Thursday, August 27, 2009

Current Projects

Here is the super bulky yarn I spun up for the Tour De Fleece on my Schacht rigid heddle loom. The weaving went remarkably fast and I was very surprised how much further actual yardage goes with weaving as opposed to knitting.
Fresh off the loom, I wound up with 1 1/2 yards of finished fabric. I love the way the colors pool. I used a 8 dent heddle and used beige cotton Peaches and Cream for the warp. It'll make either a nice recieving blanket for the new grandson I'm expecting in November, or I could cut the fabric into a nice bag. I haven't decided for sure, but I'm leaning towards the baby blankie. It's almost too nice to cut. My only concern is laundering since the weft is wool. I'd really hate for it to felt. I think the wool is superwash, but not 100% sure.
Then there is the Simple Prairie Shawl I'm knitting with some hand spun Llama. It basically a simple garter stitch with a Y/O increase at the end of each row before the last 5 stitches. It's 2/3's complete, so hasn't been blocked yet. It's totally rustic,simple and I'm going to love wearing it when it gets cooler. My kids and I have different temperature settings. They keep it too cool in the house during the winter for my tastes!
My next posting will be some drumcarding my my Fancy Kitty Kitten! I have some projects in mind. I have some of the Jacob fleece ready to process into batts for a coat project I want to start soom. Then I have some experimenting on 2 tone batts into rollrags I want to try out.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Jacob Fleeces

I picked up two Jacob fleeces last week. Boy, are they ever full of VM(vegatable matter). Which is a royal pain to pick out. The wool is very soft though, and I think they'll be worth the effort.(I hope!)
I first tried to comb out some of the VM prior to washing....nope, the lanolin makes the VM stick to the fibers worse I think. So I filled the tub with hot water,
Dawn detergent, and Woolite. I let them
soak until the hot water got cold, drain,
and rinsed with hot water again. I was
really careful not to aggitate the fiber.
They both came out pretty clean after one wash and one rinse. After draping the fleece on a clothes rack and allowed to dry, I found that the VM combed out much easier. Hopefully my next blog will be of my progress on the fleeces. It may be a while, because it really is a lot of work! I really love Jacob though! The lady I got the fleeces from let me come out and take Aidan and Addi to meet the sheep. Aidan was afraid, but Addi fed them Wheat Thins. (Nana forgot her camera too!!!) Oh well, maybe next year, if the VM doesn't scare me off. I paid $25 for each fleece, and they weren't skirted. The VM is excessive, and I'll wind up losing about half of each 6lb fleece. If I manage to get 5lb of fiber from both fleeces, at 10$ a lb, it's not much of a bargain when I can get processed fiber 16$ a lb. (It would save me weeks of work!) But, I got them for the experience of taking a raw fleece to finish, so there you have it!

My Tour de Fleece Yarn

Well, I didn't get as much yarn spun up for the TDF as I wanted to, but I did manage a 150 yards of semi worsted weight super bulky 2 ply. I'm generally pleased with it. I was also pleased with the bulky flyer I have for my Fricke spinning wheel. It really holds a lot!
The finished product is very squishey soft, and I have plans to spin some more for a bag I plan to do on my Flip Loom. So there you, I have been somewhat productive. I've been redoing my bedroom, so the spinning has been on hold for a couple of weeks. I now have my room rearranged and organized so I can more easily spin and weave. (Someday I will have a craftroom of my very own!)