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

Wonder Weds: Harley is on the road again!

Harley my electric Geobike :0)

Harley my electric Geobike :0)

What a delightful surprise, I came home to find that DH had fixed up “Harley” my ebike. He needed a little attention and minor repairs. I don’t drive anymore so it’s wonderful to be able to get around on my own. I see more trips to the LYS ;0)

Spring is time for yarn Adoption!

Two balls of interesting sock yarn and two relatively neutral colours for my Not so "Leftover Cowl" Project

Two balls of interesting sock yarn and two relatively neutral colours for my Not so “Leftover Cowl” Project

A Sun Hat #3  

size 0-3m

size 0-3m

Foots First Sox 

Almost to the heel

Almost to the heel

What I’m reading: The Pursuit of Mary Bennet by Pamela Mingle

A good read, it's interesting to see Mary Bennet's view of things.

A good read, it’s interesting to see Mary Bennet’s view of things.

WIP List = 10

  1. Tweed Baby Blanket  Started Mar 7/14
  2. Left over Cowl started feb 23/14
  3. Cabled Hood with Pockets Started Sept 27/13
  4. Foots First Sox My design Started Jul/11
  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. Butterfly’s shawl in blue – started Jan 30/14 Test knit
  9. My Fair Cardi Started Apr 8/14
  10. A Sun Hat #3  started Apr 11/14

FO’s 2014 = 19

WIPS 2014 = 9 + 1 = 10

 Stash Used 2014 = 40

Ravellenic 2014 FO’s =  8

Yds of Handspun 2014 =

Sewing FO’s 2014 = 

Books 2014 = 6 + 3 = 9

Thanks again cya Friday :0)

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

come join me in the blogpond :0

Review: Darcy’s Voyage by Kara Louise

I enjoyed it for the same reasons and with the same reservations. I think it’s all covered in this review. I don’t think I would reread it but I enjoyed reading it once….

Diary of an Eccentric

Darcy looked down, feeling somewhat embarrassed.  “Now you know very well, Georgiana, that I have never really taken a strong liking to any particular woman.  Usually the association was out of duty or obligation or some familial obligation.  There may have been a few whose company I enjoyed, but none I would have sought as my wife.”

“Oh, but there were certainly many who wanted you to take a liking to them and who would have, without the slightest hesitation, consented to being your wife!”

“Yes, and I can remember all your comments after I would introduce one of those women to you.”

Georgiana looked down, displaying a childlike pout for her brother.  “I was not that bad, was I, Fitzwilliam?”

Darcy laughed.  “I quickly discovered, Georgiana, that the quieter you were around the lady, the more vocal you would be to me after she left!”

(from Darcy’s Voyage

View original post 435 more words

WIP Weds: It’s my Blogaversary today!

Who would have thought back on January 22, 2011, I would have posted so much cool stuff!

For my 3rd Blogaversary, the 1st, 3 people to leave their message here at willow4, get their choice of a pattern from my Ravelry shop !

To continue :0)

Ok, I have discovered a flaw in the plan. As 4 things have dropped off the WIP list, I now have shawl knitting 4 days in a row, and scarves 2 days in a row. 

   Rose Harbour Shawl, Fanflower Fling, Buttermere, Shoulder Shawl 

So I have been concentrating on my Carry along Kal for Jan –

Lovely & Thick Rose Boot Cuffs – Done!

Boot Cuffs to dress up my old tired ankle boots!

Boot Cuffs to dress up my old tired ankle boots!

When these are done I will get back to The Plan and knock a few more off :0)

Isla lace Pillowcase edge 

Edge #2 - 12" of  36"

Edge #2 – 12″ of 36″

Currently reading:

Mr. Darcy’s Little Sister by C Allyn Pierson sc. Another continuation of  Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. Georgiana is having her come out, and presentation at St James. How does a shy heiress find the right man, especially after such a scandalous error with Mr. Wickham? Pg 115 and totally enjoying it so far :0)

WIP List = 10

  1. Buttermere  my Kal for Dec/13
  2. Shoulder Shawl  v2 started Nov 14/13
  3. My Favourite Scarf Ever  Started Nov 2/13
  4. Cabled Hood with Pockets Started Sept 27/13
  5. Lovely & Thick Rose Socks Started Jan 9/14 – finished Jan 20/14
  6. Foots First Sox My design Started Jul/11
  7.  SPROUT – Growing Roots sweater 60% done started May 17/12
  8. Sea of Dreams Blanket 75% done started Mar 9/13
  9. Isla lace Pillowcase edge  52% done started June 18/13
  10. Rose Harbour Shawl 75% done started Jun 28/13
  11. Fanflower Fling  50% done started Jul 12/13

 FO’s 2014 = 4 + 1 = 5

WIPS 2014 = 11 – 1 = 10

 Stash Used 2014 = 19 + 1 = 20

Sewing FO’s 2014 = 

Books 2014 = 2

Thanks again cya Friday :0)

I’m off to visit Tami’s, then on to my blogwalk

come join me in the blogpond :0)

Find me at my Etsy shop: Willows Pocket and on Ravelry.com 

Austentatious!

Yes, I have a thing for Austen. I didn’t realize how extensive it was till I started digging through my collection.

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It has even snuck into my knitting. On my to due list Darcy Shawlette,

The Dashwood Sisters Shawl and the Miss Woodhouse Shawlette

I have the famous novels… a few copies of each

The Complete Novels of Jane Austen: Seven Great English Classics (sc)

The Complete Works of Jane Austen (2 ebooks)

Short fiction

Unfinished fiction

and ebook copies too, because you can’t go anywhere without Jane!

All of the above on Kobo Glow, Kobo Arc and Sony ereader.

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Films, Audio tapes, and Ebooks 

Death at Pemberley by PD. James (audio)

Pride and Prejudice (DVD 1995) A&E starring Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle (the best!)

And the more recent Pride and Prejudice (2005)

and an older BBC version.

Bride and Prejudice (2004) Bollywood musical (enjoyed it)

Persuasion (1995) – my fav

Sense and Sensibility (2008 – VHS) Emma Thompson and Hugh Grant (the best)

Emma (1996) Kate Beckinsale (best of the two)

Emma (1996) Gwynth Paltrow (not as good)

I also indulge in continuations of her novels and there are a lot out there.

My favourites are by Linda Berdoll,

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*Mr Darcy takes a Wife and *Darcy and Elizabeth

My comment: Miss Austen, being as single lady of her age and time, probably would have been shocked by this more realistic view of married life. This is the Darcy and Lizzie you imagine as a married couple! I am so fond of these books, originally owned them in trade paperback, I also purchased them in ebook!

Some other  delightful series

 Sharon Lathan has also written a rather good series related to Pride and Prejudice. This series sounds more Austen.

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  1. *Mr & Mrs Fitzwiliam Darcy: Two shall become one
  2. *Loving Mr. Darcy
  3. My Dearest Mr. Darcy
  4. In the Arms of Mr. Darcy (Don’t have)
  5. Miss Darcy falls in Love
  6. The Trouble with Mr. Darcy
  7. The Passions of Mr. Darcy (the story of Darcy’s Uncle George)
  8. A Darcy Christmas (Don’t have)

I have also been collecting the Pemberley Chronicals by Rebecca Ann Collins

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  1. *The Pemberley Chronicles
  2. *The Women of Pemberley
  3. Netherfield Park Revisited
  4. The Ladies of Longbourn
  5. Mr Darcy’s Daughter (don’t have)
  6. My Cousin Caroline
  7. Postscript from Pemberley (don’t have)
  8. Recollections of Rosings (don’t have)
  9. A Woman of Influence
  10. The Legacy of Pemberley (don’t have)

  I like this series but Austen’s voice is missing.

Rebecca Ann Collins has also written Expectations of Happiness a follow-up to Sense and Sensibility

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

Found these in ebook format

Georgiana’s Diary by Anna Elliott eb. a free ebook

and Colonel Brandon’s Diary by Amanda Grange eb. preview I am seriously thinking about purchasing this one. Has anyone read it?

Some other recent finds:

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

I also have a collection of short stories *Dancing with Mr. Darcy

How about from Darcy’s point of view

*Darcy’s Passion by Regina Jeffers – Don’t let the title through you it isn’t bad

*Captain Wentworth’s Persuasion by Regina Jeffers  sc.- Rather good till just before the end. Spys and nonsence creeps in. 4/5th of the book is worth reading.

How about letters, and Diaries?

Austen began writing in this form then moved to the more conventional novel format. I enjoy epistolary books (letters) and Diaries.

*Mr. Darcy’s Diary by Maya Slater sc. (rather good)

*Dear Mr Darcy by Amanda Grange tpb (very good)

*Letters from Pemberley by Jane Dawkins tpb (very good)

Looking forward to reading these recent finds :0)

 ????????????

Mr. Darcy’s Little Sister by C. Allyn Pierson tpb.

Only Mr. Darcy will do by Kara Louise tpb.

The Truth About Mr. Darcy by Susan Adriani tpb.

and my DH found this in the last copy section of Chapters :0)

*Darcy and Fitzwilliam by Karen V. Wasylowski – delightful and unusual take on Mr. Darcy and Colonel Fitzwilliam’s relationship. Totally recommend this slightly off beat book. :0) sc.

Other recent purchases, as yet unread

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

The Darcy Cousins by Monica Fairview

The Pursuit of Mary Bennet by Pamela Mingle

The Bad Miss Bennet by Jean Burnett (Lydia)

 There are reference books and biographies as well.

???????????

Jane Austen: A life by Claire Tomlin tbp

A Brief Guide to Jane Austen: The Life and Times of the World’s Favourite Author by Charles Jennings sc.

*The Complete World of Jane Austen by Lauren Nixon hc. (total disappointment, wouldn’t bother with this one)

My family and friends keep me well supplied, and DH & DS but up with my Austen observations.

Just for fun go check out The Republic of Pemberley website for everything Austen. DH found it while surfing the net…awesome!

Note: * = have read, sc.= softcover, tpb. = trade paperback, hc. = hardcover, eb. = ebook

WIP Weds: January Knitting pic month!

Knitting

Good Morning all.

January is Knitting picture month. I am collecting my favourites to share with you.

The first FO for 2014!

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Northman Mittens 

Front and back

Front and back

and here is the soft lining :0)

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The Plan begins, a WIP a day!

 Sunday: Buttermere 

Almost ready for the lace edge, woohoo!

Almost ready for the lace edge, woohoo!

of 207 of 247 to reach beginning of lace pattern (20 more rows)

Monday: Shoulder Shawl – Hoping to finish this the next time round

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Tuesday: My Favourite Scarf Ever 

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First book of the year!

??????

Letters from Pemberley by Jane Dawkins, gift from DH for Christmas. I am really enjoying it.

I have posted all FO’s for 2013 here

WIP List = 14 – 1 = 13

  1. Buttermere  my Kal for Dec/13
  2. Shoulder Shawl  v2 started Nov 14/13
  3. Northman Mittens  Started  Dec 2/13 – finished Jan 4/14
  4. My Favourite Scarf Ever  Started Nov 2/13
  5. Cabled Hood with Pockets Started Sept 27/13
  6. Iced Cardigan  Started Oct 1/13
  7. Foots First Sox My design Started Jul/11
  8.  SPROUT – Growing Roots sweater 60% done started May 17/12
  9. Top Down Swing Pullover 98% done started Jan 1/13
  10. Sea of Dreams Blanket 75% done started Mar 9/13
  11. Mile a minute afghan – crochet 50% done started Apr 24/13
  12. Isla lace Pillowcase edge  52% done started June 18/13
  13. Rose Harbour Shawl 75% done started Jun 28/13
  14. Fanflower Fling  50% done started Jul 12/13

 FO’s 2014 =  1

WIPS 2014 =  14 – 1 = 13

 Stash Used 2014 = 3

Sewing FO’s 2014 = 

Books 2014 =  1

Thanks again 

cya next week :0)

I’m off to visit Tami’s, then on to my blogwalk

come join me in the blogpond :0)

Find me at my Etsy shop: Willows Pocket and on Ravelry.com  

FO Friday: The Plan, end of round 3

FOfriday

The Plan began July 3, 2013. Yes I am dying to start something new. I have decided to organize some future projects. I have bagged a few things with pattern, and needles. I will start something when I get down to 7 wips!

The beginning of a new month, another look at this years scrap Jar.

The Jar August 1, 2013

The Jar August 1, 2013

I can’t believe it’s almost full, I’m going to have to start squishing it down soon.

Wednesday

SPROUT – Growing Roots sweater

Making good progress!

Making good progress!

Both sleeves done, except the cuffs. Beginning work on the body. Feels lovely and cushy, should be comfy when done.

Thursday

Top Down Swing Pullover

I am so close to finishing this, Urggh!

FYI, I am getting a hate on about knitting straight stocking stitch for miles and miles… never again!

FridayThis will appear next weds as I am working on it today.

 Fanflower Fling 

What I’m reading: Dear Mr. Darcy by Amanda Grange

I received this book from my family for my Birthday. They know how much I like Jane Austen. I am really enjoying it. It’s epistolary, a book of letters between all the characters describing “Pride and Prejudice” from each characters point of view. Truly delightful, and insightful, I highly recommend it!

Update on my DS’s condition: He got his Titanium Clavicle on Tuesday. These last few days have been very painful for him. He insisted he is going to work today. New job, and he is worried he will lose it, so he’s pushing himself.

Yes he’s stubborn! We’ll see if he can last the day.

Current WIP List (10)

  1. Rose Harbour Shawl 70% done started Jun 28/13
  2. Isla lace Pillowcase edge  52% done started June 18/13
  3. Box of Boxes Blanket Long term project  (24 + 4 = 28 squares) started Jan 23/13
  4. Beryl Blanket – Long term project ( 67 hexes) started Nov 21/11
  5. Mile a minute afghan – crochet 50% done started Apr 24/13
  6. Pine Forest Baby Blanket 50% done  started Jan 11/12
  7. Sea of Dreams Blanket 75% done started Mar 9/13
  8. SPROUT – Growing Roots sweater 60% done started May 17/12
  9. Top Down Swing Pullover 98% done started Jan 1/13
  10.  Fanflower Fling  50% done started Jul 12/13
  11. Ruffle Scarf   Done started Dec 3/12 finished Jul 7/13
  12. Cozy Winter Shawl   Done started Dec 1/12 – finished Jul 11/13
  13. Eileen Dress  Done started Jun 21/13 – finished Jul 11/13 
  14. Easy Peasy Shawl – 95% done started Jul 14/12 – finished Jul 17/13

FO’s 2013 = 80

+ 93 Squares & Hexes

WIPS 2013 = 10

Used of 38 purchased patterns from Rav = 9 (29 to go)

Stash Used 2013 = 69

Books 2013 = 22

Thanks again for visiting,

cya Next week :0)

I’m off to visit Tami’s, then on to my blogwalk

come join me in the blogpond :0)

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