The Players:

Darling: The brave hero, love of my life
Crunchy: The crazy drama queen, hippie crunchy, fiber-freak
Formerly-known-as-Teenaged-Cave-Dweller: The now happily married wayward teen daughter, currently without a part but for an occasional guest appearance-again.
Australian beast-in-law: the transplant from Australia who swept the Cave Dweller off her feet
SNG(AKA Science Nerd Girl): the 19 year old sanity creator, Mom's all helper, now part time college geek
Pickle: The 17 old sensory seeking/avoiding mother hen
Tink: The 15 year old auto-immune compromised fairy nut
Cactus Jack: The 13 year old drama king
Don Juan: The 12 year old ladies man
Duck: The 9 year old cutie patootie
Doodlebop: The 7 old independent sass box
Sugar Man: The 5 year old sweetie flirt monster
Frodo: the 5 old chunky grandson
Sassbox: the 4 year old firecracker baby
Biscuit Smidge: the 4 month old shrieky dragon granddaughter

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Fiber obsessions

It's no secret that ever since our house fire 4 years ago, I've become addicted to natural fiber for my crafting. It reached a point where my husband informed me that I could no longer hide my desire to take the next step-spinning my own yarns. So, considering how much he loves me, he took me to a fabulous place and bought me my very own spinning wheel-an Ashford Kiwi now named Shaun-after Shaun the Sheep. I'm already looking for Rumpelstiltskin. :)

He also indulged me more and bought me a sheep. Yes, I have my own sheep to sheer in the summer. Her name is Zinger Binger.
My friend Catherine came up a few months ago and showed us how to process our own fleece. She brought me 5 raw sheep fleeces and one alpaca/llama fleece.

This is a raw fleece shorn off a sheep. It's pretty nasty. Ticks, leaves, feces, twigs, mud. I put it in my washing machine in 160 degree water, with some Dawn dish washing liquid, after I shook out as much crud as I could, picking out the stuff I could see.

This is after 3 washings, and picking it clean after each wash, then two complete rinses.

Here I have carded the fleece I washed and picked clean yesterday. Carding is essentially like combing the wool, getting it lined up to draft and then spin.

After you card it, you roll it into a rolag, ready to draft.

Here I have drafted it-it's basically teasing the fibers apart, ready to spin. It makes it easier to spin smoothly this way.

And here is yesterday's nasty fleece spun on the bobbin, a nice smooth single ply. I am still learning, so my yarn goes from fairly consistent to really thin and back again. I'll get it right! :)