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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

Doing The Math

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This is my working diagram for a baby quilt I’m making. It’s up next because I must have it finished by June – well, actually some time in June but I’ll feel better if it’s done by the beginning of the month!

Off to hunt down some appropriate fabrics and find that acrylic ruler…

I’ll be posting pictures as I go 🙂

Working On The Quilt

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I’m quilting this freely, deciding exactly how as I go. I don’t know if you can see in the pictures but I’m changing embroidery floss colour each time I add a new thread – it’s interesting I think, to the eye.

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I’m going to decide what to do with the background and add more beads and buttons on a second go, once I finish quilting the applique pieces. I think otherwise the beads and such will get in the way of the hoop too much.

Should have more pictures later on… 🙂

Completely Freeform…

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The entire quilt top was cut freeform, without patterns and appliqued the same way. This quilt is like a giant scribble 🙂 I’m using, entirely!, material, beads and buttons which I already had in my stash. Another stashbuster.

All set to add some quilting!

I’m always so amazed by how the stitching brings the quilt to life. It’s exciting! 🙂

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I’m using different shades of embroidery floss for the quilting itself – two strands – and some beads and buttons for fun.

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I LOVE my quilting hoop, btw, purchased in Ontario from a local craftsman, with a lifetime warranty. I’ve once had to replace a part and there was no problem at all.

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Quilting

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For my daughter’s birthday…I’m working on the back, building it out of strips of fabric, then on to layering and quilting! I’d like to add texture, maybe some embroidery or buttons or something, on top of hand quilting it.

Then, and all before Feb 22, I’m doing a baby quilt. Have yet to figure out exactly what it will be like but I’ll be thinking 🙂 Boyish and bright, maybe themed, maybe geometric, maybe with some flannel (babies love flannel and I love flannel for babies)….

Since it’s late (and my back is sore from sewing!), I’m off to sneak in some knitting and watch tv!