Saturday, November 28, 2009

Dyeing Mohair

I have been having fun dyeing mohair lately.  While at the Southeast Animal Fiber Fair (SAFF) one of my jobs was to assist the director of the Fleece Show and Sale.  The upside of that task is that you see the fleeces as they come in, so you get early pick of the fleeces.  Now I was not really looking for a wool fleece nor alpaca.  I have some left over from last year and really want to get the remainder carded and spun.  But  I was on the lookout for a nice angora goat fleece.

When I got the the show a few mohair fleeces were already there, including the fleece of Brooks Hill Farm's Minnie Pearl.  Now I must say that picking a raw mohair fleece requires a great leap of faith.  The fleeces are quite dirty, they can smell a bit...ummm...goaty.  They might look dingy and grey and Minnie Pearl was no exception.  Her fleece was grey, smelled like she had spent her life outside laying in the dirt and living in a barn.  But she felt right.  The ringlets were long and I had a great belief that she would wash up beautifully.  Turns out I was a fine judge of mohair fleece and Minnie Pearl's took the blue ribbon for white mohair.

Once home I began the process of turning mohair from funky to just fine!  I soaked it.

I washed it.

I dyed it.

And created a number of fun colorways including Beach Glass above and Autumn Sky to the left.   I've left some white and may tail spin the locks, though it is not my favorite spinning.  I'd rather spin my own hand dyed roving or carded fleece that I have processed.  I spent a bit of time carding a sweet brown lamb fleece I purchased at the Mountain State Fair this fall.  I've knitted a couple of nice hats from it.  My sweetie gets first pick, but they will likely end up in one of the local gallery shops.

This long weekend has been great fun.  As I have a serious aversion  to traveling on Thanksgiving weekend, I've spent time close to the house and studio  In addition to carding, dyeing, spinning and knitting, I've caught up on some chores.  With a bit of time off for unstructured play, I was happy to clean up the yard, catch up the mountain of laundry that accumulated when the house had plumbing issues, and tidy up the studio.  A fine holiday weekend indeed!

1 comment:

Mulchandmore said...

love the natural sparkly sheen of good hand dyed mohair, yours has it:)