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...

read more

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...

read more

In which we begin playing with fire

On day 3, we prepared our yarn for natural dyeing. Leslie assured us that natural dyeing, or any dyeing really, was just like cooking. You gather your ingredients, prepare your yarn/fiber, and follow the recipe. Wednesday, day 3 was the day we prepared to dye. Joanne, who was responsible for bringing the program to Smithtown, had arranged for us to have six brick fire pits. We only needed one for prep day. It’s a good thing too. The wood we had was a little wetter than we would have liked. Joanne was an Eagle Scout though, and got the fire going. We were thankful that it was a cooler...

read more

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...

read more

Le Tour de Fleece day four

Ok, that skein on the right? That’s the plied, but unwashed cabled skein. I cant quite decide what it wants. I’m going to wash it and see what it looks like, and if it’s still not what I want I’m going to take it apart and add more twist to the two ply skeins before re-plying. The straight four ply? It’s lovely. The yarn is smooth and round, just what a multiple ply yarn is supposed to be. Both skeins are SUPER soft and squishy. Together they’ll make an awesome hat for my kiddo. I’m glad that I have a second four ounce braid, because I don’t...

read more

Tour de Fleece day 3

Actual work is getting in the way of my spinning. This is that same four ounces of fiber, now wound up onto little four inch weaving bobbins. See the maroon fiber wrapped around each bobbin? That’s the spacer yarn, which indicated where to start/stop each bobbin of fiber. The little bobbins are pretty consistent, just by my eye. The scale plays that out, for the most part: 25g, 20g, 18g, 19g, 17g, 20g, 21g, 21g Considering that I just eyeballed the splits on these, I’m happy with how even these turned out. There will be some spare singles, sure, but nothing too¬†egregious. The...

read more