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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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Getting Cleaner…

Good morning 🙂

I worked like crazy to clean the new ‘Philias’ and I believe I shall call her Grace. Because she has the grace to spin quietly, and she’s made it through the last 80 years or so with a lot of dignity 🙂

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Nice red wood wheel – beautiful tone to her underneath the shellac! They were certainly wild men with the shellac back in the day, weren’t they?!

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The black gunk and shellac comes off very nicely – with a lot of scrubbing and methyl hydrate (shellac thinner). Always important – Remember that rags should be laid out flat to dry and NEVER balled up, and ALWAYS dispose of them safely.

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I did my best to keep the makers mark but I definitely didn’t do a great job with that. You can still read it, thank goodness. I tend to think this is an early Philias. I think so because of the three bead spoke pattern – more like his father’s, I believe, and he worked with his father for the first year (1922-23). Following this thought – I wonder how good the inks were…maybe it was bound to lose some in taking off the shellac. Next time (if I have another with a mark), I’ll take more care.

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It’s a ‘Philias’ – Cadorette CPW

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She’s covered in years of grime and old shellac but she is in MINT condition and was obviously waiting for me to find her 🙂 Or so I like to think.

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Philias Cadorette made spinning wheels in St. Hyacinthe, Quebec from 1922 until the mid 1930’s. He took over his father’s (Michel Cadorette) business.

She spins perfectly and silently and I love her so much! Not that I could easily choose one to get rid of (should that come up) but this lady is definitely a keeper – the nicest spinner of them all.

I’m going to remove the old shellac and do my very best not to remove the makers mark! It’s a little scary, actually.

This is the flyer, so you can see how much lighter the wood will be…
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Where To Begin…?

Yes, it has been a while! I’ve been stuck in this place called ‘the rabbit hole’ since I bought that first antique wheel. The rabbit hole looks something like this…

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The wheels are abundant…and beautiful…

I’ve been busy cleaning them and oiling them and doing my best to get them spinning well. Grandma is doing very well with her new spokes! She’s also glowing from her blo treatments…her old self is shining…

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I carved her spokes from a dowel, since I didn’t have a lathe. It began because I was thinking of putting dowels in place, temporarily, until I could get replacements made. Necessity is the mother of invention, for sure! I just gave it a try and figured it out along the way…

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And then she had her clean-up…

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And now she is much more beautiful… 🙂

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She spins really well! I’ve spun a two ply superwash merino (approx. sock weight), so far…

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Winding those bobbins of singles was enough to convince me I NEEDED to built a bobbin winder. More on that coming up tomorrow. I used a formerly-useless spinning wheel type object to do it!

A Slider CPW!

Another one saved! Hopefully she will soon be in spinning shape again…

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We got her from a lovely lady in Sudbury. The wheel was her great grandmother’s (on her father’s side) and has been in storage for years. The seller’s husband wanted to THROW IT OUT!!!

So, you see, we saved her in the nick of time!

Her wheel is seperated, a little, at one of the joins…
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Pretty sure I’ll be taking out the screws shortly. I just need to figure out if it’s best to take them out first and then oil the wheel or oil and then remove. I’m thinking the first option but waiting for advice from those that know before I begin! She’s been through enough already.

I’ll be replacing the missing spokes, either with old ones (if I can find them) or with new ones – we’ll see 🙂

Her flyer is beautiful but needs a little work…

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She has the slider tension…
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Her footman is the old hammered type – original, I think…
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She’s going to need a little tlc but I think she’s going to be just perfect, when she’s done 🙂