Sunday, May 27, 2007

Up to my Eyeballs in Wool!

Does this happen to you too? Every Spring, I just can't resist all those lovely fleeces that are for sale out there. This year I have discovered how much more I like processing the medium wools compared to the fine wools. So, at the present time I am working on the corriedale/romney cross:

And a Lincoln and Mohair Top Blend, I've never blended before, so this is an experiment. I am blending on combs, which makes me want a hackle, but man! are they ever expensive!
And yesterday I started washing a Border Leicester fleece from a ewe named Snowberry:

Don't you just want to stick your fingers in that??? I asked this same question to my son, Bryan, as I was walking past his room with an arm full of this washed fleece, and I just simply can't believe his answer. "Umm, No." OMG ! Is it just me?

I tried a different method of washing this time, I used Shakley BasicH and mesh bags, actually I just tried the one bag to see how this would go. Two good soaks and one rinse and this is the result. Then every time I passed the fleece drying on the rack I flicked out a couple of locks, it's much easier when the fleece is still damp. I think I need to invest in one sheep of each breed, one Romney and one Border Leicester and then I would be set for life.

I would put them here:

So all this fencing was done by Mr. Fix It, but I helped with all the tencel wire on the back and one side. 'Course then I got bit by a spider or something and ended up at the Dr's office. But, it's all done now, and next week I can show you this same picture with Caryn's horse Blazer in it!

Jay Walkers are not in second sock syndrome:

And the Foot shot:

I tried something different with my pictures this week, so please let me know if you like the new way (smaller sizes) or the old way of my shots. So that's about it around here, I hope you are all having a safe and memorable Memorial Day Weekend. No matter what your views, say a prayer for the troops out there!

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Fibery Pursuits - in Kentucky and Tennesse!

Yesterday, Peggy and her granddaughter Emma Belle picked Caryn and myself up to go to Tennessee on a bunny hunt!

It was quite and adventure, as the woman who was selling the French Angora Rabbits was completely clueless when it came to giving directions! On top of that, dear Peggy doesn't have a map in the car. . . ok, well, not my usual way of doing things and hopefully, I didn't spoil Peggy's day, but I honestly hate to not know where I am going! All's well that ends well, though and Peggy got 2 of the little critter's and I am thinking about the offspring of those two. . . Go see the cuties on her blog!! Oh, I want one!

Ok in other persuits, when you take two of these:

And ply them together:

You could get one of these (with leftover's on one bobbin):

This is 4.5 ounces of a Romney Sheep named Georgia (from Skyline Farms) that spun into 305 yards of two ply yarn at 14 wpi.

I have been using the Yarn Scale that is supplied in The Essentials of Yarn Design by Mabel Ross to try and stay consistent with this yarn. I think that so far it is working! This is the darkest of my Romney and I plan to have three darks and two lights for a fairisle design by Ron Schwitzer.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Birthdays, Mother's Day, and Knitting

Bryan, my first born, had the unfortunate luck to be born really close to Mother's Day. Therefore, he has to share this day with me every once in a while. He is a very tolerant boy and never seems to mind. Though, at this point in his life, I am now reluctant to call him a boy any longer, as he has turned 20 years old this 13th day of May 2007. How did this happen? How could he be this old, so quickly? Well, my darling daughter says it is because I didn't let him play in traffic! lol - She is always there to help put things in perspective!

So, on this Mother's Day, I would like to wish all my fellow sisters out there that have children, of one sort or another (be it furry babies, husband babies, or actual child babies), a very Happy Mother's Day! I also want to thank all of the people who took the time to comment last week for their comments, it's really a thrill to know that someone is actually reading this blog!

Yesterday was spent shopping for Bryan's gifts for today, not that I am a slacker or anything, but this young man never seems to need or want anything and it causes a ruckus every year. Can you imagine having nothing on your wish list and having to be poked and prodded along to get two items that you might want?

Yeah, not in my lifetime, I must be a real material girl! So, speaking of which here are a few things that have been updated since the last time we saw them:

Kai - June Style: I replaced the motif on top with one that I thought looked better, it has the same amount of rows and the repeat worked really well. I hope that those of you that have Shetland 2 can comment on what you think about this:
Then, there is Antique Lace: The colors in these pictures are dead on for a change. I had some really nice sun streaming in the windows yesterday afternoon. So, this show the true color of Lady Godiva in Ivory. I am thinking that this vest will go with anything and everything, but not the wedding outfit, that I have finally decided on, which is why this one is not on the front burner right now.

And an almost finished Jaywalker in LL Motherlode: I love this color! I think I am going to make a picot top edge on these as they just look so feminine to me, now to make the other sock too! I am usually very bad at the second sock getting on the needles!

And I must show you the fencing, we have purchased the gates and all the wire, cables, nuts and bolts that are needed to complete it now. Since Chris is dedicated to finishing just this right now, I'm sure I will have more pictures soon!

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Favorite Wool Prep - Do you have one?

My favorite way to prep a fleece for spinning is hands down, combing. I bought a pair of Alvin Ramer wool combs second hand from someone selling theirs on the Spin List.

I have loved working with them, and they do everything I could possibly want. Except actually fit on my counter top, table or any other horizontal surface I have in this house! They do actually fit on this bar stool that I used for one of my plants, but The Combs have take over now! The biggest problem I have found in combing is all the dirt that I try to get out in the washing of the fleece finally does come out in the combing. I don't know if I am not getting my water hot enough, or what, but I have an amazing amount of clumped sand/dirt in this Romney-Corriedale fleece I washed and dyed:

So, if I can't comb in the kitchen (the only place in my house with tile floors that is basically a free for all since the dogs live in there - I do vacuum and wash the floor weekly, if not more when it rains! I don't want anyone thinking we are pigs!) then, I am stuck. I was recently complaining to Mr. Fix It and he comes out of the garage with these:

Oh my Lord! I have died and gone to heaven! These babies fit around anything! Look!

I am highly, highly recommending these clamps to anyone who can get their hands on them! They were purchased from Sears, and Mr. Fix It thinks they were around $20. They they are fabulous for outdoors (then, I don't even have to sweep or vacuum again!) and they also work around my table that has a long edge:

No, we have no control over Nitro, as you can plainly see. He is his own boss, except when the dogs get in on the Act!

So, this is what the Romney-Corridale is working up to:

How can you resist combing when you get results like this?