Rapunzel let your hair hang down.....(Rebel version)
Last week it was wet and cold, this week we are experiencing super hot 42C (108F)…and…I am trying to enable you with wool. Go figure. But hey, it’s probably cold somewhere in the world AND let’s face it, when you are a spinner of a knitter, seasons do not really matter: we craft all the time. We are those magical creatures that knit sweaters in summer, just because we can and want to.
This update is especially magical because there is a new IxCHeL blend I want to introduce to you: Rapunzel. It is just as magical as it sounds: 17 micron merino, fine luxurious cashmere, silky smooth mulberry silk and a dash of gold stellina so you can spin stars into your yarn. It was quite a bit of work and lots of experimentation to get this blend right and smooth. The finer the fibres are, the more careful you have to treat them and to over blend them can often result in little imperfections , or nepps, in the top. It means that everything needs to be done slow, very carefully and most of all , not overblended. It took some doing, but I am extremely happy with the result of this new blend. It spins like a dream, has a gorgeous lofty drape and just enough weight to it.
I wanted to name this blend after a fairytale. 1. Because I love fairytales and folklore and magical creatures, but also because I wanted the next step, the painting and dyeing process, to add to the mystery and the magic. So every colourway has been made with a certain type of magical creature in mind and I have made the pigments to match them. Well, I try.
My whole life I have been sketching and painting and playing with colour. It is no surprise then that I am loving the process of creating pigments to work with as well. I have been trying to grow plants and making them into pigments I can use not only dyeing the wool tops and fibres and yarns but I have also been trying to make them into paints. It is extremely fun to do and I am close to realizing another dream of mine: to create natural water colour paints that are beautiful and magical to use. It will take lots more time and effort to get to the point where I can start to sell the pigments and paints, because the whole process takes such a long time from growing the plants and to processing everything to make a quality product that always performs the same way. Something that is not that easy to accomplish when you are working with plants and different climates when harvesting etc. See it as another adventure !
I have to admit I love the whole learning new things, the process of experimenting like a “mad” scientist in a colourful lab. I seem to ask myself a lot of questions and I always seem to find a problem that I want to solve. For example : how to make something that is absolutely not water soluble, work in water anyway. Something about that whole process makes me happy. I know it is not that easy for Paul to live with a mad scientist: I always seem to totally immerse myself in something, forgetting time and everything else around me. Thankfully I have Paul, the bunnies and the cat, to remind me that they are hungry or it is time for bed..although I have to admit , I still tend to forget to go to sleep every now and again..lol .
IxCHeL Rapunzel Tops
17 micron Merino (40), Cashmere(20), Mulberry Silk(35), Gold Stellina (5)
These are beautiful female spirits ruling over fresh water fountains, wells,
springs and streams. They love to dance and sing.
You have to be careful not to shake the magical unicorn farts too much :
it will release a potion that will put a smile on your face for a very long time.
I once made the mistake just before I had to do a very solemn talk
at a conference and the effects were so bad,
I could not stop laughing the whole time.
Saba Leipya -sold
There is one spirit assigned to each field and they take the form of butterflies.
in Germany and Scandinavia.
Nixies are shapeshifting creatures that are a bit fickle
because they somehow cannot seem to settle on one appearance:
they keep on changing over and over again.
When they take the shape of horses they are light pink and white and grey
and are extremely beautiful.
Although it can be a tell tale sign that you are dealing with a Nixie,
when you see some river weeds in their manes or they are constantly dripping water…
(dyed with Rose madder and oak galls)
protecting them from harm.
These are very old and wise faeries.
Every time you touch the moss they change into,
you can see tiny dew drops or tears forming,
gently telling you to step back and do no harm to the forest.
(dyed with Rose madder, plum leaves and oak galls)
appear at battlefields, deciding who should die.
They then escort the souls of the chosen to Valhalla, where , as we all know,
everybody has a fabulous time partying and drinking big steins of mead.
(dyed with madder root, walnut, marigold, coreopsis flowers)
The Selkies are know in the Orkneys
were they can turn from seals into humans and back again. They are very gentle souls who prefer dancing in the moonlight over luring sailors into dangerous waters.
(dyed with Indigo, woad and marigold flowers)
because they love to sing loudly and have a great time.
But at times when all the storms have died down and the weather is nice,
the mermaids come together in small groups and whisper stories to each other.
In some Japanese tales, foxes have magical powers and can shapeshift into women.
The more of a tail the kitsune has, the older and more powerful she is.
So beware of a fox with a long tail !
(dyed with Woad, Walnut, Coreopsis)
and creating huge storms.
You do not want to mess with Storm Giants.
They can however be tamed by feeding them cookies and
singing a lullaby, while pretending not to be scared.
(dyes with indigo)
originally from England,
who can shapeshift and help lost children get back home.
but are more helpful and will even do household chores.
You do have to be careful though, because they love to play practical jokes on everybody.
So be careful when you want to put sugar into your tea,
because your hob goblin most likely will have replaced the sugar in the bowl with salt.
(dyed with Ivy leaves, Eucaluptus, Madder root, Coreopsis, walnut)
Back in the old days, they lured women into the river , by making them think
“ Yay! Free wooden plates!” and when the woman tried to grab a plate,
the dracae would get hold of her , drag her under the water
and make her be their nanny for ever.
They are not as successful now as they were in the middle ages though ,
so they are now practicing shapeshifting into flamingo shaped pool ornaments.
(dyed with oak galls, walnut, elderberries, indigo, indigo)
and starts wailing at you with such a high pitch, it will make you go deaf in no time.
The only way to counter act it, is
to always carry death metal music with you and start playing it extremely loud.
The Banshee will be totally surprised
and will disappear into the darkness, trying to change her tune.
(dyed with elderberries, Alkanet, hibiscus, oak galls)
IxCHeL Sock Yarn blend
+/- 410meters which is enough for gorgeous pair of socks or a shawlette!
Super fine Merino, Silk and Nylon (75/5/20) Spun in Victoria and hand dyed by yours truly at the IxCHeL Fibre Farm in the Yarra Valley
Spinner’s Control, Yarn Gauge and Ply angle card
a great way to gauge the thickness of your yarn and plying. A nice tool with an info sheet to hang on your spinning wheel or carry wit you anywhere you go.
Have a fun weekend !!!
How To Order:
2. Message me on facebook or
3. Message me on www.ravelry.com where I am ixchelbunny.
4. message me on Instagram where I am @ixchelbunny
I will email you right back with all your order details and payment methods.
Any questions? Any custom orders for yarn or dyeing fibre? : Please don’t hesitate to ask! Always happy to enable.