Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Semi Planned Spinning

Like a lot of spinners, I don't plan much when I buy fibre or start a project, I know I could,  I just don't. 

But I have learned one thing, buy enough, buy more than enough, 100 grams of fibre is a sample and what do you do when you have sampled, created a lovely yarn and there is only 100 grams.
This is 16 oz. bought at Madrona, I wanted colours that I don't usually use and a challenge.  I took Amelia Garripoli's excellent class in plying with colour and thought this would be good practice.

Without planning much about it, I started to spin, all four colours spinning across the top, trying to use them all evenly but not blend to much.  Bobbin shows the singles, skein is the two ply.

Then I striped the four colours apart and spun singles of just one colour,  Plied the one colour with the mixed colours, that's the greenish on the bobbin on the right.

Now I have 5 different colour blends and I am sorry I didn't buy more. A pound is not quite enough for a sweater. 

There are a number of other things I could do,  one idea from Amelia's class would be to card the colours together which would produce a neutral.  It's a nice preparation and I don't want to do any more work but some day I will try that.  Could stripe the colours apart, spin and ply for 4 solids.  That would be interesting but 9 different colours would be to much in one garment.

I could blend it with a neutral, white, grey or black, but white would make a very pastel and I don't have a grey or black fibre that would work.

All this is going though my mind as I spin and think about what I am going to knit.  And I want to knit something quick using less than a lb. that I can wear at the conference the end of May or put in the competition.

I am going to knit L'envelope by Sally Melville, my third one.  And spin the turquoise as a solid and use it for the cast on and cast off, important design elements.

   Me in the second L'envelope.

The Summer of the Fleeces, The Plan

Big plans for this summer, see how it all works out.  I am excited which is why I am writing now, after a brutal winter of cold, and a brutal summer of flood,  I need to plan for a peaceful, educational and productive summer.

A friend of mine has an unknown numbers of fleeces that she can't deal with, and has handed off to me.  They are fleeces a shearer in British Columbia gathered up instead of putting in the garbage.    The sheep were NOT raised or sheared with spinning in mind.  They are of unknown breeds or no particular breed at all and, at the moment they are packed in two green bags on my back deck, 3 or 4 fleeces to a bag.  And an unknown number of bags in her garage.

I opened one bag, hauled out 3 fleeces, did some quick skirting when I got them, dirty, lots of VM, smelly but not impossible to use.  Soaked a small amount but it froze instead of drying.

So here is the plan:

Weekend One
- open up all the bags and spread them out in the back yard
- number, photograph, and describe
- decide if any of them are absolutely not worth trying to process and compost those
- skirt, shake, pick,  they are free I can afford to get rid of 3/4 of a fleece and only work with the good parts
-weigh and photograph
- organize in order of how greasy they are
- repack one to a bag

I want to use the suint fermentation method of cleaning, so the greasiest fleece goes into the water.  And then I see what happens.

Weekend Two
-first fleece comes out, second fleece goes in
- rinse, dry and consider

Weekend Three
- white fleece goes into dye pot
-coloured fleece goes though the drum carder


use the suint fermentation method
dye a lot of fleece
blend in the drum carder, natural browns and white and the dyed fleece

None of this could work out at all.  I might not be able to get a suint bath going, very little might be worth saving though the ones I looked at seemed good.  But I'll learn a lot.

At the minimum, I'd like to have 4 or 5 lbs. of spinnable fibre for the winter, cleaned, dyed, carded or combed, none of these processes do I want to do in the house.  And clean enough fleeces to store in
the house next winter.

I might end up with 20 lbs. of fibre. that I can sell at the Guild Sale.