.  Its just glorious!  This was some definitely happy spinning this week!
Weight: Aran, 110g, 132m


And, its not just me who thinks so as someone approached me asking if I would sell this skein!  I did agree to sell it, and I also sold another skein which was made using the same dyed fibres, just blended and prepped differently.  Here's both the skeins before they were packaged up and shipped off:

Circus & Magician

Baby Alpaca
This was a truly sumptuous spin.  Soft to handle, easy to draft and a delightful yarn at the end.  I aso managed to go from fibre to skein of yarn in just a morning - that is a mark of how much I've been enjoying spinning this week!  But, this yarn has more of a story to tell!  So I spun the yarn and made it into a nice skein.  A while back, I brought some dried rosehips online which I decided I'd use to try and dye this yarn a delicate pink.  So I spent a couple of hours mordanting my alpaca yarn one day.  Then followed the instructions and set the rosehips to soak overnight - this brought a lot of the colour out into the dye bath.  But it wasn't a delicate pink, more a reddish brown.  But never mind, let's try dye it anyway.  The next day, I followed the instructions again and simmered the rose hips for 2 hours and then strained the mixture, popped the yarn in the liquid and simmered that for a further 2 hours.
What do I get for all this trouble?  A pan of brown water and skein of yarn dyed an exceedingly pale brown.  Its actually quite nice.  Just not what I actually wanted!  Ah the fun of natural dyeing!  This dyeing process also counted as one of my wild activities this week so apologies if you read this story twice!  The yarn is still drying, but here's a picture of it hanging out to dry.

Baby Alpaca Yarn

Corriedale Batts
So, as I had lots of time in the kitchen listening to a dye pot bubbling, I decided to play with my blending and make some lovely batts from some random colours of corriedale I had brought for colour experiments (I think? - its been quite a while since I brought this!).  I made three small batts each focusing on a different colour family - a turquoise one (now called Mermaid), an orange one (now called Fire) and a pink one (now called Rose).  I spun them up and I'm very pleased with how they came out!

Mixed Corriedale Skeins

So I think that's all the finished yarns I have for this week.  But its an impressive total if you ask me!

Works In Progress
As you might expect, I've got a few works in progress in the spinning department!

Snowy Pine
This is just one little rolags worth of spinning - a spare rolag I kept when I made a friend an advent calendar last year.  I wanted to do some spinning but I also wanted to relax on the sofa so I decided I'd get some more practice in on my lovely support spindle.  I finished it up and wound it off onto this tube.  I'll do a chain-ply on it when I fancy a tiny project on a spindle!

Snowy Pine

Cotton Practice
I'm still not very good at doing long draw cotton so I decided that I'll do some more practice while I had my support spindle to hand and fancied playing with it.  My technique is slowly improving and my yarn is slowly improving in quality.  It'll take a lot more practice, but I'll there eventually.  The cotton will not beat me!

Cotton Spinning Practice

Spring Tulips - Scarlet
This is the second skein of this WIP (which will eventually be four skeins - the first is already done and I showed you that last week).  This needs plying which I'll get done either over the weekend or early in the week!  Handdyed Texel fibre - so nice to work with although this also needs its dye setting better.  Possibly the whole batch does, I think I did a rush dye job sadly.

Spring Tulips - Scarlet

So that somes up most of crafting joy this week.  I've got one final thing to share...

Stash Enhancement
I ordered some more to join my stash this week!  Mostly some plain fibres because I want to do some dyeing experiments on a number of them.  Let's run through what I brought!

  • 500g merino wool (the braid at the bottom of the pile in the photo) - to spin warp yarn to go with my Northern Lights yarns
  • 200g texel (top left) - for dyeing experiments
  • 100g polwarth (top right) - to find out what its like to dye and spin
  • 100g rambouillet (bottom right) - because I've heard many good things about it and want to spin it
  • 100g grey merino (bottom left) - for dyeing experiments
  • 100g "Twinkle Twinkle" (bottom middle) - a merino and bamboo blend, brought because it was pretty

Stash Enhancement

So that brings today's post to a nice close and I've had a lovely time writing this blog post and seeing everything I've achieved this week!  Don't forget to check out my daily 30 Days Wild posts - you can access them any time from the menu bar up the top!

Connecting With Me
Enjoyed my blog post?  You can connect with me on Instagram, Facebook and Ravelry!  I tend to keep my Ravelry project pages well updated so you can find out more details of these projects over there.