So near!

Tomorrow is setup day for Textiles In Focus, and I am so near to ready.  Not so near that I can take the night off, of course; all my roving braids still need to be labelled:

Gorgeous, aren’t they??  Unfortunately, I still haven’t decided on the best way to label these puppies, so it might not be a quick job.

I decided only to create small braids for this fair; 50 g each.  I wanted lots and lots of variety on the stall, and I believe that felters will outnumber spinners by a significant proportion, so: small pieces, many colours. I hope the decision doesn’t come back to bite me!

Dye-a-day #2: Wensleydale roving in ‘Florentine’

How much fun?!?  Like the sheep themselves, Wensleydale roving is a bit unusual.  Wensleydale wool is *the* finest lustre longwool.  It’s not all ooshy-gooshy soft like merino or BFL – but it’s a lot of fun to spin, and it makes fantastic, strong, striking yarns.  I’ve spun a Wensleydale blend to laceweight for my Mystery Shawl 3 project, and it was easily the most consistent quantity of laceweight I’ve ever spun.

Wensleydale sheep themselves have an enormous quantity of cascading ringlets – see?

…and the ringlets come through in the roving as that marvellous ‘wave’ you can see in the roving1.

This is another wool that I can buy locally, and it makes me very, very happy indeed.  Wensleydale sheep are considered ‘very rare’, and if I can help support the breed, that’s got to be a good thing!

1 I can remember going to the Yorkshire Show as a child, and seeing a Wensleydale sheep in full fleece who was having a bit of a grumpy moment as its owner attempted to lead it to the ring.  It was bucking and rearing, and all that fleece was flying around it like a tangly, woolly halo.  My little brother thought it was the best thing he’d ever seen.

Official launch and dye-a-day!

Wheee!!  Launch time!  Welcome, welcome, welcome, everyone.  I am *so* excited to be launching this blog officially!

To celebrate, I’m going to follow the lead of Janet and her Scarfaday blog.  Yes, I’m going to make dye-a-day posts for the rest of February!  By the time the month is up, I hope I’ll be well into the habit of posting here, and of taking photographs of my fibre and yarns – the hardest part of the whole process!  The rules that I’ll try to stick to are as follows:

  1. This challenge initially runs through the rest of February;
  2. I’ll commit to posting on weekdays, though if I get really inspired I might post at the weekend, too;
  3. I’ll try to post a mixture of colourways and yarn/fibre types;
  4. Preparing for Textiles in Focus temporarily trumps the blog.  If need be, I’ll miss a day.
  5. Family trumps everything else, even yarn! I might wind up missing a few days if something big comes up.

Let’s start with this gorgeous Bluefaced Leicester roving, in ‘Peachy’:

…and own up to the fact that this is a massive ‘cheat’.  Yes, I dyed it, but I certainly didn’t take the photo.  This is the standard to which I will, over time, aspire.

Bluefaced Leicester (aka ‘BFL’ or ‘biffle’) is a type of wool that is becoming increasingly popular.  It is *fantastic* to spin, being almost as soft as merino, but with a longer staple, so it’s easier for beginners.  It felts well, if your tastes run that way, and produces lovely knitted and woven items that will be as non-scratchy as wool can be, and soft and warm to boot.

As a side note, I also love working with it because it is relatively easy for me to buy BFL that has been produced in the UK.  This is really, really important to me, because I aim to produce fibres that have as gentle an environmental impact as I possibly can.