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What’s New? Spring Cleaning….Fleece!

Good morning!

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It’s been so long….

Spring is here and I’ve been busy 🙂 Seems spring always makes one want to DO more – and some of us have a different take on spring cleaning! I’ve had several fleeces sitting for a while — some since last summer! I don’t know if I posted about it last fall but I have some absolutely beautiful long staple alpaca…dusty dusty stuff with some burr issues as well. It’s got a staple of about 8 inches as it was a long time between shearings and it is SUPER soft – lovely lovely lovely. Irreplaceable really. Fortunately, lol, I started out with about 14 pounds and there is no end in sight yet.

Unwashed…
alpaca - prewashing

Combed out for debris, but not yet washed…
raw alpaca lock 8 - 9 inches

Final product – rovings are clean and pulled from my combs…
alpaca -- combed

There is also the ‘meat’ sheep wool which I was given last year – in black and white – waiting to get a good soak and a wash. The wool comes out nice but the dirt is incredible – sometimes free looks like an excellent price. There is a large bin full of that waiting for me on the porch.

Oh yes, and a basset hound too…
Tired Basset

Mr. Man

My baby grandson has had his first birthday – still the cutest baby in the world with the BEST smile 🙂

Happy Birthday Baby

His other grandma has sheep and lambs and has very generously given me three bags of wool (I jokingly asked for ‘three bags full’ lol) – the first is lamb (three fleeces I think), the second is yearling (two to three fleeces) and the third bag is adult (haven’t counted them but I believe it holds two fleeces).

Grandma wool - three bags full

The lamb, unwashed…
Lovely lamb

The yearling, unwashed (or possibly the adult)…MUCH dirtier than the lamb. I plan to soak this in a cold soak for a few days before washing it…
yearling?

These fleeces MUST be a mixed breed but are sooooo soft I’m pleasantly surprised! I’ve washed some of the lamb, so far, and it’s coming out lovely. Very short fibers but lovely AND it helped motivate me to learn how to spin short fibers. Happy to say that after two days of utter failure…. I CAN DO IT! 🙂

The lamb…clean…
washed lamb

Here’s some blended short fibers that I’ve successfully spun…YAY!…it’s camel, yak, silk and lambswool blended on carders and then spun for a two ply thick and thin yarn….(it truly is soft as butter)
short fiber mix - camel etc.

I’ve sold one of my spinning wheels – the Bordua that I bought last fall – to a really nice Ravelry member who will truly appreciate her. I’ve also begun selling some handspun wool yarn and some spinning fiber (the above mentioned alpaca) through my local kijiji. I definitely spin more than I knit and the wool is piling up!

Some recently spun yarns…
handspun yarn
(Left to right…lambswool, spun from the lock very finely for a four ply fingering weight yarn; alpaca, spun from combed fiber, two ply; grammalamb spun two ply; the soft as butter blended camel 2ply; a skein of laceweight, handdyed silk two ply approx 800 metres.)

Oh – Almost forgot! There IS news on the knitting front….

lamb, silk, alpaca mix for socks - three ply

I’ve spun 900 metres of silk/lambswool/alpaca (in approximate thirds, blended on carders and then spun fine for a three ply lace weight) to make a really beautiful pair of lace knitted stockings. So pretty, so impractical. Of course I had to have them 🙂 I’ve only just begun the knitting but it’s coming along well…

socks!

Lace Stockings - heel detail

As if that isn’t enough, I’ve also been working on some orifice hooks…
orifice hook - loves red

Flowers on a spiral

I am also working on the spinning wheel at the beginning of this post – she needed a few things and a bit of a facelift. I should have pictures to share very soon 🙂 I believe she is a german parlor wheel but who knows for sure…

And just because…I’ve decided it’s time to make a quilt. A really special quilt I’ve had a picture for for ages…known to me and those that know me as “THE ONE”. It begins something like this….

Tammys Quilt

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Puppy News Or Lack Thereof!

Ok, here is our girl…stubbornly looking more and more pregnant.  This has gone on FOREVER.  Really though…doesn’t this picture read ‘PREGNANT’???

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I spun on the new spinning wheel yesterday and made a nice little skein of yarn with some of the mystery roving.  I didn’t mix it like I had in the drop spindle yarn, just used the heathery green/blue without the royal.  It’s about 65 metres.

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This gave me some nerve to try spinning the beautiful roving I got for my birthday so I started with the BFL. 

It’s so soft and slippery, apparently NOT what they recommend to learn with but I love going against them……..

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Isn’t it just too pretty roving!  I’m really enjoying it after all the blue/green I’ve seen lately.

 Oh, and I think I know why spinners sell their yarn – because they can’t tear themselves away from spinning long enough to knit it!

Here’s a picture of the beautiful flowers/planter my kids gave me for my birthday…my middle daughter made sure she went out without me to surprise me with it 🙂

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Shopping!

My birthday is coming up and it’s that time of year when I get to buy something extravagant wool wise. I make myself stop if I start getting too practical. Birthdays should be for something special!

My pattern is Jeanie from knitty. I’ve decided it has to be a bit smaller…perhaps shorter and maybe one repeat narrower? I have to take a good look at the pattern to see.  There must be a logical way to make it smaller 🙂  The reason being that I found a beautiful yarn which will leave me somewhat short….

It’s Araucania Ranco Multi ‘Peacock’ and I stopped the madness at 3 skeins.

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I bought from The Loopy Ewe – a new online shop for me! I’m always excited about ordering yarn 🙂 Love, love the selection at that shop too…and flat rate shipping is always a bonus!

In the spirit of crazy Birthday Spending and because I want to learn how to use my drop spindle and I have dreams of making beautiful wool….

I bought two kinds of roving!   One is bfl in ‘callow lily’ and one is superwash merino in ‘dusty cornflower’.  Both look beautiful on screen.  I can’t wait to see them in person!  Oooh and touch them too 🙂  May they spin for me!

Check it out…Not the colour I bought but SO pretty!

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Now the fun of waiting for my excellent package in the mail!