Return of the Fleece…

I got THE CALL last thursday from Wellington Fibers…my fleece were ready and waiting. Did I want to come and get them or have them shipped?

Seeing as I’m of the vehicularly challenged persuasion I opted for having them shipped and have been anxiously awaiting their arrival.

They were so worth the wait!

4.40 Lbs of dark brown Lincoln. It’s just too soft for words and makes me a bit sad that my first Lincoln fleeces were so poorly processed by the mill I had sent them to. This was back when I had first started spinning (will not name names as it is a moot point now…) and had yet to learn of the joy that is having one’s fiber processed by Wellington. Suffice it to say I’m beyond pleased with the final product I get back from Wellington and recommend them to anyone who will listen.

3.07LBS of Romney and oh sweet jeebus! It’s fleece like this that make me want to break all the laws and raise sheep in my back yard! This is a beautiful thing that if I have grocked the lay of the land should spin up into a gorgeous natural heathery yarn (the other fleece shoudl do this as well)…If I get the yarn right I see some serious cables of the Viking persuasion or something in a Gansey might work too!

The things you find

when you clear off the top of the TV cabinet!

Like many parents of small children most high places in our house very quickly became the “oh crap, that’s not safe for the kid! Quick put it up here where they can’t get it” spot. We have a few of these in the house but the TV cabinet is the worst, it’s an active archaeological site. Once every week or two either Chris or I clear off the accumulated clutter and sort through the mail, DVDs, library books and assorted ephemera that has collected there. This week I found a most useful tool for my spindling!

It’s a Lizzy Kate from Greensleeves Spindles,  I had bought this back when I had first started spindling to make my plying easier and it was a neat way to store my growing spindle collection. When I started wheel spinning this along with the spindles got shoved to the background to become pretty decorations, now that the wheels are packed up waiting to go down to the Black Lamb and be sold and I am spindling more it was a nice surprise to rediscover it.

After I drop Abi off at school this afternoon and Liam is down for his nap my plan is to ply those cops into a 3 ply which will be used later as an accent yarn for a Christmas present.

The roving is Bog from Gaslight Dyeworks combed balls and the spindle is a Purple Heart Dervish from Hound Design.

134 days

That’s roughly how long we have till the Holiday Season is upon us!

Have you started making your gifts?

I have so far:

one gift that is nearly complete

one that is about 1/3 done

one that has the yarn spun and ready to go but I have still to cast it on

three that are right now on the spindles…

I think I need to stop my stalling and get on with it already!

I shall leave you with a photo of one of the gifts I’m spinning:

That’s a 4 oz batt of Pumpkin Juice from Enchantedknoll that I’m spinning up on my lovely Birds Eye Maple Midi. I’m planning to knit it into a shawl so I’m hoping that 8 ozs is enough.

Spinner Down!

Well Buggar-it!

Note to self: When things are getting a bit tingly STOP, don’t go all British Stiffer Upper Lip/Suck It Up and Work Through the Pain because that’s just dumb!

Also:

Proper Posture is your friend and this wouldn’t have happened if you weren’t such a dork!

My over eager spinning/spindling paired with full on ignoring basic principals of ergonomics has caused a repetitive motion injury from years ago to flair up and my right side has decided to go on strike. I am going to take a few days off the spinning and knitting and crocheting to see if some rest and perhaps the use of a wrist support helps things. If that dosen’t work I’m going to try a few rounds of massage therapy.  The computer time is also going to get paired back and am going to reemploy the Sling to assist with the lugging around of Mr Liam.

The silver lining is that weaving doesn’t seem to aggravate things so I’ll still be able to get a fibery fix in AND get my arse in gear working on some gifts for the up coming holiday season.

TdeF day 3

I have taken to calling this the Tour De Fluff as not everyone is spinning fleece.

Let’s recap: over the first two days I spun up 4ozs of my white sheltand. As of this morning I haven’t touched the wheel instead I have been dealing with this:

That is quite possibly my oldest spindle project! I started it in either late 2006 or early 2007 just after I receivedit and a few other goodies from Spirit Trail FiberWorks.  It’s 5ozs of Merino/Shetland/Dorset/Cheviot X and Angora, it’s quite soft and very fluffy so I’m quite happy to have some A/C running while I’m carding into rolags as there is stuff flying everywhere! Normally I would just fluff up the roving and spin like that but this stuff was stored in a vac-bag for almost 2 years so it’s REALLY compacted!

Crunch time!

I seriously need to make a decision on what I’m going to spin during the Tour.

The only decision I have made is that whatever I choose will be from the stash and that is where I have stalled out. Do I challenge myself to finish spinning the 4 partially spun projects I have on assorted spindles and one that was being wheel spun? Do I start something new? It’s a toughy and it’s not helping that I have the voice of one of my Great Nan’s echoing “Finish what you start” in my head…can’t really argue with the ancestors so I do believe I’ll listen to her and get on with clearing out some of my orphaned projects.

Tour De Fleece Prep

Are you ready? Have you set your challenge? July 3rd is the last date you can register and the Tour kicks off on the 5th!

I’ve narrowed my challenge down to either spindeling 400gms of mohair/wool blend for a shawl or spinning up on the wheel the long neglected Shetland I started to spin up two years ago to practice my Navajo plying and to taler use for some natural plant dyeing and eventually a shawl. Tough call.

Getting my Hook on!

I’m trying my hand at crochet…again. I tried to figure it out on my own but I was getting frustrated, after a short visit with Denny got me sorted out and I was away to the races.

The infamous Anne scarf, the yarn is Manos Del Uruguay Silk Blend and the hook is a 4.5mm. I likes it a lot! Will be making more, people might be getting these for Christmas!

My next crochet goal ties in with my plans for Tour de Fleece. I’m going to spindle up 400gms of mohair/wool blend roving I have THEN use the yarn to crochet the Four Generations Shawl (ravelry link, but the pattern is found in the Spring 2007 Spin Off).

7 shawls: The Saga

Progress on the shawls has been slow as I haven’t had/made the proper time to be able to sit QUIETLY and FULLY focus on the patterns. Add in a bit of a finishing frenzy on the various sweater projects for Abi and Baby Boy and a serious case of STR distraction in the form of a feather and fan scarf.

I’m hoping to get back on track in a bit and if all else fails finishing all seven of the shawls will become a resolution for 2008. My biggest stumbling block is that there are 4 as-yet-to-be-cast-on shawls and I keep getting thrown off course by new patterns catching my eye. For some reason this is causing me to have a serious case of either goldfish-itis or Magpie-itis…I’m not sure which description fits better.

And now there is a new twist to my problem: last night as I was lying in bed unwinding from my day I was flipping through the Spring 2007 issue of Spin Off where I rediscovered an article about a shawl that has been crochet and worn by 4 generations of the authors family. In the article she (Regina Rooney) talks about both the shawl, it’s construction and how she spun up the yarn for her version…Now We wants one! This would be the perfect shawl challenge shawl as it combines both of the original goals of the challenge: hand spun yarn and it being a shawl. It also add another element of challenge for me since it is crochet and not knit and I think I have the perfect fiber to spin for it too!