Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Food for the Soul

I wish I could teach the world to spin.

Yesterday, September 23rd, was Tad's birthday, he would have been 23. I took the day off from work, something I haven't done in the past, but I thought some fiber therapy was in order. I did nothing (well almost nothing, still a mother and wife...) but play with fiber. It was a relaxing day.

Last weekend I went to meet with members of the small but happy guild, Wheels and Whorls in Elko. I took lots of goodies to sell, one bag had this fiber in it. I am really glad no one bought it. Apparently I bought this then promptly forgot about it. When I took it out of the bag last weekend in the midst of all those wonderful spinners, I realized it was a beautiful brown/moorit color and quickly tucked it away again! Now I know why I bought it, even if I don't remember the actual transaction lol! Monday night, knowing I was staying home on Tuesday, I put this bit of fiber to cook, almost forgot about it twice but eventually got it virtually clean. It is romney if I don't miss my guess and was very greasy, hence the cooking rather than just washing it in the sink. Although it was a bit 'tippy', it worked up really nicely! And Ohhhhhh so soft! This is my preferred method of processing, a dog brush and a cutting board.

And here is an example of before and after... I cut the tips off because they had bad sun damage but even then the staple length was wonderful!
Viola! Is that gorgeous or what!!??!?!? After I flicked the locks with my trusty doggy brush, I ran it through my Clemes & Clemes drum carder (only took once through) and then predrafted the bats into nice long rovings.
This also came home with me from the meeting in Elko. A fellow shepherdess who raises red angora goats traded this to me for some of Terry Mendenhall's moorit fleece I bought earlier this year. This is a blend of red mohair and wool. I am not terribly fond of this preparation, but if I am to 'broaden' my horizons any as far as the types of yarn I make, I seriously need to consider spinning woolen AND worsted preps.
The yarn is not what most would call 'bulky', but it is heavier than I usually spin and a bit neppy. I'm what some might consider OC when it comes to neps in my spinning, so you know it takes lots of effort for me NOT to pull the neps!
And here is the beginnings of another scarf, this one for a dear friend for Christmas. She loves earthy colors but I am thinking I will spin one more skein of this and dye two of the skeins and leave the third natural. The colors will have to be subtle.


Sharon said...

Gorgeous yarn skeins - so much better and more satisfying than store yarns.

Happy birthday, Tad. Chrissie always struggles with June 10, the day the son was born that she will never know. Motherdom isn't an easy road.

June said...

Your Romney is just gorgeous stuff there! I have a thing for Romney don't ya know! I feel the same about neps - must pull the neps! It sure slows the spinning though doesn't it?! So, what are you making with the cooked romney?

Pamela said...

The luster on that last skein is just gorgeous. What a beautiful scarf it's going to make.

~~Sittin.n.Spinnin said...

Not sure June, I am hoping it will tell me when I get it plied :)
Romney is probably my favorite of all, but right now I have a thing for romeldale crosses, thanks to Terry Mendenhall. She raises some beautiful wool! All crimpy and elastic almost, very nice stuff!

Laura said...

Hey... I have romeldale crosses, you got some!! I'm makeing more this year, I'll keep you posted. That Romney wasn't the one you got from me, was it? It looks familiar, but I can't be sure...

I was thinking about you Monday, thinking we were coming up on Tad's day. Glad you had a fiber-licious day.

Mim said...

Still more beautiful yarn I love the shine in your skeins. And the locks brush out so nice. Good to hear your relaxing to enjoy life.

~~Sittin.n.Spinnin said...

Laura your wool is lucious too! I just havent had as much of it :)
I will have to look closer when I come to see you!

UniquelymeNana said...

Oh my gosh!! that is just beautiful! I was a color dyed roving person when I first started spinning but now there are just so many natural colored wools. You have done a nice job!! I just spun up some nice Llama & merino ecru color with some plan ecru wool and it came out awesome. Anyway I love your spiunning and now I am one of yur avid blog readers. Have a blessed day!

Kathy said...

Beautiful Romney! Did you ever get to try the sample from the Shetlands I sent? Right now I'm getting a lamb fleece (moorit) ready to go with some moorit alpaca that Tina was able to snag for me, off to Morro for processing.
Romney has always been a favorite of mine - especially a Romney hoggett. Beautiful work! Well done!

Michelle said...

I think taking the day off to feed your soul was the perfect thing to do, and I'm so glad to hear you did that for yourself. My mom's birthday was the next day; I am thankful to still have her with me for now.

Also, tell me your methods for washing and cooking wool. I have Brava's and Braveheart's lamb fleeces here and I want to process them myself. I tried washing fleeces at the clinic and spinning them out in the washer there (I have a front loader at home), but they didn't get very clean (I don't think the water was hot enough) and the Shetland felted some. I don't want to mess these up!