Match made in heaven

Time to catch up with the rest of the weekend’s dyeing efforts…

This post is devoted to my new laceweight base, a blend of 75% merino and 25% silk, and all the skeins below use this base. Now as we all know, I’m a bit of a silk fiend and I’ve loved all the pure silk yarns I’ve ever used. There may be differences in the weight, the ply structure, the type of silk used, but the beautiful texture and sheen have always been there and I’ve never been disappointed.

However, silk blends are a different matter. So much yarn is bought online now, without the opportunity to feel the yarns first, and so blends are always a bit more of a gamble than pure bases. I had an unfortunate experience with an alpaca/merino/silk blend recently and found the alpaca content just way too hairy. Still, I’m not going to write alpaca off just yet as I might be able to find an alpaca blend which suits me better. It all depends on the balance of the different fibres and your own personal preferences.

This is why I’m so pleased with this new laceweight. Sometimes, and yes I can’t believe I’m saying this, you might want a yarn that’s a bit cosier and softer in outline than silk but still with that luxurious sheen. This base does all that and I think it will be wonderful for lace work.

This skein was dyed with summer cornfields in mind and I’m really pleased with the subtle light golden tones which undercut the brightness in the yellow dye. I see this as more of an early summer one with its soft, light colours and would love to do a ‘late summer’ version with darker, richer golden browns.

Merino/Silk Lace in pale golden yellows

I love these sorts of grey toned colourways and this one is full of grey shades, blues and purples. It’s one of those which changes in different lights. Bit of a nightmare to photograph but amazing in real life.

Merino/Silk Lace in silvery purple/blue

Although I originally set out for a rusty red with this one, it went way too far towards orange. It may just be me but I do think that the Ashford red dye does sit very much towards the orange end and if you introduce brown tones (as I did here), it tends to tip it over to orange very quickly. So this skein was then overdyed with a dilute mixture of red and black. I love the depth of shade it’s now achieved and it looks so much better.

Merino/Silk Lace in autumnal red

For the next dye batch I’m going to try some subtly variegated lace yarns. I’m always a bit nervous of using highly variegated colourways with lace patterns as the pattern definition is often lost. So I’ll be aiming for some elegant autumnal colour combinations…

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