Big Alice Delight

One of the first bumps of roving I purchased when I first learned to spin was this beautiful roving by Big Alice Dyes, a local Portland dyer. I had saved it because I didn’t want my awkward hands to spin lumpy yarn that would eventually be used to knit up a coaster or a dish towel. I wanted it for ME. And so, it sat in my closet for a very long time.

It’s not because I’m now such an awesome spinner that I finally decided to break it out. It was just that I couldn’t resist seeing how the colors would come together when spun up. One thing that I’m starting to realize is how the color intensifies when it is compressed into a twist. It’s not just the energy created by the twist but also the layering of color that makes handspun yarn seem so alive and electric.


How beautiful is this yarn? It’s brown bluefaced leicester. It’s not visible here, but I love the blue that is over-dyed and how these little blue filaments find themselves wrapped up together with the wine, burgundy, mossy greens and yellows.  I am planning on spinning a 3-ply yarn.

The sad thing now is that Big Alice has moved to San Francisco and no longer dyes fiber.

Please, Big Alice, if you get this message, please consider dyeing fiber for spinning again.


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