Apr 18, 2007

BFL - a Fiber to Love

Violet BFL - finishedI finished something last night - kind of. This is 2 full bobbins of Blue Faced Leicester that I dyed and spun. I love everything about it. I'm incredibly happy with the way the color turned out. What you see here is pretty true. There is a little bit of a light turquoise but mostly it's shades of violet leaning towards magenta. I tend to dye in a very loosey-goosey way. In this case, I put the water, fiber and vinegar in a pot on the stove and added a little violet Cushings dye powder. That was it! What happened is that the dye broke a bit but I love the effect. Sadly, this wacky method of dyeing means that the chances of replicating it are slim to nil.

Spinning this stuff was a pretty sweet experience too. How sweet? Well, usually I tell you that the even-ness seen on my bobbins hides a mess underneath. Not this time. It's not perfect but this is mostly evenly spun. There are a few thickers spots, which mostly occur where I move from one bunch of fiber to the next, and there are thinner spots which are best described as thread. Most of it is smooth and even.

I pondered what to do with it quite a lot and, at first, I thought that I'd knit it as is. It's pretty tightly spun and I think it would probably work well and since it's pretty thin, there's probably enough yardage to do something fun like a shawl. But then I remembered that I really don't care to knit with lace weight yarn and that's what this feels like.

I'm actually pretty sure that this is lace weight because, for the first time, I did a quick wrap round a ruler and I came up with about 28 wpi. Even if I'm off by a bit this is certainly in the lace relm and not going to work for me as is.

Thankfully, while taking a tour of some "new to me" blogs the other day, inspiration struck. I saw a post where someone had taken 2 different batches of the same fiber in different colors and described how they plied it - first with one color against itself, then combining the 2 colors, then plying the remainder of the second color against itself. The results were so beautiful. Sadly I have no idea where I saw the post but I'm sure it's not a unique idea.

I told hubbo about my plan the other night and he pointed out the obvious flaw - I don't have any more BFL to spin. Duh! Right now there are just 16 days till Maryland Sheep and Wool. I'll just add a little undyed BFL to my (long) shopping list.

Speaking of MDS&W - are you going? I haven't seen anything about a planned meet up yet. I'm sure someone must be putting something together.


Margene said...

Beautiful! You're going to love MDSW!:)

Carol said...

Thank you!:) Life would be blah without blogging! Your handspun is so gorgeous! I look forward to what you decide to do with it!

Carole Knits said...

It's beautiful! If we ever get spring around here I'm going to be dyeing again out in my garage. Have fun at MD!

Melissa said...

Flaw?!?! I think not. The need for more fiber is a great thing!

knitfriendly said...

A few of us from Sweet Life Knitters are going up together and are going to stay the night on Saturday. We are hoping to find an evening meet-up somewhere.

Krista said...

I can't make MD this year (again) so hope you have fun!

Teyani said...

Have fun at MSW - it should be awesome.
Your dyeing and spinning looks incredible! And if you don't know what to do with it (yet) just enjoy the wonderful success of a gorgeous spin. woo hoo