It's been a long cold winter and spring has been slow coming in this year. On Thursday evening when I found myself with some spare time I decided to dye some yarn and fleece. I wanted to cheer myself up with some spring colours. I wanted to capture the colour of a daffodil bud just before the flower bursts out. I ended up with this.
Cushendale woolen mills and it's a lovely sock yarn spun from Irish fleece in a traditional woolen style. I visited the mill in Graignamanagh when I went walking by the river with my Mum and aunt recently. It's a lovely village in the first place and the mill makes it even better to visit. Unfortunately I forgot my camera so I can't show you photos of the place or even the glorious sunshine and views we had when we walked by the river side.
I just looked back at my post history there and have discovered that next week Aran Brew is two years old. It doesn't seem like it, maybe that's because I've had so much fun writing this blog and documenting my adventures in brewing, knitting and all the other crafts I try. I love seeing comments and hearing that people like reading what I write. There is another reason to celebrate this week, the blog has made the (not so) short lists for the Irish blog awards. Congratulations to the other fibre related blogs on the list, Dublin knit collective, She knit up that ball, Clasheen and Etsy Ireland. Also congratulations to Live at the witch trials, The Beer Nut and 9 Bean Row. Well done everyone. I'm going to the blog awards in Galway so expect a report on that.
Anyway back to the yarn. Do you like it? Would you like to have it? Yes? Excellent! I'm having my first ever blog giveaway of this skein of yarn in celebration of the blog being two and the blog awards. All you have to do is leave a comment telling me why you love spring and what you'll do with the yarn. I'll announce who has won next week.
While I had the dyeing stuff out I decided I might as well dye some of my alpaca fleece. I grabbed a load of fleece from the bags in the shed. I figured I'd wash the fleece and then dye it all in one go to save myself some time. It worked really well and I'll be doing this from now on. The dyes came from Kemtex in the UK as part of their starter kit. I just dunked the fleece in the pot in laundry bags and sprinkled some dye on. It didn't look like it was going to turn out ok as the water was pretty murky and grey looking. I presume the alpaca wasn't completely clean. I took the fleece out and rinsed it and hung it to dry not expecting much. But when it dried I was really surprised, it turned out to be this lovely soft blue colour reminding me of a blue sky on a day with a few clouds.
I also dyed some silk hankies and have just started to spin them on my Zebisis drop spindle. I love silk, it's amazingly shiny fantastic stuff. I've got lots going on at the moment so expect some new posts about what I'm knitting, the opening of the crochet coral reef, bottling my alt beer, some brewing plans and some fun beer tasting.