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Posts Tagged ‘Spinning’

I hit my tipping point.  Last year I bought a beautiful fleece at the Southern Adirondack Fiber Festival. Long grey locks with lots of crimp and clean with some lanolin.  

 
Then a few weeks ago, a fellow spinner gifted me this beautiful, clean fleece, a 4th place Romney.  Long locks, beautiful color and did I already say, clean. 

  
Finally, the other day we received a box from Terhune Orchards.  I thought it might be sweet, NJ peaches. Imagine my surprise when I opened it and found 10 pounds of raw fleece. 

  
That was it. I had to clean these fleeces. I bought a plastic bucket and tub and a bottle of Power Scour. Yesterday was sunny with a light breeze so I broke up the day by processing two of them. The third is so clean I plan to comb it lightly and spin in the greece. 

Here’s my production line. 

  
I soaked them in hot water with the power scour, rinsed them, put them in pillowcases and spun them in the washer, then hung them from the clothes line in little hammocks made from sheets. It was too breezy to spread them on the ground. 

  
After a day and a half indoors, it’s finally sunny and calm enough to let them finish drying on the front porch.  

   My fingers twitch at the thought of all the wonderful spinning and knitting I have in my future. 

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This is my last weather post for a while.  It should settle into normal spring weather at this point, right? No more snow.  IMG_9044Good old thunderstorms instead.

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We had a slew of visitors, 4 sets, last week!  The first set arrived the day we learned our well had bacteria in it.  Ouch.  I began boiling water and advising guests.  Then the rains came and the rivers rose.

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It was very dramatic at the local gorge.

I found a quiet moment or two to get back to spinning.  The funny thing is, I don’t think I took this photo but there it was, on my camera.  Very nice.  Andre?

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I am spinning a local alpaca fleece from the lock.  I washed it last year or so and now  I just grab a lock, flick it on a brush and spin away.  I have been plying it with some Blue Faced Leicester and may dye it with my lichen stash.  What will it be, what will it be?

The Indigo Bunting woke me yesterday and I managed to get a better photo of it later in the day.  Dawn is about 4:30 here and the birds sing their little hearts out.  Better than an alarm clock but  I wish I could set it a little later.

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Fiber Play

Yesterday was a perfect day to spin outside and whatever I left behind was a gift to the birds for their nests.

Grey bulky

I have plans to make a pair of leggings for a friend in South America, where it is almost winter.  She wanted grey.  Amazingly, I don’t have any grey yarn but I had grey roving and I spun it up into a worsted/bulky two ply.  Not my best effort but I have let my spinning wheel languish for far too long.  In order to wind a skein of my new yarn, I had to take a skein of Blue Faced Leicester/Alpaca blend off the bobbins.  It is luscious and I have tons of it.

BFL - Alpaca

I think I bought a pound of BFL roving and I distinctly remember buying the alpaca fleece.  There are several breeders in the area and when I saw an ad for alpaca fleeces I headed out to the address.  To my surprise, it was a chiropractor’s office.  I walked in and approached the receptionist.  As if I was engaged in an elicit trade, I quietly asked if I was in the right place for an alpaca fleece.  Sure enough, she pulled 3 bags full from behind the counter and I paid with my credit card.  I cleaned it and carded it and have been gradually spinning it.  I plied it with the BFL and think I’ll either knit a soft, cushy warm garment from it or use it as weft for a blanket.  After I dye it.  Perhaps with the lichen I have been collecting.

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My braided rug is coming along.  I tore strips from several old sheets and it will make a great rug for one of the bathrooms.  I began with an old table cloth in the middle and it wasn’t the right weight or material.  But it will remain as a reminder.

This little dress is on the needles and the baby has been born. IMG_8952 It’s the Clara dress and is an easy, knit, great for meetings and travel.

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They’ve been spotted hanging around, literally, by both Tim and me. He saw one on the side of a local retail store and took a photo with his phone without knowing what it was.

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I saw one ( well actually, he spotted it) yesterday at the marina. I looked it up and learned it was a Luna Moth, a silk spinning moth!

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The mind reels! Could I spin its silk? More importantly, how do you collect it. My questions were answered by a site written by a fellow spinner from Ravelry, Wormspit.

Alas, no free fiber for me. What a beautiful moth.

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We were spared the snow storm that affected southern New England and only saw a dusting of snow on Jay Mountain this morning. We caught the last of the season’s color on Friday before a gusty wind blew the remaining leaves off of most of our trees.

Last colorful hill

I have been up to my elbows in dog hair and don’t even have a dog. I am spinning some dog hair for a very dear friend. I am blending it with wool and think I am up to the last pile of it. I won’t be sad to see it leave the house. For some reason dog hair, which should be cleaner than sheep, alpaca or even wallaby, is less pleasant to work with. I find I always have a mild grimace on my face and try not to breathe too much through my nose, even though it’s been washed. When I was winding a large portion into a skein the other day, Tim’s head perked up, his nostrils flared and he kept swiveling around trying to figure what that smell was. A very dear friend.

A big gust blew most of the leaves off our white birch trees in one sweep. It wasn’t strong enough to knock down the wires but no worries, they are coming down anyway. Next week Tim and his brother are digging a 600 foot long ditch along our property so the power company can bury the lines which run in front of our house. I’ll be sure to take pictures. The scary part is, once they are underground, we own them, and have to be the ones to reconnect them to our house. I may be really off the grid next week.

Falling leaves and wires

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Our record rains were reported on the news last night. I missed it. The rain has stopped and the weather today reminded me of a crisp fall day in Maine. It will be windy for the next few days and with a southerly wind (perhaps from Antarctica) and I had to find my wool socks again. Tim went off to do manly things and I hung around the house. He found some of the culverts we just cleared full of silt after the last downpour. I guess it’s back to the rock pile for me.

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I spoke with the crew of a boat, which anchored at Erith Island last night, and gave them the weather forecast. it looks like they will be here for a few days. They made an ill fated attempt to leave this morning and encountered big seas and 30 knot winds. So they came back.

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The garden is a big success. I’m pulling carrots out in bunches. I finished spinning a skein of alpaca on the drop spindle.   And it’s sooo soft.

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Here are photos of the turkish drop spindle, spinning, then being taken apart

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to result in, like magic, a center pull ball of yarn. Lastly, I take both ends of yarn and spin them together again to ply the yarn (combine two or more strands together). So after about 4 days work, I have 100 yards of 2 ply, lovely alpaca yarn.

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