Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Fleece, Fleece, Everywhere

And not an ounce to spin...yet!

That's what I've been up to the past few days. I have been washing the fleece in small batches, and tomorrow, I intend to flick card open the locks and get some of the dried fleece ready to spin. I managed to get most of the lanolin out of the fleece, but I did leave a little in there just to give it a nice feel while spinning. If it wasn't such a nasty fleece, I probably would have just spun the whole thing in the grease, but that would have gunked up my wheel beyond all gunkiness (and yes, today is the day that I feel gunkiness is totally a word worth saying).

I created a drying rig in my front living room where the batches are currently air drying, although it's taking a little while since the weather has been quite humid and I have yet to turn on the AC in my apartment since I run perpetually cold. Here's my set up:I'm amazed at how well that wire rack is working to help dry out the fleece. Hopefully by tomorrow all that will be dry and I can work on flick carding it open to see how the fiber really wants to be prepared.

And because I am adoring my Citron, here's another picture just for fun:

Knit on...

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Blue Ribbons and Citron

I told you yesterday that I would post about the skein competition in the Kentucky Sheep and Fiber Festival. Well, turns out, I won first place in both categories I entered. The first is a 2 ply 70% alpaca 30% merino blend from S & S Camelid Company located in Morehead, Kentucky. The roving has been lovely to spin, despite a few nepps from the merino content in the fiber. I thought at first that it was going to be in the whole batch of roving, but it turned out the nepps were only in the first part of the roving and did not affect the finished product at all since they were easily picked out. The price point on this roving is quite good, especially given the excellent quality of the alpaca. I'm looking forward to purchasing some of their 100% alpaca roving once I finish spinning the rest of the roving I'm working on.

So without any more blabbering, here's a picture of the finished yarn:

The second category I entered was the spindle category. You all have seen this yarn before since it was spun while I was still in Korea. It's 100% Correidale that was purchased as a dyed fleece, which I then carded and spun into this:
And, to add icing to the cake of this weekend, I finished the Citron shawl:

I'm very pleased with how it turned out. I should have taken a picture of the shawl when it was blocked out nice and straight, but sadly, I didn't. You can still see the color repeats wonderfully in this shot though. I adore the Crazy Zauberball yarn, and it took up all but a couple of yards of one ball to make this shawl.

That's it for today. Hm, now what should I make?

Knit on...

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Charlie and Fiber Festival

No, there was no chocolate involved in today's fiber festival. Instead, I became aquainted with a fleece from a sheep named Charlie. This fleece made it home with me today:

Charlie's fleece had some incredible crimp to it:

I managed to get the fleece skirted and semi-picked this evening. I washed a small sample of it to see how a batch looked after all the heat on it. Basically, I'm trying to decide if I need to wash this fleece in locks or if I can do a big batch of it at a time. I want to maintain that lovely crimp, so we'll see how the small batch turns out.

I also picked up one 4 oz braid of roving:

Tomorrow, I will show you the results of the skein competition. That should be fun!

Knit on...

Monday, May 16, 2011


It has been almost 2 months since I moved into my new place. It took being away from my place for the past couple of days to realize that while I am now finally organized and fully unpacked, the creative juices had been diverted. My knitting slowed down dramatically, my spinning was near non-existent, and there has been absolutely no writing. This weekend, I stepped away to house sit for a friend for a week and within 24 hours of being in the country surrounded by baby horses and 3 baby robins (and a rather perturbed mother robin, but hey, not my fault you decided to nest right by the guest bedroom window where I can watch) I was reading. I read a whole fantasy novel in a day and then this morning, I had a complete and total burning desire to knit, which is what I intend to do this evening. I also have finally started getting super excited about the sheep and fiber festival this weekend. I had almost forgot it was coming up until someone mentioned it in passing.

I realize now that all my creativity had been flowing into my new place. This is not a bad thing, since my place looks awesome and it's now all set up for DF's return, whenever that ends up being. My stash is organized, the spinning wheel is adding a lovely touch to the living room, and my kitchen is fully stocked and I'm loving being able to cook in my own place. I unpacked the last box on Wednesday evening, and I even knit a little bit on Thursday before the Sisters Provocateur show. Friday, I spent the evening with family, and then Saturday, a brief trip to the farmers market, some cooking for the week, and then I wound up on the farm by Saturday afternoon.

Tonight, I will work on Citron. I even have a little desire to write right now, but not enough to postpone the work on the Citron. The past two months have been so chaotic with random family pop-overs, tornadoes, flooding, and the constant need to organize my crap. But now, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. The creativity is starting to bubble up again, and the pointy sticks are calling. I'll probably finish Citron by this weekend and hopefully will be able to wear her to the fiber festival. I'll have some pictures in the coming days, but for now, just know, that creativity is once again my friend. For those of you who have also hit the creative doldrums, just know that it too shall pass. Sometimes it just takes seeing baby robins and their pissed off mother, or five baby horses bouncing up and down in the fields to spark it.

Knit on...