Handspinning: Fleece washing day

Monday was part 1 of fleece washing day!

That  Swaledale fleece that my Mum and Dad got on their recent trip to North Yorkshire England turned out to be quite good. For two people that have little knowledge of fleece purchasing, they did really well. Little dirtier than would have gone for, but no chafe. 

I suspect this sheep was raised outdoors as there is almost no matting over the hind quarters, and has some  weathered tips along the mid-line.

Whoever skirted it did a great job. There are some second cuts down the sides, but not unreasonable amount.

Swaledale fleece hand delivered from North Yorkshire. Now for washing and Spinning!

Swaledale fleece hand delivered from North Yorkshire. Now for washing and Spinning!

I estimate that my fleece is 10 to 15 Ibs unwashed. Think I may loose 10%, still lots left. Opening windows, basement smells petite barnyard. 

How I wash fleece, I have done this for years. 

Top loading Washing Machine

Why?

The spin cycle quite literally sucks out most of the dirt and water out of the fleece leaving it only damp. Did you know that the spin cycle on a washing machine is about 200 G’s, that’s more than shooting a rocket into space!  I used to hand wash in a trug, wet fleece + water weighs a ton, and drip drying takes forever. Someone suggested this method and I have never looked back. And the largest water containing tub in your house? No brainer. I do wipe out and rinse my machine with Javex afterward however. My repair guy, (which I have only seen once with an old machine) told me that the lanolin is good for the pump.

 

1st Quarter fleece: Started with the Hind quarters, This section over the haunches is yielding staple lenghts 8 to 10″ great for woolcoming. and worsted spinning. 

I use Ivory Dawn Dish soap, (the blue one). Use a non hand softener dish soap to clean and scour. The Ph can be corrected with 1/4 cup of vinegar in the rinse water. 

Important: Fleece needs to swim in the water, so do only 2 or 3 Ibs at a time or it will not be able to let go of the dirt.

How?

*Soaking in the hottest water that your top loading washing machine will produce. Fill tank, turn off machine, squirt some Blue Ivory dawn (difficult to find these days) add fleece and soak for 20 to 30 mins. Spin out dirty water (make sure that the machine doesn’t add any water into the tub at this point), once spun out gently lift fleece out of tank,* repeat then rinse fleece without soap. 

I use an old screen door.

I use an old screen door.

Lay out in thin layer to dry on a screen. Will feel dry long before it is dry. Leave for at least 24hrs flipping once.

Important note! 

Hot to hotter water only, and do not agitate!

Hot to cold = felt,

Soap+hot water+agitation= felt

Put it into soak, put your hands in your pockets, DO NOT POKE!

My fleece took 2 soaks one rinse. 

I figure I have 4 more loads to do. 

As far as knitting this week, I finished 3 Piles of Smiles Cowls

Will be available in Willows Pocket my etsy shop in November.

Will be available in Willows Pocket my etsy shop in November.

4 great colours!

3 colours, I am knitting a Hot pink one too.

3 colours, I am knitting a Hot pink one too.

And an Infinity of stash Cowl for the Church Bazaar next Saturday

Totally Austentatious my new literary blog is now open too!

All in all a very busy week :0)

WIP List = 9

  1. Quicksilver Lace Shrug started Sept 5/14
  2. My Favourite Top-Down Clog Socks 
  3. Left over Cowl started feb 23/14
  4. Cabled Hood with Pockets Started Sept 27/13
  5. Sea of Dreams Blanket 85% done started Mar 9/13
  6. Isla lace Pillowcase edge  60% done started June 18/13
  7. Rose Harbour Shawl 85% done started Jun 28/13
  8. My Fair Cardi Started Apr 8/14
  9. Simplicity Lace Scarf  

FO’s 2014 = 37 + 3 = 40

WIPS 2014 = 9

 Stash Used 2014 = 65 + 3 = 68

Ravellenic 2014 FO’s =  8

Yds of Handspun 2014 = 313 yds

Sewing FO’s 2014 = 

Books 2014 = 27 + 2 = 29

Thanks again, cya next week :0)

I’m off to visit Tami’sthen on to my blogwalk

come join me in the blogpond :0

Technique: Russian Graft (Crochet)

Another interesting technique for grafting with a crochet hook

Russian Graft

Technique: Magic knot/Russian Join

Useful methods for joining ends together

Magic knot  

Magic knot

how to join to ends of yarn in a permanent non slip knot.

Russian Join 

Handy technique for joining to different colours.

7 other methods on You Tube

So you bought a skein (or four…) of yarn enabler wool. Now what?

My fav local indie dyer! Watermelon and Pencil socks, and more, brilliant!

because wool fixes everything

Now you get to knit some super cute socks, that’s what! I’m going to try to address some FAQ and then leave the comments open for anyone who has questions 🙂

First off, thank you thank you thank you!! You guys are amazing, I am humbled and thrilled (my private happy dance is now a public happy dance being done all over town, ha) by the reception to my wool. You.are.awesome.
When I first rolled the idea of being an indie dyer around in my noggin I never dreamed it would be this much fun.

When you order a skein (*ahem* of four!) I get an email. I do a happy dance. I text my husband and pm my best woolie friends and bubble over with excitement. I smile huge and giggle at random times. Then I remember I’m a professional and hunker down 😉

Your wool is dyed to…

View original post 366 more words

Thinning down the WIP list :0)

knit art 6 (1)

My parents just returned from England. They know me too well! 

They brought me back a gift that few  people would have thought of :0) 

Swaledale fleece hand delivered from North Yorkshire. Now for washing and Spinning!

Swaledale fleece hand delivered from North Yorkshire. Now for washing and Spinning!

WooHoo! Finished Objects!

Birch Leaf  

Birch Leaf Shawl (27 repeats). I still have to block it.

Birch Leaf Shawl (27 repeats). I still have to block it.

Foots First Sox 

Birthday socks for my Dad.

Birthday socks for my Dad.

WIP List = 11

  1. Quicksilver Lace Shrug started Sept 5/14
  2. My Favourite Top-Down Clog Socks 
  3. Left over Cowl started feb 23/14
  4. Cabled Hood with Pockets Started Sept 27/13
  5. Sea of Dreams Blanket 85% done started Mar 9/13
  6. Isla lace Pillowcase edge  60% done started June 18/13
  7. Rose Harbour Shawl 85% done started Jun 28/13
  8. My Fair Cardi Started Apr 8/14
  9. Simplicity Lace Scarf  
  10. Foots First Sox My design Started Jul/11 – finished Oct 5/14
  11. Birch Leaf started Aug 18/14 – finished Oct 7/14

FO’s 2014 = 35 + 2  = 37

WIPS 2014 = 11 – 2 = 9

 Stash Used 2014 = 61 + 4 = 65

Ravellenic 2014 FO’s =  8

Yds of Handspun 2014 = 313 yds

Sewing FO’s 2014 = 

Books 2014 = 26 + 1 = 27

Thanks again, cya next week :0)

I’m off to visit Tami’sthen on to my blogwalk

come join me in the blogpond :0

WIP Round up

Bday flowers for fibre friends

I have been experiencing a bad case of ideaitis. An urge to invent something new. So in an attempt to get control of my WIP Count, I thought it my be a good time to review the to do list to maintain some semblance of rationality! So here we go…

The Jar for Jul/Sept (I missed my photo last month)  

WIP List = 11

Quicksilver Lace Shrug

Huston we have a problem!  Finished part a, should be 114st and 31cm... why do I have 126st and 44cm? Ouch!

Huston we have a problem! Finished part A, should be 114st and 31cm… why do I have 126st and 44cm? Ouch!

Flashy Earbud Sweaters done!

?????????????????????

Birch Leaf  

At 26 repeats, why is this ball not getting any smaller?

At 26 repeats, why is this ball not getting any smaller?

My Favourite Top-Down Clog Socks 

I have been out and about a lot so I have been working on these and other small projects too.

I have been out and about a lot so I have been working on these and other small projects too.

Left over Cowl  

4 of 8 repeats of fairilse design sequence.

4 of 8 repeats of fairilse design sequence.

Cabled Hood with Pockets 

Long enough to wrap around a mug :0)

Long enough to wrap around a mug :0)

Foots First Sox

Finishing the cuff, then insert the heel and done :0)

Finishing the cuff, then insert the heel and done :0)

Sea of Dreams Blanket

3 more repeats to go.

3 more repeats to go.

Isla lace Pillowcase edge  

Only 6" to go!

Only 6″ to go!

Rose Harbour Shawl 

3 more chart repeats to go, far more impressive when stretched out. August too.

3 more chart repeats to go, far more impressive when stretched out.

My Fair Cardi  

Back finished, working on the fronts.

Back finished, working on the fronts.

Simplicity Lace Scarf  

Pattern: Simplicity Lace Scarf in luscious Bamboo fingering from Dye-Version

Pattern: Simplicity Lace Scarf in luscious Bamboo fingering from Dye-Version. I am actually much further along, I just like this picture.

FO’s 2014 = 35 + 1 = 36

WIPS 2014 = 12 – 1 = 11

 Stash Used 2014 = 61 + 1 = 62

Ravellenic 2014 FO’s =  8

Yds of Handspun 2014 = 313 yds

Sewing FO’s 2014 = 

Books 2014 = 26

Thanks again, cya next week :0)

I’m off to visit Tami’sthen on to my blogwalk

come join me in the blogpond :0

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