Saturday, November 22, 2008
Why is hindsight always 20/20? I forgot to take a picture of the bag before felting. It did look a lot different. The mohair parts had not bloomed. I did not know they would bloom as much, but it does add interest to the bag. This is for a Christmas gift exchange. This years theme is anything felted. Just some odd balls of yarns that I had and ta da. The beads are carved and I only had two of each so they went on opposite sides. I hope the recipient likes it.
Sunday, October 12, 2008
Here you can see the homemade hackle that is actually made from metal hair picks from the dollar store. They are mounted on a scrap piece of 2x2. I found directions on the Internet and they were easy to put together. I made them for a class on blending. These are really fun to play with and to see if one is interested in purchasing a professionally done hackle. These are okay, but if one is seriously doing a lot of blending this way I recommend something more sturdy. Two rows of tines would be nice as well.
I was given some fleece from Sequoia's first ram lamb. This shows the steps that I am using to card and spin it. The locks are a bit sun bleached on the tips but they are sound so I left them on. You can see in the drum carder tray how the tips are lighter. It just makes the yarn a bit more heathery. Is that a word? Heathery?
Last month I hosted the annual sale/trade day for my local group. It is a lot of fun. People come for the day and we spin and knit and shop. Several of us have sheep so there is wool and roving for sale. This year I offered knitting bags. I make them with lots of pockets inside and two on the outside. Three sizes. It is fun to see a lot of my bags come in to a meeting. We had mini booths set up in the front yard and in the carport. Used the front and back patios for spinning. What fun! I also make stitch markers and soap. One of the gals in the group makes soaps and lotions and bath salts, etc. This was the third one and word is getting out so we had new people this year.
I am going to try several posts in one day to get caught up a bit. I did have the knee surgery but will not bore you with that stuff.
My flock is growing. I had sheep and angora rabbits years ago in another life. Getting back now to having animals again and loving it.
I did a bit of solar dyeing this summer. Here is some as it is being combed. It shows up in the lower picture as a skein in the basket. It is the second from the bottom. I am showing off a couple of new spindles. The Golding was a birthday gift from a very dear friend. I love it!!
In April a llama came to live here. His name is Archie and he is nearly three years old. Dark Brown. Then in August and little girl llama came. She is four months old. Her name is Veronica. (I did not name them) ;-) She is lovely with wonderful eyes. She is white with a brown tail and has black around her feet that looks like little velvet slippers.
Way back when, I asked Rocky if he had done his job. He did. Two of my friend Kathleen's Shetland ewes had lambs. Twins for both. I got a boy from each ewe. Sir Cedric was born on April 23rd. He was a lovely taupe and that is what attracted me to him. As he aged and it was time to pick him up he had changed. He is now very light. Ian was born on May 1st. He was black and now is a lovely cinnamon brown with dark brown underneath. Here is Sir Cedric then. If you look back at the post titled Sheep Babies you will see Peaches (light mother) with her twins. Ian is the dark one. Also there is a picture of Blossom the darker ewe with her twins. Cedric is one of them.
Then on June 26th Sequoia Silver had twin ram lambs. These boys are half Scottish Blackface. Sequoia is Sierra's mother. The ewes were bred when I bought them and this was a surprise. I named them Slate and Nubbin. Here they are with their mom at about a week old. Slate is the one standing.
Thought it was time that I updated this blog. Here are some pictures of the happenings around here. A ram lamb was born on June 2nd. He is Coopworth. He was born to Sierra Silver and is her first lamb. I have named him Garry Coopworth. The first picture is when he was about three days old. Isn't he the cutest thing?
Monday, May 26, 2008
I sent some fleece to Spinderella's mill for the first time. www.spinderellas.com I had a BFL fleece blended with 20% nylon to spin for sock yarn. So far I have one bobbin nearly full. I am going to make a three ply yarn. My sample came out the way I planned. (love when that happens). The single is 40 wpi and the three ply is about 24 wpi. Can't wait to get it all spun up and then on to playing with dye. I am very happy with the processing that Jim and Lynn did and will be using them in the future. I must have hit it just right because the wool was back in two weeks.
I wanted to process the fleece myself from my ewe's clip. Not the first clip from them, but the first now that they are mine. I washed up one fleece in small batches and the other two I kept the locks aligned and wrapped in cheesecloth and then placed that into some plastic containers. This is great for dunking up and down in the wash and rinse water so no need to touch the fiber. Keeps the locks neat in a row or rows depending on which container I use. Some are large enough to hold two rows, but only one can fit in the sink at a time. I placed the locks into the cheesecloth lined container and then folded over the four sides of the cloth. Fill the sink with very hot water and put in enough dish washing soap to make the water slick. You do not want suds. I used Ultra Dawn. Let the wool soak for at least 20 minutes and then lift out the container and fill the sink with water the same temp as you just let out. I add a *glug* of vinegar to the first rinse. Put the container back into the sink and after a minute or two dunk it up and down gently. It may take one or two more rinses to get the soap out and the water clear. Then I take the whole thing outside and place the locks on a cheesecloth lined wire shelf that is set up on saw horses in the patio. Cover the locks with another piece of cheesecloth to prevent the birds from flying off with the wool and let dry.
On April 17th (my birthday)Terri's ewe Judy had twin ram lambs. Both born black, but as of now it looks like they are going to be gray. (Now? Yes, I am behind in posting to my blog. Life seems to get in the way. I have been distracted by knee pain,but that should be resolved soon with surgery.)
These lambs are Shetland. If you read previously, you know that Rocky is the ram and that we took three ewes to the breeder in November. The other two ewes had their lambs on April 23rd and May 1st. Out of the three sets of twins only one is a ewe lamb. Blossom is the brown ewe with brown babies and Peaches is the white ewe that has a black and a white baby. It will be interesting to see how all of these lambs turn out. Most will lighten up quite a bit according to the wool next to the skin.
Sunday, March 16, 2008
Yesterday was shearing day. Six of us trailered our sheep to a central location to be sheared. It looked like a circle of wagons more or less as we waited for the shearer to arrive. He was hours late because his first stop of the morning took longer than expected as he had to round up the sheep. Silly woman did not know that she had to have her critters in a pen waiting for him. What was she thinking??? The weather was cold and cloudy, and very windy. The rain did hold off so I guess the shearing gods were favoring us. We stood around for a long time while waiting, throwing sicks for some of the dogs and visiting. Finally after 2 PM we got started. There were about 40 sheep sheared and by the time we left to come home the shearer was starting on the angora goats. Some of the people do not spin so did not want the fleece. I came home with seven fleeces besides my three. Today I went to get the mohair as the lady where we had the shearing does not spin either and throws it all away. There are three gray angoras there and I think it will be nice to blend some with my Coopworth. As you can see from the picture, the girls look much different then they did when I got them last month. We had heavy frost this morning so I put extra bedding in their pen in the barn. Good incentive for that wool to start growing again!
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
My Will Taylor 6-ply kate and distaff arrived yesterday. UPS left it in the driveway. Good thing no one saw it before we got home from town! It is oak. Here you can see the pieces and the way it looks when all together. Very clever. Obviously plying is done without the distaff attached. It just slips into the center. Very easy. It even came with a ribbon for tying up the flax. I will change it however since it should match the spinner's eye color or station in life. Hmmmmmmmm, what color does one use for *crone*? Can't wait to use it.
Here is a spindle bag that my friend Yvonne made. Jeans leg and pockets, trimmed with some of her bobbin lace, antique buttons and a small guardian angel I used a candy tin that slips inside to protect the spindle. The strap is long enough that the bag hangs at my hip making it convenient to spin right out of the bag.
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
Here is the ball being plied, then I wound off three skeins. Two are 100 yards and one is 50 yards. I thought I would play with some Kool-Aid to see how the silver gray would turn out. I like the heathered appearance. The smaller skein is done with Ice Blue Raspberry Lemonade, then we have Mango, Blastin' Berry Cherry and the unspun fiber in the basket is Grape. Click on the picture for a close up look at the colors. I put some water into a pot and then the skein, heated it a bit and added the Kool-Aid. I simmered each pot about 20-30 minutes until the water was clear. Playing with small batches is fun, but if I were going to do a large amount of fiber or yarn, I would use commercial dyes. It did make the kitchen smell good.
I have washed up some of the wool that was trimmed from the legs and belly of Sequoia Silver. She has an 18 month growth and the sheep guy (Hi Bill) thought she needed trimming so she would not be a sponge when it rained. It is not prime, but not too bad. I love the silver sheen of the ball ready for plying in the first picture. Here it is Washed and some has been combed and skeined.
Friday, February 22, 2008
I am combing some alpaca that is so soft and wonderful. Hardly any vegetable matter but it does have some very fine dust. It looks beige, but once it is washed it is really cream. I think it will become scarves and perhaps a wimple. It is yummy! If you click on any of the pictures they will open larger.
I have not updated in a while. Health scare. That took up time and focus. On Sunday the 17th I bought three Coopworth ewes. The one one on the left is the mother to the one in the center and the dark one is unrelated. Mama is four years old and the girls are two years old. I am trying to come up with some names, but so far I am thinking it will be Sequoia, Sierra and Mocha. Mocha is actually dark charcoal underneath. According to color genetics these gals are Silver/Blue with teardrops. See the light teardrops and the white on the noses? Perhaps I should get fancy and call them Sequoia Silver and Sierra Silver and Mocha Blue. In the end they may end up with totally different names. If you are so inclined, please leave a comment with suggestions. Click on the picture and it will open larger where you can really see those teardrops.
Monday, January 28, 2008
Yesterday at the Bear Mt. Fiber Friends group meeting we put T.'s new plying head on her Lendrum. She was using it for the first time and near the end of her plying one of the treadle connectors broke. "Waah...........now what do I do?" As you can see from the picture, I spun the wheel while she finished plying. What are friends for? right? Slow, but better than nothing! Notice how yellow the connectors are. We had just been discussing cloudy or frosty drive bands a couple of days before and thinking it might be time for new ones.
It is snowing as I write this. Lovely out. Glad that I do not have to go anywhere today.
I did not get a lot of time to do anything at the meeting. Hopping around the room all day helping people with warping, weaving, spinning, and knitting. Good turnout in spite of the weather. Good friends and fiber and food to share in a warm room. What more could one ask?