Looking back at all my photos of wool processing last summer makes me realise just what a slow process it all is. I felt that I had dyed a vast amount of fluffy fleece but looking at the pillowcases full of undyed fleece in my workroom cupboard makes I realise I still have a lot of work to do. Dyeing is easy enough to do in the kitchen in the winter months, but getting the fleece dry is another matter. It needs to dry fairly slowly away from direct heat sources – placing wool directly onto a hot radiator can harden the fibres and make it less suitable for hand spinning. I’m wondering if I could put up an airer in my greenhouse on a sunny day…….will have to work on that idea.
Once the wool batts have dried fullly I like to card them again to loosen the fibres. At this point I also take the opportunity to blend colours and make more interesting shades. This is what gives hand spun yarn its uniqueness but also means I find it almost impossible to duplicate a shade. The blends I made last summer were largely inspired by what was flowering in my garden at that point. The orange and green batts were the shades of the nasturtium flowers which you can see on the photo in my previous blog . To add a little zing to the colour I carded in some dyed silk from Oliver Twist in a lovely mustardy yellow.