The last week in August hubby, Kasper and I drove southeast, so close to the Russian border that you could see Russia if you climbed a small hill. We met with my spinning friends Petra and Mervi at Sanski’s, who’s a professional spinner and natural dyer. She also has a few angora goats, that provide her with mohair. And she has a beautiful garden! This is just one of her gorgeous dahlias:
Sanski lives by one of Finlands lakes. We have about one thousand lakes! It was a calm, beautiful day when we arrived, and continued to be so the next days.
This Finnish top from Pirtin Kehräämö thinks it’s a snowman, only needing a couple of arms and eyes, and a nose and mouth to be perfect. But oh what a surprise: soon it’ll be teared apart and sprinkled with dyes!
This time we dyed with reactive dyes, which only Mervi knew from earlier. I was surprised by the very clear and vibrant colors our Finnish tops showed after having dried. I dyed blue (surprised anyone?)
Here’s our dyeing that first day, still dry after the rinsing (my blue top is already hanging to dry outside the photo):
Sanski got quite excited and acid dyed a lot of top after we had left her alone so she could flip out in peace 🙂 I’m sorry I don’t have a photo to show! But here is her wall of yarns dyed with natural colours, all light fast. Her dyeing is magical!
Petra is a sheep farmer who hasn’t spun for very long, but pretty fast it turned out she’s a natural spinner. We had a task for our small retreat: everyone had to spin core yarn for a classic bouclé yarn. Here Petra takes a close look at mohair from Sanski’s goats, so different from Finnsheep wool:
At Sanski’s all four of us spun mohair for the bouclé wrapping. And then we wrapped it around the cores, and that was a sweaty job. Think: fresh core yarns, and freshly spun mohair with lots of twist! But we made it. Look at this skein, fresh from the skein winder and before finishing:
That’s a yarn spun by four spinners from different wools for the core, different types of mohair for the bouclé wrapping, and the same cotton sewing thread as binder. Please admit we were very clever and skilled! We also used different wheels: two upright Scotch tension, an antique Saxony, and a Hansen Minispinner.
My reflexions from those three days: we four spinners are as different as dyers as we are as spinners. Spinning and dyeing is so similar to your temperament. I think we four friends cover the most common types: the impulsive, and the thoughtful and meticulous, and a mix of these.
Sanski and me had already fallen into the dye bog. Now Mervi and Petra are splashing around there with us. Only Kasper didn’t think it was a hit:
But he was happy in the beautiful woods of that region. Hubby took him for long walks, and in between they just rested.
Hubby, Kasper and I had a fast and beautiful trip home. We haven’t been much in that area of Finland. We both fell in love with the nature with the forests and lakes, and the small hills.
I dyed some wool last week. Method: cling film and a steam cooker.
This is Finnish wool, a mix of Finnsheep and Finnsheep/Texel cross. Soft and not very long, just above 7 cm which is what’s required for commercial tops. It behaves a bit like Merino: gets bigger and bigger while drying because of great amount of crimp.
I’ll spin two braids during TdF.
I dyed a fleece:
I bought several Finn x Texel fleeces to use in spinning classes. The wool is coarser than pure Finn, and easier to prepare and spin. This one I’ll spin myself. The bright colours I’ll use in a sweater for my granddaughter, the pale red and green in socks.
The spindling class last weekend was great fun! Seven ladies and a young lad got a first glimpse of the wonderful world of spindles. I love the new crafters house at Stundars. It’s built and decorated with the great skills you can expect from dedicated crafters. As always when teaching, I forget to take pics in class. I took this one, though:
I showed my spinning wheels also, as an introduction to an upcoming wheel spinning class in the autumn.