The Color Purple

“I think it pisses God off if you walk by the color purple in a field somewhere and don’t notice it.” –Alice Walker

Not wanting to piss anyone off and it being a lovely fall day, I spent some time this afternoon noticing the color purple.

It wasn’t much of a leap to progress from purple to lilac..

Kayleigh’s roving. I didn’t separate the fleece colors on this as I usually do, so I got more of an oatmeal color than a deeper chocolate color. I like it, but prefer the stronger colors from processing the colors separately.

With Layla’s color percentage of 80% (and much of her white being unusable belly wool), her fleece is almost self sorting! Her open fleece was easy to spin directly from her lightly hand teased washed wool. I spun a single and felted it lightly in the washing machine. This process brings up the loft of the fiber and stabilizes the single. It is strong enough for warp and will knit or crochet without bias. After spinning, the yarn is skeined off. Tie semi snugly with 4 to 6 figure eights. DO NOT tie with wool ties or they will felt into the yarn.  You will never get the ties off (and yes, I know this from experience)!  I use strips of plastic bags for ties. Put some sort of marker where you tied the ends of the yarn so you can easily find it after felting. Dig around in your closet until you find that pair of panty hose (or if you are of an earlier generation – that old pair of nylon stockings) you forgot you had. Or pick up a pair for a quarter at the thrift store. Panty hose have many felting uses, so grab what you can. Try not to chortle with joy at your find or the thrift store ladies will look at you strangely (and yes, I know this from experience). Stretch the yarn out and put in one leg. Tie the end of the leg closed.  I don’t bother with any other ties, but you can if you want. This particular yarn was felted using a two minute warm wash/cold rinse cycle. It is lightly felted. You can adjust the times and temperatures as desired to achieve your goal for your felted yarn. So far, so simple. This next part is slightly tricky. Put the yarn on a swift and gently pull the plies apart and rewind on the skein winder as you go. There will some resistance as you separate the strands, but if you are patient you won’t break the yarn.

Enjoy this beautiful day and don’t neglect to notice the purple (or the lilac)


About patchworkfibers

Registered Jacob Sheep
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3 Responses to The Color Purple

  1. Wonderful photos, Linda! And I love the lead in!

  2. mudranch says:

    Great post, and such a good lead in on the color lilac! 🙂 I like your title too, since I know we both have troubles in that area. I hadn’t heard of felting a single before, I like the idea very much. I will definitely give this a try.

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