A couple of weeks ago I realised that I didn’t have the greens that I wanted for the next set of lace scarves. I have several greens, but they were too olive – I was looking for something a bit brighter and grassier. I now have all these.
I am not very well equipped for yarn management, having just my wooden umbrella swift and a manual bobbin winder which I combine in various ways depending on the task I am trying to achieve. These are 50g skeins of 2/64 Merino/silk and I wound 13 of them in total. It took ages! I mount the swift sideways on the edge of the loom…
…so that I can turn it – to speak bluntly – by hitting it. The cone I am taking the yarn from stands on a scale on the floor under the swift so I can tell how much yarn I have removed. I reckon I have to wallop the swift 12 – 14 times for each gramme of yarn skeined (fewer wallops at the beginning when the swift is light and more as it gets heavier). It takes me 15 minutes to wind one skein, so call that 40 wallops/minute. For over three hours. Ow. Except I’m not that daft, and never wallop for more than half an hour at a time.
On Wednesday last week I took the first seven skeins round to my mother’s house and we dyed them using the wrap-in-plastic-and-steam method. The results were gorgeous, though not especially visible in the picture above (they are the ones on the left). They were also too variegated for my scarf plan, hence the second set of skeins (on the right). For those I used the simmer-in-the-pot method and the results were much more even.
Now I am turning the skeins into spools so that I can wind a warp. The swift is mounted sideways again, but on the bench rather than the loom…
…so that the yarn comes off at the right angle for the bobbin winder. In the photo above the bobbin winder looks miles away, but in fact there is just enough space between the two for me to stand and crank the handle. To make these.
25g per spool, more or less. I do rather hanker after a cone winder, but I also love the pod shape of these little handmade spools. And as I wind I am cooking up plans for the variegated greens. I think there is some yardage in my near future.