09 August 2013

More on playing with sticks, and onion skins :-)

Happy Fibre Arts Friday! Last week I talked about playing with sticks and strings in my new fad backstrap and tablet weaving, this week I have been playing with sticks of a different kind :-)

I made these DIY turkish spindles during the Tour de Fleece when I had to be on the road for a few days, then I just neglected them after I got home. But recently my wheel has developed a clanking noise and I can see that the brackets holding the spokes are becoming loose, I sent an email to Ashford asking for advice but in the meantime I daren't use it in fear that it may get worse. So I'm back to these sticks, the one on the left was made of cardboard decorated by Elli my youngest son:
I've been spinning on these interchangeably, the theory is that they will finish around the same time so I don't have to wait to ply. As you can see the progress is not great, especially when you are used to the speed of the wheel. But I'm perservering, not that I have much choice at this moment... I think I'm about halfway. The spinning is quite fine so I'm hoping for a nice lace weight :-)

Now you all know I like to play with all kinds of stuff that can be used for dyeing, this week I'd like to share my latest experiment with onion skins. I've been wanting to do this for quite some time but kept getting distracted, I was prompted by the fullness of the little tin I used to collect onion skins - that was a couple of weeks ago.

At that time I happened to have some leftover white wine on hand... how can you have leftover wine you might ask? That's because I prefer red, but I use (cheap) white for cooking. Remembering reading somewhere that alcohol could enhance the colour in dyeing, or was it for mordant? anyway I chucked the leftover wine in the soaking pot and left it for a few days. The colour/pigment gradually came out and got stronger each day, I then drained the juice and marinated my yarn (alum mordanted) in it, and just left it... Oh OK I forgot about it... a week later I suddenly remembered about the yarn marinate and was surprised to find the water clear. So I gave the yarn a rinse, no colour came out, and ta da!
Who could have thought a handful of brown onion skins could give such vibrant colour? I didn't even need to use heat, just some time... it must be the white wine ;-)

That's me for the week, what have you been up to?

Thanks for dropping by, there is more fibre arts fun at Wisdom Begins in Wonder. Indulge your creative side and join the party!


  1. They dyed color is great!

    I hope your wheel feels better soon.

  2. That's super cool, one more use for wine :-)

  3. I do love your spindles and adore the gorgeous yarn you are getting from them.

    Your yarn is beautiful. That onion skin yarn almost looks peachy.