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Ahhhh….A Glorious 13 Day Holiday!

Good morning!

I’m fighting the urge to go in multiple directions at once lol. Holidays do this to me. I want to wash fleece, prep fleece, spinnnnnnnn (well that one was sort of a given!). Also wanted to super clean the house, arrange everything within an inch of it’s life and organize my already spun yarn so I can properly post it all on my handspunyarn.wordpress.com site.

13 days is not as long as it sounds…

So far I have accomplished some of my goals (we are currently on the 6th day). I have managed to build a database and to list all of my already spun yarns on it, or at least everything which I have not already wound into balls, and was labelled at least somewhat – there are some stragglers I admit!

Here are some of the new additions to the site…
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I washed fleece, weighed fleece and took inventory of fibers…

The fleeces/wool….
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The silks…I do love silks….
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Just beautiful for blending with wools or spinning on their own!!

Then there are the odds and ends – a bit of cashmere, some camel, huacaya alpaca, suri alpaca etc…they really require another collage to show properly πŸ™‚
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So, feeling oh-so-organized and have also managed to rewash the targhee x fleece shown in the first collage – it is drying now. The cvm lamb and rambouillet fleeces were washed during the first couple days of holidaying. There is something so appealing about freshly washed, beautifully fresh smelling, soft and fluffy fleeces — truly addictive lol.

The side effect of building the database was that I ended up completely cleaning out and updating all my computer programs, and adding a couple more programs…even the computer feels oh-so-organized now!

I DID finish a knitting project (I think I hear the trumpets) and am so very very pleased with it!

I knitted it with the bond/rambouilet cross fleece/4 ply/light worsted weight or dk. I’ll have to get one of my girls to take a picture and post it as soon as I can πŸ™‚

Have a fantastic day – I’ll be trying to figure out how to relax!

Please check out my handspun yarn site if you might be interested in any of my handspun – I’ve updated the pricing page recently as well.

A Very Bright Baby Blankie!

Samantha's Blankie/1060 metres

It’s a pattern from Wooly Thouhts, available on Ravelry. Best of all, it’s based on math and really easy to improvise as you go, once you get the hang of it πŸ™‚

I used some of the shetland lamb, dyed it in a multitude of colours. I use the Dharma Trading Co. acid dyes and they are excellent! I blended the dyed locks on hand cards and added a pinch of targhee cross to each rolag – each rolag was split in half so when spun, the plies pretty much lined up and created the blending of one colour to another. In total, 1060 metres of handspun two ply went into this blanket.

handspun from handdyed shetland lambswool

Sidetracked, Again (or is that always?)

Ok, I admit it, I just might have a BIT of an issue with sticking to one thing, lol. It’s like some kind of ‘ooooooh shiny, soooooo pretty’ disease. I have so many projects on the go that it’s truly ridiculous.

There is the sweater I am knitting out of handspun light fingering weight yarns, in stripes. The white is cormo/merino hand combed and blended with very fine alpaca, two ply. The coloured yarn is a hand carded silk/wool blend, 2 ply.

the yarn

close up

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The yarn I really did finish (yay, one for me, save the part where there are half a bobbin of singles waiting to be plied into yarn, should I get around to finishing the other ply), created from hand processed, hand combed cormo/fdt fleece from mmfwool….

'dilbert' cormo/fdt 2 ply lace weight

'dilbert' wool cormo/fdt 2 ply lace

So far I have two skeins of this, around 700 metres, I’d guess. And I would be guessing, lol, since I have yet to count the strands πŸ™‚

The ‘ooh shiny’ which I just started yesterday. Days off work are fantastic!

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Hand dyed silk, cormo/merino fleece and super-soft-camel fluff…it is divine….

blending for 'moss'

And, certainly not last, simply last for today – some super soft gloves I’m working on, created with handspun angora bunny/hand dyed silk blended yarn.

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the pink bunny wool (angora/silk)

Thankfully winter is a few months away!

The ‘RED’ Has Turned Out Very Well!

I’d love to say ‘good morning’ but it’s afternoon, evening really… so happy day, my friends πŸ™‚

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I’ve been keeping busy with work and fabulous fiber. I managed to ply the red yarn and it came out to 380 meters of lovely lace or light weight fingering, I’d say. I like my socks on the thin side, comfy and perfect for normal wear in normal shoes. I’ll most likely put it in my shop but perhaps not for long, depending on how long I can resist it…

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I’ve also spent some time working with the beautiful cormo/fdt cross fleece purchased from mmfwool on ebay…

soft! cormo/fdt

It’s taking two washes to get the lanolin out, or mostly out, as the case may be. Really lovely fleece with a variety of greys in it starting with the lightest pearl gray and going to almost black in places! It combs as nicely as I suspected it would, too. Take a peek at this bit of hand pulled roving…

cormo/fdt roving - hand combed

It’s SO very satisfying, turning a raw fleece into clouds of fiber-y goodness.

Have a fantastic night πŸ™‚

What Could Be More Fun Than A Fresh New Fleece?!

I’m a little behind, here, and haven’t shown what I’ve been up to lately! Β My apologies, my friends! Β Work and family and (lets face it!) spinning have been getting in the way…

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This is a beautiful fleece I purchased from mmfwool. It’s a cormo/merino cross and just awesome to work with – lovey crimp and length and so very, very soft.

Here’s how it looks cleaned up…(it only took one wash, two rinses);

The clean white cormo/merino cross - mmfwool

And how it came out after combing…

combed cormo/merino cross - mmfwool

cormo/merino cross/mmfwool

I’ve also been blending – I treated myself to some excellent bits of fiber recently…

luxury fibers - yak,camel, camel, cashmere, llama/cashmere, bombyx silk

I’ve made some really soft yarns in all shades of natural…

luxury blends - cashmere/wool, camel/woo/silk/cashmere, camel/wool, camel/wool/llama/silk,

luxury blends continued - camel/yak/wool, llama/cashmere/silk/wool/yak

I’ve just received another beautiful fleece, a grey cormo cross which is actually even MORE beautiful and super fine.

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cormo cross -  mmfwool - soft and fine!

I’m washing this more carefully than I’ve ever washed a fleece — by the handfull almost, in a wire basket in a LOT of water, simmering on the stove for 20 minutes then two rinses in super hot tap water with some boiling water mixed in. Absolutely NO agitation.

The first batch came out excellently!

A little clean wool

A dilbert lock - mmfwool - cormo cross

I’m surrounded in fleecy goodness! If you are interested, please visit my little handspun yarn shop. Β Have an excellent day!

Yes Sir, Yes Sir, Three Bags Full…..

Oh yes, I DO have wool!!! :)))

I’ve been accumulating a variety of wools and fibres this year. It’s the ‘year of the blend’ around my house. Last year I had a couple different types; shetland and jacob and some very dirty suffolk/dorset (actually unknown – this is my best guess). This year, I bought two shetland fleeces, both silver and cream — one is silver thel and cream/brown tog and the other is cream thel and silver tog. Absolutely soft and silky. Though I don’t know the micron count (and frankly am not too concerned with it), I’d guess they would class as fine or superfine. They both came from youngish animals, possibly yearling fleeces. They are my faves….a repeat purchase from a fantastic seller here in Canada. I’ll go back year after year!

Ok, so, to begin at the beginning – the shetlands; (approx 10 lbs total before washing)

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Then, I was given some beautiful alpaca, in shades of honey and brown (which I had already blogged about), also from Canada, Ontario actually. I haven’t any idea of weight but it’s at least one full fleece and parts of another or two?

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Some sari silk waste fibre caught my eye. I bought 100 grams and love the effect it has carded with wool! You could make a really nice silky tweed yarn with this! (I like it so much I’ve now bought another 100 grams – hopefully arriving soon) Gotta love ebay. It seems I didn’t take any pictures of this…

I purchased one pound of border leicester fleece. It’s a lovely, strong, long and shiny fibre which cleaned up nicely….from a yearling ewe.

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I was then sucked in by some beautiful red mohair…lovely stuff! I purchased one pound and have tried it with some of the shetland — truly beautiful πŸ™‚

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Icelandic fleece (again, from ontario) was my next find. 2.7 lbs of black and white (mostly white, really). I haven’t done anything with this yet, besides cleaning it. It seems very soft and silky (the softer undercoat does, at least)

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Then, of course!, I couldn’t help but order more of the lovely mohair. This time I bought a pound of charcoal/silver/black. Seems not as fine as the red but the fibres are longer. I think it’s going to be beautiful mixed with the right wool or perhaps the brown alpaca….

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Romney fleece became available and I thought – why not? I had never tried romney (actually have not tried most things and how do you know until you experience it for yourself?) and wanted to so I purchased 2.5 pounds and washed it up. I had to flick the tips before washing to get it to come up white but it was worth the work. Beautiful bright white and very soft!

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This next picture is after flicking, but before washing!

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My one, ‘non bargain’ purchase was some local (very local – we could drive to pick it up), very long, fine, white alpaca fibre. The staple is 6 or more inches. I WAY overpaid for these two pounds of alpaca but I don’t even feel badly about it since the fibre turned out so very very perfect! The fleece was absolutely covered in burrs and so I had to hand comb the locks before washing in order to clean them. It hadn’t been sheared in two years which is not usual and is why the staple is so long.

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I am waiting for some mulberry silk top (500 grams) – thinking this would ply beautifully with the white alpaca…perhaps for my next up pattern Multnomah Falls by Magit Sage of Fiber Fiend. Very beautiful, isn’t it?

And then, on Saturday, I was given four fleeces! Suffolk/dorset or a mix of some sort – the shepherdess isn’t sure since they are more pets than anything. One is deep black and seems to be a lamb fleece. One is charcoal, one silver and one (very large one) is white. The blacks are cleaning up easily and the white is a little more difficult – there is a bit of vm in there that’s too fine to come out without combing. I’m positive it will be fine once I comb it out. All of the fleece is fairly soft with the black black one being the softest of all.

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So, I’m overwhelmed. A little. I’ve been washing fleece for what feels like forever since I can’t handle leaving it to do later. I’ve got the silver and the white free fleeces to wash but the rest of the list is washed and waiting in pillowcases to become some very beautiful yarn this year! On the plus side, I haven’t bought any yarn since I began spinning and my yarns are a higher quality and much more interesting than anything I could buy πŸ™‚

Yes, I Have Been Slacking

I haven’t blogged in SOME TIME….wow, too long, really.

My beautiful daughter had her beautiful baby!! He’s the most beautiful boy in the world…of course, I am a little bit biased…just a little πŸ™‚ She says I must ‘blog’ him, so here is a picture of cuteness itself….

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So, perfect, right? I’m one proud grandma, though that’s something to get used to — I’m so NOT used to being a grandma!

Certainly the excitement of new babies explains my blogging-slacking behaviour, doesn’t it?

I’ve done some spinning, some knitting and some beautiful fleece purchasing – all since I’ve been on the blog last and some of which I’d like to share here since I’m really thrilled with some of the results πŸ™‚ I’ve been on a bit of a yarn/fleece diet this year, and trying to use up the fleeces and fibre I already have rather than buying more. IF you could see the yarn closet you’d definitely agree that the diet is necessary. It’s that or we have to expand the yarn closet, lol, or trade it perhaps with the children – their room would really make a good storage! πŸ˜‰

I spun some navy and royal blue superwash merino fibre which I had bought last year at the Black Lamb (www.theblacklamb.ca), from Laurie, who is wonderful. I plied it (two plies – I’m a lazy spinner with two bobbins) and knit it up into the Gooseberry Cardigan pattern. I’m more than happy with this sweater – it’s comfy, it’s soft, it’s quite possibly my new favorite all time sweater!

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Not the best picture and I can’t believe it BUT, it seems I forgot (?) to take pictures of the spun wool or the spinning itself. I must be losing my grandmother mind!

Bonus! Found a picture of the spun yarn…
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I made a little crocheted top – the Avalon Top by Doris Chan. Love how it turned out too….

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I also made a little pair of socks, from my handspun superwash merino sock yarn…three ply this time….

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I prefer ankle socks so when I made up this design, they seemed the way to go!

Seems like forever and like I’ve got too much to say for one day. Instead of jumbling it all together we’ll have to finish this up tomorrow – when I’ll show the new alpaca fleeces I just washed and the beautiful shetlands I’m processing!!!

Have a great day! πŸ™‚