Saturday, June 07, 2008

Other projects

Yeah, with me it's either feast or famine on this blog. But I have been busy.

I'm spinning this on my Eleanor, the Symphony.

It's from Spunky Eclectic and I think the colorway was called something like Orange Juice at Dawn. Anyway, it's a nice blend of merino and silk and it was on sale. Not my normal choice of colors at all but I guess the question should really be what is normal?
Here is the beginning of the second bobbin
and the basket of split roving wound up in little nests just waiting to be spun.

Some may wonder how I attached that mirror to the Sonata. Well, I tied it on with a bit of twine. just under one of the maidens.

To change bobbins, I tilt the mirror to the side a little until it clears the end and just snap the bobbin up and out. The new one goes in the same way and the mirror is returned to it's upright position. I may or may not leave it on here. I have to say it does make it easier to see what is happening at the close end of the bobbin as I spin.

When the Northern Neck Spinners and Weavers On-Line Group got together for a Fleece to Shawl Demonstration at the last Farmer's Market, I learned a new trick -- Thank you Judy!

I was beginning to lament the wonderfully soft, beautifully colored Grey merino fleece that I bought because while my early attempts to wash it worked pretty well, I was having difficulty getting a smooth yarn when I combed or carded it. The yarn is okay but very neppy which I don't particularly like. It's very soft and the color is exactly what I wanted, but it was bumpy.... I was almost resigned to just spinning bumpy yarn.

Then Judy introduced me (and the other ladies) to flicking the locks. You actually open the ends of each lock separately after you wash the the fleece. It's a little on side of slow going but the resulting spinning fiber and yarn are really nice.

Now, I haven't tried spinning this yet and I had to figure out another way to wash the wool than I normally use, but the flicked locks are looking pretty good. These are short; about a 2 inch staple length but I figure that if I can spin cotton, I should be able to handle this.

I am washing this fleece for the lock flicking by being very careful to keep larger pieces of the fleece intact and using VERY hot water (hot tap with a kettle full of boiling water added) to the wash pan water and changing the water very quickly -- just as fast as I can boil another kettle of water. The lanolin is coming out nicely and most of the dirt is going with it. It takes one soapy wash and three equally hot rinses to do one small lingere bag of fleece.

I'm then hanging the whole bag up outside to drain and partially dry. Finally, after a few hours, I bring the bag in, pull the clean fleece out and lay it on the screen to finish drying.
Looks like a big moldy sponge, doesn't it? But, so far, this is working well to keep the locks intact so I can flick them out.

1 comment:

Robin said...

Love the colors of you handspun. And, that gray fleece is awesome!