Saturday, January 3, 2009

i'm going to need a bigger basket...

Today's post was brought to you by the letter "S" and the number 2.

Last spring my friend V and I did a spinning demo at a local farm called "Maplewood Farm". V was invited on stage and helped the sheep get sheared. (I wish I could have gotten a picture of that!) At the end of the day we were given a gift of a fleece and a half from the sheep that got their hair cut that day. One was white, and the other was "black" (it's actually almost black with a bit of grey and some brown tips (bleached from the sun)). Both of us were super excited, but had never cleaned a fleece before (that's a story in itself. hehe). After many mini adventures of picking, cleaning, and re-cleaning. I took most of the white fleece to school (I'm lucky enough to have full access to any kind of textile supplies you could think of. More or less.) and I dyed the fleece a rainbow of colors using Ciba Acid dyes. The fleece then sat on patio for a few weeks *cough* and then in a cardboard box, paper bag, and rubbermaid container (poor thing ... lol) until tonight. (I borrowed a drum carder (picture shown is not the actual model of drum carder I used)) So, I sat down on the floor and sorted all of the colors into piles.

(cat for size reference *wink* )

After sorting the piles it made me realize, I'm going to need a bigger basket for storing all the batts I have to card! haha. So now, making a large basket is on my ever growing "to do" list. After a few hours (with lots of breaks of course!) I drum carded 17 batts!So, that leaves me with the yellow, yellow purple mix (I don't think this one is going to turn out very nice), grey (it was supposed to be black), green, and purple. Unfortunately though, I have to bring the drum carder back to school this Monday. That means I'll have to bring my fleece into school and drum card after class, not that I mind. I actually enjoy drum carding, it's very relaxing.

Dealing with this fleece was definitely a challenge. I am sure I will have more challenges with it considering I'm not even half done (note: the fleece packed to the brim in the box; in the first picture) It was and still is fairly greasy, even after washing it at least 5 times (I don't think i used hot enough water.. and I also left it to cool). I am hoping that after I spin it, I'll wash it again and it will release more of the grease. Even though it was kind of a mess, and a hassle I would definitely purchase a raw fleece in the future. I really like doing everything by myself right from the start. I look forward to seeing what kind of yarn this will create. I think I'm going to spin a few skeins of patchwork yarn.

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