Washing wool, lock by lock

My Mojo Sock is in time out, so I started a new sock out of Opal Wildflowers. It’s not very interesting to look at yet, as it’s just a plain sock. Instead of showing you a picture of a plain sock foot, I’m going to tell you about my exciting mail. This week I received a box from The Spinning Loft. The Loft is known for their selection of raw fleeces. The variety that Allison stocks is impressive, even including a new shipment of British breeds, imported from their homelands. When the box arrived, I dug under the bags of fiber to come up with the two books that I had...

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Duckworth Wool

Men’s Journal did a very nice article about Duckworth Wool. Duckworth is a new outdoor clothing company out of Bozeman, Montana, is concisely told on their tagless label: “Grown-Spun-Knit-Sewn — Made in USA.”1 Duckworth is using “Helle Rambouillet Merino”wool. This seems to be a cross between a Rambouillet and a Merino being grown by Helle Farms. The Helle family, a third generation sheep farm in Dillon Montana, specialize in range lambing Rambouillet sheep. They seem to be selectively breeding for both meat and wool, with an emphasis on wool.2  The Helles...

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In Which I Attempt Organization

I have a fiber and yarn stash. I’m so lucky that I have a family that’s ok with my collection. The fact is though, that I’ve been spinning and knitting a very long time, and so I have a LOT of stash. Into the Whirled – Just Figs My stash is stored in what is ostensibly my guest room. There’s an Ikea couch that folds out into a bed, my writing desk, and a lovely rocking chair in the room. My drum carder, swift, ball winder, and several shelves worth of books also live in that room. I have a guest coming to stay in a few weeks, and realized that the room is...

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This is the way we wash our wool…

I wanted to detail how I washed this wool a little more, and since I took photos and video of the process now’s the time. I plucked out locks of wool, prime wool from the center back of the fleece and tucked them into tulle packets. Each of the locks was arranged in the same direction, with the brown tips facing up. I folded the tulle down over the top, then up from the bottom in a little envelope. I didn’t bother to seal the ends. I was out of safety pins, and knew that since I was only washing a few packets that it really didn’t matter. I filled the roasting pan with water...

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How to choose a fleece

I think I may have mentioned that I brought home an 11lb fleece from MD Sheep and Wool festival. I’m going to use this fleece as an opportunity to talk about how I choose, scour, process, and spin this fleece. I want to make sure that I mention that this is just how I pick my fleeces. You may pick a fleece based on different criteria, and in fact this is just how I pick a fine to medium fine wool fleece. This wool is destined to be a sweater for me, and a matching sweater for my daughter. It’s 11lbs of wool, so it’s probably going to be several other articles of clothing...

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Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival

    Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival is THIS WEEKEND! This is a fun-filled weekend of live animals, crafts and supplies, entertainment and more. The festival is held at Howard County Fairgrounds: 2210 Fairground Road West Friendship, MD 21794-9604         Since I come from MD, I consider this to be my home festival. I try to go for at least one day each year. This year, I have some fantastic friends who will be vending:     Kate and her crew will have her Colors of Happiness in two locations this year.Cloverhill yarns, just inside the front door of...

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