Lovely Corriedale

I had some corriedale locks that were from a swap with Kara.  I was fortunate that they were already scoured and came to me fluffy and lovely.  The best part was they still had a bit of grease on them and I loved the smell.

After my experience with the Icelandic fiber it was a joy to work with some fiber that spun up so nice nicely.  After flick carding the locks I formed some lovely rolags:

corriedale

Every time I make rolags I think how I want to go to Rollag, MN and make rolags.

I read that Corriedale yarn expands after it’s washed, so I spun it up as thin as I could.  I ended up with 112 yards of nice soft, spongy yarn.

corrieyarn

Definitely a pleasant experience and I wouldn’t hesitate to spin up some Corriedale again.

As I was working with the Corriedale fiber I took the waste fiber and put it in an old nylon sock.  I tied off the opening of the sock and threw it in the washer the next time I had a hot water wash.  After a few trips through the dryer I ended up with a nice wool ball.  Thanks to Kara for the idea!  I guess you can throw these things in the dryer and it helps your clothes dry faster.  I’ve been using this one as a strength builder for my hands.  A few good squeezes and it helps stretch out my stiff and sore joints.

yarnball

Today I’m working on project involving some Gotland and Shetland fiber and I can’t wait to see how it turns out.

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Icelandic Saga

My Icelandic wool was the March installment of the Fleece of the Month club from Between Ewe and Me.  I wasn’t quite sure what to make of it when I received it.  Icelandic sheep have a doublecoated fleece consisting of a longer outer coat (t0g) and a shorter under coat (thel).  So here I had locks that had long and short fibers of different textures.

 

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I could separate the fibers and work with it that way or combine the fibers.  Since I had trouble separating the locks I decided to work with them combined.  Once again my kind friend Kara let me use her drum carder, as I thought the hand cards might not work well.  I ended up with a lovely squishy batt of about 2 ounces.

icelandic2

 

Then I decided to spin it, that’s were the Saga comes in.  While the batt was lovely and squishy I didn’t find spinning it that lovely.

Perhaps it was the two different lengths, the two different textures or maybe I was too cranky that day.  Whatever it was I had a heck of a time getting it started, the fibers kept slipping away from the leader or out of my hand.  I finally got enough twist to start making yarn.  I also had to be reminded of the lesson that sometimes you have to let the fibers be what they want to be, let’s just say I wasn’t gonna get lace weight from this stuff!

So after I became more zen and let the yarn just be, I ended up with about 60 yards of some interesting yarn.

icelandic3I’d like to try spinning Icelandic again, but next time I would separate the tog from the thel and see what happens.  If anyone has had experience with Icelandic wool I’d love to hear about it!

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193 yards of Border Leicester

Since I’ve been spinning with different breeds I figured I should learn something about them.  I picked up The Fleece and Fiber Source Book and it’s already a valued resource.  It covers many breeds and has given me a good understanding of their history and how to handle their fiber.

I do believe that my friend Kara and I have pretty much moved to a barter economy and left the cash economy behind.  I obtained the Border Leicester locks in a swap with Kara. The locks were white and crimpy and I couldn’t wait to spin them. The locks had been separated but not washed.

If I remember correctly I think I soaked the locks in cold water for about a day.  I’m assuming I did this to loosen things up.  Then they got a couple of  hot water soaks in a lingerie bag.  Once they were dry I used the flick card on them and spun from the locks.

After working my way through the locks I only filled one bobbin and I figured hey, I’ll just cake this yarn up and ply it from both ends of the cake.  I thought I was so smart.  As soon as I started plying it was a Disaster (yes with a capital D).  This was a soft fuzzy yarn and those strands just wanted to grab onto one another and not let go.

After several curse words I stopped, and cut the yarn.  I took what was left in the cake, weighed it and made two equal weighted balls.  Well gee, wouldn’t you know, plying from two separate balls is easier than plying from one cake.

So this poor skein of yarn has quite a few knots and I only have 193 yards, and when dye day rolls around it’ll most likely end up in the dye pot.  Not sure what color and no idea what I’ll make with it, but I’m sure it’ll come to me.

border_leicester

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Bea, the CVM Romeldale

I took up knitting a few years ago, and that led to spinning on a spindle, which led to spinning on wheel.  This in turn to led to working with raw fleece (thanks Shells!)

Last October I purchased a fleece off of Bea, a CVM Romeldale from Crosby Hill Farms.  I had never purchased a fleece before, but I thought she looked pretty good:

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Now my friend Kara (Shells mentioned above) is really into processing fleece (fleeces?).  She really loves it, I’m not as enthusiastic.  I was willing to process some of this fleece but not all 5.81 pounds.

Fortunately I knew about Dakota Fiber Mill up by Kindred, ND.  I kept about a pound of the raw fleece to process myself and sent the rest up to Dakota Fiber Mill.  Can’t recommend these folks enough.  Was very pleased with what I got back from the mill:

Bea02

This is almost 5 pounds of fiber waiting to be spun up.

Now for the stuff I held back.  I enlisted Kara’s help and equipment.  She had built this “cage” to hold the locks while they were soaking in the tub.  Kept everything safe and in place:

Bea03

You can see some of the dirt and grease floating away from the fleece, but Bea must have been a prissy sheep because after only a few soaks, the water was pretty clear.

Once Bea was washed and dried, I hand carded the locks and formed rolags.  I thought I had a picture of the rolags, but really, once you’ve seen one rolag, you’ve pretty much seen them all.

To the spinning wheel!

I’m a novice spinner, still learning techniques, still learning about fiber and how it spins up.  This hand carded CVM Romeldale was one of the first things I spun up on my Majacraft Rose, so it’s not the best looking yarn, but it’ll knit.

bea04It looks gray in this picture but it really is more of a brown.  Recently I found some locks I hadn’t combed and Kara let me use her drum carded to form some very lovely batts:

Bea05

The CVM Romeldale is a very bouncy, squishy fiber.  Even after spinning it holds it’s bounce as evidenced by the picture below:

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Bea is on the left and Border Leicester is on the right.  They were both wound up on the same niddy noddy.  I also noticed that water seemed to bead off Bea, so I think this hand processed batch of Bea will turn into a hat and mittens and if there’s enough, socks.

As for the stuff from the mill, not sure what I’ll make from that.

So this is Bea.  I have other small batches of fiber waiting to be processed and will post about my experience with them here, mainly to keep it all straight myself, cause if I don’t write this stuff down, I’m gonna forget it.

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Feeling like a pioneer woman

Today I’m dealing with my farmer’s market purchases from yesterday.  The baby bok choy is chopped, rinsed and in the freezer.  The beets are roasting and the zucchini, yellow squash and tomatoes are next.  The basil will become pesto and the thyme and rosemary will be hung up to dry.

I finished two knitting projects which I’ll photograph later today.  Hopefully put a  good dent in the scarf I’m knitting for Mom.  I also plan on casting on a lace scarf.

All this is in preparation for next weekend.  It’s time to get back to work on the Condo.  I plan a major thrift store crawl, which hopefully will produce the perfect dining room table.  I’m sure I’ll find other treasures as well.  I plan on looking for an area rug for the living room, another light fixture for the laundry room, and paint samples to put on the wall.

Wish me luck!

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Proof that I’m not waiting till the last minute to pack.  Something tells me I’m ready to get out of here.

Although a strange thing is happening, as I’m packing boxes I can feel the anger building up inside me.  I’ve finally decided it’s all the paper cuts from the packing paper.

Alright, time to get packin’.

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A place I’d like to visit

Well while we’re waiting how about we watch a nice video I saw over on the Goodmorning Goodnight blog:

Sub City New York

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