Saturday, 30 May 2015

Lilac Blue-faced Leicester Wool Shawl - Design D198

My next project was a holiday knit.  We were camping at Hendremynach in Barmouth, Wales for a few days and knowing the Great British weather I was prepared for time spent inside the tent.  It was extremely windy for most of our stay, as we were camping about 100 yards from the coast line.  The campsite is fairly quiet, it has a shop and shower block but not a clubhouse and that suits us perfectly as we go on holiday for the peace and quiet.  The most noise came a couple of families that were camping not far from us but thankfully they left the day after we arrived.  I have to say that we got a bit of a shock on our first night as the last train came past at 11pm and we were already tucked up in our sleeping bags and dozing off when it sounded its horn as kids from "the noisy family" were obviously near to the track crossing.  I would recommend the campsite, tents and caravans allowed, if you want a quiet walking type holiday or somewhere that you can just get away to for some fresh sea air and sit knitting or spinning or other crafting.  I've put a link to the website at the beginning of this paragraph.

We did get out and about and do a lot of walking and seeing as we were in Wales we met a few of these on our travels, although I am not entirely sure what breed they are and hubby had to drag me away otherwise I would have spent hours just standing looking at them.

Anyway, as I said, the Great British weather didn't let us down and I had a good few hours in the tent whilst it poured down outside and when the kids went to bed before us on the night time to get some knitting done.  I made the same simple shawl design that I just made in blue & white mohair but this time I used some of my own hand-spun from a "mule" fleece.  It's not the softest of yarns and when it was finished I noticed natural discolouration throughout the shawl and I tried my best on my return home to remove the staining through washing and soaking but it didn't budge so I dyed the shawl using Greener Shades dye made up of 65% River Blue and 35% Amethyst Purple at a dye depth of 0.2% for a lighter shade.  Had I dyed it at a higher dye depth it would have been a lot darker.

There is still colour variation throughout the shawl but at least it is now a lot prettier than leaving it natural where it looks like pee stains when in fact it wasn't pee stains at all but a stain that is caused by micro-organisms that live on the sheep combined with rain and the sun and when you buy a fleece you can't always tell if its a permanent stain or if it will wash out.  Its just one of those things that as a spinner you have to deal with when then come along.  I finished making this on 29th May 2015.

Want to know how I made yarn for this shawl? Just click "Mule" fleece

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