Hand Spinning & Natural Dyeing - Sarah Matthess

Friday, 26 December 2014

'Ballycastle Bay' Art-Yarn

I've broken with the norm, reached for the bottles of Kemtex Dye (that's a link to P&M Woolcraft!), and brightened up a very dull and very cold day with all the jades, greens and blues I could mix up!
This was a lot of fun I have to admit. Into the drum carder with it all, and some bits of cotton, dyed raw cotton, embroidery floss, also added silk ribbon and silk material whilst spinning, then plied with some commercial deep green cotton yarn. This yarn wasn't plied evenly, but intentionally bumpy, more like a boucle. I let plied it unevenly on purpose to give that boucle look, first the strand of cotton was round the wool single, then the wool single around the cotton.  When spinning like this it's important to anchor in the wool frequently with the cotton because otherwise the wool can just slip back and forth on the cotton, which makes knitting it up rather difficult. So to make an overall firm yarn, it takes a bit of time to play one against the other, back and forth.  Hand-spinners will know what I'm talking about.
I love this yarn knitted up as it has a 'close' look because of the lumps and bumps.
Half an 80gram skein will make this head-wrap on 7mm needles. You will find the yarn on Etsy. I've called it 'Ballycastle Bay' because all I can think about when I look at it is the clean crystal clear blue water along the North Coast of Co. Antrim. Wonderful on a sunny day with the gannets diving for their dinner.
88 grams = 87.5 yards.


This cowl took a skein and a half to knit.  It's in my Etsy shop. This was knitted in seed stitch, I cast on 15 stitches and knit straight for desired length, adding button holes. Finished with a cotton I-cord edging, and lined with soft 100% cotton flannel for added warmth.

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