Saturday, February 6, 2010

Making a little progress......

Here is the way I am processing the wool breed samples. Wash with Kookaburra Scour after teasing a bit and picking out any vm. After it is dry, place a lock on the sample card. Comb or card the fiber. (I am combing most of them.) After I have spun the sample, I wind some of the single onto the sample card and then wind the rest off the bobbin onto a tp roll as you would with a nostepinne. I start with chain ply and then after putting that onto the sample card, I finish up the ball by plying from the inside and outside, making the two ply. Then it is ready to weave a sample and knit a sample with the balance put into a small skein. I am able to see and feel many wool breeds this way and it will help with decisions in the future for purchase or project.

Weaving a sample of the two ply with the Weave-It two inch frame.

Spinning the CVM. I think I am in love! It is wonderful stuff. I combed it with my Alvin Riemer fine two pitch combs and spun it on the Mitzi.

Here are some of the samples drying in the studio. The swift is good for more than holding skeins.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Wool Breed Study

I have started washing samples of wool breeds for my group to use as reference. There are 46 one ounce samples and so far I have washed a dozen or so and mounted three. This is great because it gives me an opportunity to see and feel the breeds. Some are surprising. I had notions of what they would be like and of course I was wrong about some. I am opening the fiber and getting rid of debris and second cuts. Then putting it into cheesecloth squares and tying in a bundle. See the little tags on the table? They are cut from milk cartons and labeled with a permanent marker. I am placing them on one corner of the bundle when tying to make it easy to identify each sample.

Unfortunately this sample of BFL was not sound and I was not able to selvage much. One of the samples was full of moth eggs and casings. The samples came in Ziploc bags and one out of 46 was not too bad I think. That was a good opportunity to show my group what to look for when we had a *Washing 101* lesson on Sunday. It re enforced the notion to check your stash often. You never know when those little critters are going to get in.

This is how I am mounting the samples. A lock, spun singles, plied, a knitted swatch, a woven swatch and a small skein. I am labeling with wool breed,washing information and if the fiber was combed or carded, knitting needles used, etc. I do this for my own sample box when spinning. No, not every project gets in there, just when I think about it. ;-)