Easter Surprise Yarn

Easter is right around the corner. It brought to mind a project that I did several years ago (before I started my blog). I want to share it with you.

I’ve mentioned before that Cooler Dyeing is one of my favorite methods to dye wool for spinning. The process requires the fiber to set overnight in a cooler full of dye. This wool was placed in the cooler the day before Easter and on Easter morning, I opened it up to see how it turned out. That’s why I call it Easter Surprise!

Here’s a more detailed account.

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It all began with Alex. She’s one of my sheep. We sheared her and I washed the wool by soaking it in hot soapy water, being careful not to agitate it. Many people believe that soap and hot water will cause wool to felt. But that’s not entirely true. It’s needs agitation as well. The hot water and soap allow the fibers to open up, preparing them for felting. But it’s the movement that causes the fibers to latch onto each other, thus causing the wool to felt. So I washed and rinsed carefully and laid it out on some screens to dry.

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Then I used my drum carder to prepare the wool for spinning. The Drum Carder combs the wool and alines the fibers.

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This creates what is called a Batt. The batts fit nicely in my cooler where I layered them and sprinkled the dye lightly in a random pattern over the top. To set the dye I added vinegar, drizzled over top. Then poured in enough near boiling water to cover the batts by several inches. I then closed the lid and left it undisturbed for about 24 hours.

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On Easter morning I found that I had a pile of very pretty green batts.

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I used the leftover water to dye this yarn (no point in wasting dye water!). It’s some of my hand spun Mohair from Michael. Nice sea foam color!

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Once the batts were rinsed and dried, I spun them into this fabulous yarn.

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But what to do with the yarn? I ended up making a shawl on my Tri Loom. I’m going to show you how to make one of those and how to use it in a future post.

This turned out to be one of my favorite shawls. I love the way the color change is random, but still has a variegated look to it.

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And it won 3rd place in the GA National Fair!

So now you have the full story of my Easter Surprise Yarn.

Hope you have a Happy Easter this year and all that follow!

Don’t forget to check out Craftsy’s Easter Sale!

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