So, what have I been doing since moving the rams out of their breeding groups?
Skirt, wash, dye, repeat.
I'm working through the white Cotswold lamb fleeces and doing some dyeing for a special request colorway. A group of spinners saw Berry Patch at FLFF
and wanted me to do it in lamb and add some silk as I had done for September Glow and Spring Meadow.
So, I've been spending time each day doing the aforementioned skirt/wash/dye routine. I'll have almost 30 lbs of washed fiber for processing, so I should get back 25 lbs or so. The actual basic colors for the blend are lilac, pink/crimson and kelly green/emerald green.
Pink and Crimson, mixed
Kelly Green and Emerald Green, mixed
It always amazes me how colors that look like clown barf when sitting in bags next to each other will cozy up together and be pretty when made to roving. Seriously. Look at Berry Patch. Now look at these colors. Now look back at Berry Patch. Really?? Yes, truly a miracle. I'll be eager to spin a sample with the silk added and see how it looks. Maybe similar to Spring Meadow, but that has blue and yellow and this doesn't. So. Many. Color. Combos.
My favorite color is green and wouldn't you know that's one that gives me trouble. I suspect it's our uber hard water, but I really have to add a good bit of vinegar to the dyebath and heat much longer than other colors and it still doesn't exhaust 100%. Spruce goes a little easier, but these bright greens are problematic. I had a gray fleece (Mr. Bill) that became un-reserved so I decided that I'd overdye it. I've done blue on gray (Blue Jeans) and purple on gray (Wine Country) so I thought I'd go green, but I really didn't want to beat on it so I thought I'd make my own green by putting yellow and blue together in case that helped somehow. Apparently, despite being thoroughly blended in the pot, the dye attaches to the fiber as though it were two colors. I actually like this and I think it will card into a nice roving with some depth of shading that should be pretty. At least that's my story and I'm sticking to it.
Yellow plus blue equals yellowgreenblue
As soon as the dyed lamb is on its way to the mill I'll grab some gray Cotswold to add to this. I like to send a batch big enough that it will have a little shelf life. More skirt, wash, dye in my future.
And then what color shall I do? Hmmmm.........