The Elusive Raspberry Shade

I’m still working on my quest to get the yarn my friend wants, in the right weight and color. I decided it is so tricky to get a consistent color from a dye lot that I make up by myself that I’d just go and buy it off the internet instead. I ordered “raspberry sorbet”, and voila! A good, solid raspberry pink. I did a little batch of saffron yellow just for some variety. This was on Eddy the goat’s latest shearing.

I’ve gotten experienced enough now, that I sheared him in a couple hours, washed it and dyed the first batch all the same day. His hair had not grown as much as it usually does by October, but it is enough to get the job done. I carded it over the next few days as it dried, and have already spun up three hundred yards. It is not as intense a color as I’d expected, but it will work.

I wanted to also do some wool from the sheep in the raspberry color to compare them. The wool is already carded and stuffed into bags in the closet, so I decided to take a chance and try dying it in the batts rather than spinning it first. I knew I was risking a big felted mess, but I was very slow and cautious, not changing any temperatures abruptly and not agitating the fiber any more than I felt I needed to do to get the color all the way through the batt.

I moved what was left of the mohair to the side and laid out the batts to dry. But then I couldn’t stand the suspense and decided to unwind the batts and stretch them across the table so they would dry quicker. Actually, I was afraid I might find them to be solid bricks of felt, so unrolling them was a sneak peak at how bad it might be. It came out a really nice solid color, darker and more consistent than the mohair. When it was dry, I ripped it into smaller chunks and fed it back through the drum carder and it went smoothly and easily. Whew!

I spun the first hundred yards of wool yarn today and am washing it up to see if it is as nice as I hope. I’ll give my friend the option of wool or mohair, whichever has the properties she likes best. I’ll use the one she doesn’t choose because I like them both.

About bluestempond

Hobby farmer living at Bluestem Pond in Michigan.
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