My dear friend, Jeanne Carver (Imperial Stock Ranch), has always referred to her wools as “nature’s miracle.” She speaks of the energy transferrance of sunlight to the grass to the sheep to our finished objects. We had a number of our handspinning students ask us for a class on the full process of taking a fleece through all it’s processing
and I’ve been to ISR during shearing a number of times so I asked Jeanne if we could use her wool for the project. She invited our group out to see the shearing and selected the 10 for our project. Back in studio, our group rolled out their “blankets,” the intact fleece, so that they could pick out all vegetable matter and short cuts.
Everybody dyed their fleece the colors they hoped to see in their sweaters. I encouraged everyone to dye a larger percentage of their wool the overall color they wanted with a small percent a contrast color and another a deeper shade to get their color to really pop! Some decided to blend in different fibers, such as our 100% silk, to make it softer and add deeper color interest.
Our next class took place at Andersen fiber works in Gresham. They are the one place in Portland where you can rent time on the drum carder to blend your own batts. You
can see some of the owner, Jen’s, beauties under the Hanks in the Hood label ( I’m ridiculously addicted to anything with sparkle she makes!). Everyone took turns putting their dyed locks through the mini picker to remove seeds and then blended their fiber on Jen’s large Duncan carder and began test spinning their fiber. Did I mention Andersen fiber works serves local beer and wine?
The next piece of the process is going to be spinning to gauge for specific projects for the group. We just got serious practice at the fleece to foot at sock summit couple of weekends ago- we had to go from sheep to pair of socks in 5 1/2 hours! Yes, the yarn had to be spun to fingering weight, plied.
I think I’m going to make a pretty simple sweater out of my Lavender-mauvey-grayish fiber. I”m still deciding about whether or not it should be fully picked and carded or just spun from locks, whether I should , how I want to ply it, etc. Sometimes it’s fun to just let the fiber tell you what it needs to be.
Stevanie Pico dyes yarn for Pico Accuardi Dyeworks in Portland, OR. She has also designed colorways for Cascade Yarns, Imperial Stock Ranch Yarns and Autoctona jewelry. Her work is featured in Chrissy Gardiner’s Indy Socks, Larissa Brown’s My Grandmother’s Knitting and Judy Becker’s Beyond Toes.
She enjoys rocking out with her three kids, running around with Larissa Brown and Deb Accuardi, playing with yarn and fabric, spinning weird yarns and singing really loud.
Get your own Sheep to Sweater on!
Pico Accuardi Dyeworks is offering a giveaway of 8 oz. of wool roving to start your own project. Winner may have the roving dyed a custom color. See below for palette ideas or send a photo to firstname.lastname@example.org. To enter drawing for this gift, valued at $32 please leave a comment by Sunday August 28th midnight pst. Winner will be announced on Monday.
We Have a Winner!
Submitted on 2011/08/25 at 2:44 PM
WOW! What gorgeous colors! I don’t know if I could choose if I were to win. I love to dye my roving, I use the Slow Cooker method.