Hand Spinning & Natural Dyeing - Sarah Matthess

Saturday, 24 January 2015

'Red is the Rose' Art Yarn

I've called this latest art yarn, 'Red is the Rose' after the traditional Irish folk tune. I was thinking of Autumn colours when I spun it. There's a row of wonderful beech trees near my house that turn from the green of Summer to all the Autumn shades right through to the beginning of November, and all very gradually.  The tops of the trees will be all those wonderful rusts, reds and yellows, but the bottom will still be green.  So I threw in a dash of green here and there. 
This is a total mixture of naturally dyed fibre, with brighter accents being added by hand-dyed kemtex dye.  Lots of merino, tussah silk, then the softest lambs wool I could find from local sheep (Romney and Corriedale) and little bits of novelty yarn, metallic sparkle, cotton thread, embroidery floss and silk fabric here and there.
Getting back to the 'red hair' idea, I just see this on a red-head! It would of course go with a lot of complexion because natural dyes always do.
Spun similarly to my 'Lough Navar Forest' yarn, this is around 5wpi, on the larger whorl setting. Spun intentionally thick/thin. I would be knitting this on 8mm needles myself because some of the thicker bits, are well, thicker! but it could be knitted on 6 or 7 mm also. It's a 2 ply yarn, and I've prewashed it to set the twist. These are bigger skeins than normal, at 110grams each.  My latest knitted hat project took 100 grams, so I'm guessing I could get a hat out of a skein.
This headband was knitted out of half a skein. I cast on 10 stitches and knitted on 8mm needles in seed stitch, and then 12 stitches stocking stitch in a soft cotton/cashmere/merino mixed yarn for the lining. After reaching the desired length (a little short of going around your head so there is room for some stretch), I steam pressed out under a cloth (don't press art-yarn with a bare iron or it will melt the novelty yarn bits!) and sewed up. Covered the end seam with another band (see picture) of art-yarn (4 stitches wide) used as decoration. Couldn't be easier! Make one in an evening!

 'Red is the Rose' art-yarn, hand spun, bulky, and up for sale on Etsy.

1 comment:

  1. That is beautiful. It's so impressive that you made it!