Also, there has been lots of excitement building up here and it’s all hands on deck so to speak to get everything ready, but all I can say at this time IT IS GOING TO BE SO EXCITING !!!!! So yeah, there will be lots and lots more going on very very soon, bit more on that on a later date. For now, this July, as promised, will be filled with an amazing amount of fluffy, super soft, squishy, super luxurious goodies to tempt you even more than usual.
For this blog update I have something very special for you:
Pearl Bunny Tops !
I am especially enthusiastic about this blend that has an amazing new and strange fibre: Chitin.
I have an extremely fun time saying to everybody who will listen "hey, did you feel that fibre with Chitin ?" While pronouncing it as "Shit-in" not "Kai-tin" as it should have been pronounced. LOL
Anyhoo, Chitin is one of those elements that I always am on the look out for , just like the stainless steel blend from years ago that I unleashed on all of you. I am always looking outside of the box to combine either technology, science, bizarness, call it what you like, into my special blends.
This one took a bit of doing and literally years of combining science with the craft of blending different fibres together. But, let me start by explaining what exactly brought me to add shitin ..eh..i mean..Chitin... to my fibre blends ready for handspinning :
Chitin was discovered by the French chemist and pharmacist Henri Braconnot in 1811 and, after cellulose, it's the most important biopolymer in nature.
In fact, it is made of the exoskeleton of insects, shellfish and Shells. Chitin is a polysaccharide. Chemically speaking it looks like a long-chain in which pearls are molecules of N-acetylglucosamine.
The N-glucosamine is a very important substance for the human organism, in fact, it is the precursor of hyaluronic acid and it is used in therapies for the functional recovery of the joints.
Chitin is also widely used in the medical world to make suture wires because it can be degraded by enzymes present in human tissue. It is also used as wound dressing, enormously important to treat burn victims.
Chitin has a remarkable strength and it accelerates the healing of wounds. (want to delve deeper into some research?
Here are some publications in the international journal of Niological Macromolecules:
Obviously I will not tell you to eat the Pearl bunny tops, but Chitin has many other applications than medical suture wires and wound dressing.
It is also extensively used in food and pharmaceutical products. It is often used as a food thickener and stabilizer, and it can also form edible films.
Chitin is also used in supplements to manage healthy cholesterol levels and body weight. Additional uses of chitin include the support of kidney function.
Some early research shows that Chitin supports the body’s natural ability to heal skin damage and nerve regrowth.
Chitin, being derived from shells, made me think it was more like a protein than a cellulose fibre since there is obviously no cellulose in a crab. So I looked deeper into the chemical structure of Chitin and here it is:
Chitin is a “polymerized N-acetylglucosamine.” The only thing you need to remember from that extremely long a word is “glucos” and “Amine” which opens a whole other box of contradictions, because Glucose is a cellulose and Amine is a Protein. Could it be the best of both worlds then? And the short answer of it is : YES!
In my top notch dye laboratory (please note the sarcasm) I tested this odd fibre with both fibre reactive and acid dyes ! Bingo ! The fibre takes both acid dyes and fibre reactive dyes! Very odd isn’t it?
In the chemical structure of the Chitin you can see the OH (hydroxide) Highlighted in pink , which is helpful in reactive dyeing , and the NH and NH2 , which are necessary for acid dyeing.
So there you go: chitin is one of those bizarre fibres that will bind with both acid and reactive dyes. However, when you closely look at the structure you can see that there are way more hydroxide “binding sites” (just look at how many OH’s there are for short ). So after all that research I have to admit it’s like a cellulose/plant fibre that loves acting like a protein/animal fibre… I hope I satisfied your inner bio chemist and can't wait to do some of your own research..eh .. spinning..
The blend spins up like a dream! It is a bit cool to the touch, has a gorgeous drape, feels very silky. Totally different from any blend with bamboo or soy or seacell (seaweed) or even tencel. I love working with it and it will make an excellent jumper as well (or socks) since the tensile strength is huge and it also has excellent anti bacterial properties (read that as : it is great for combating sweaty feet and armpits).
So, here they are: Pearl Bunny Tops (I thought that was a better name than calling it Bunny Crabs....let's not go there LOL)
The Pearl bunny tops are
Pearl Bunny Tops
A blend of Superfine Merino, Angora Bunny, Cashmere, Chitin
Woad, Japanese Indigo Dye seed packs
Woad and Japanese Indigo
Please note that due to quarantine restrictions I have been advised not to ship to Western Australia, Tasmania or overseas.
Woad seed packs are $7
Japanese Indigo seeds are $8
both come with planting instructions and a recipe to make your own dye bath!
IxCHeL Aran Tweed Yarn
I have two colourways available at the moment: Both with the most colourful speckles and pops of colour you can think of and both in pure wool, spun with lots of love
IxCHeL Aran Tweed Coral Sea
IxCHeL Aran weight Tweed Coral Sea with bright pops of colour
|IxCHeL Aran Tweed Coral Sea|
IxCHeL Aran Tweed Opal
IxCHeL Aran weight Tweed Opal with bright pops of colour
IxCHeL Tweed fingering weight yarn
Spun singles, fingering or sock weight yarn
(A beautiful sunshine yellow that goes so well with the kookaburra the silver grey)
(an intense pure red that goes well with the Kookaburra and the Wattle and the Amethyst colourway and soooooomany others)
(a beautiful silver grey with ochre accents that complement the dingo colourway)
( A beautiful warm honey ochre with pops of royal bluebell, kingfisher and kangaroo paw)
(a gorgeous raspberry base with pops of royal bluebell, flowering gum, grey and daintree)
( a gorgeous medieval warm red with bright red, kookaburra and fern forest accents)
( a deep forest green with accents of bright red, dusky purple and daintree) )
( a fabulous deep purple with accents of royal bluebell, daintree, grevillea and kingfisher )
( a fabulous deep walnut brown with accents of dingo and kookaburra)
( a fabulous warm orange with accents of fern forest, royal bluebell and grevillea and dingo )
( a deep blue with accents of flowering gum, kookaburra and fern forest )
( a warm light brown with accents of soft blue and kookaburra)
( a fabulous Turquoise blue with accents of fern forest, kangaroo paw, Jacaranda and Grevillea)
250 g tubs AU$27
Have a fun weekend !!!
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Any questions? Any custom orders for yarn or dyeing fibre? : Please don’t hesitate to ask! Always happy to enable.