Location: Crescent City, California, United States

I love to make things with my hands. My current passions are knitting and spinning.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Busy is as Busy does

...and boy have I been busy lately. I have been taking a few business classes, the spinning and fiber preparation classes that are out of town (one more left), working extra to fill in for someone that went on vacation......oh, and getting son #2 set up for technical school in the fall. This weekend we are driving down to Sacramento to check out the school, housing, financial aid and loans, and for testing. I am very excited for him. I was hoping that he would go to college and at least get an AA, but I am glad that he knows what he wants to do with his life and is eager to pursue it. He has been a wonderful son, and I pray that God will continue to bless him and watch over him.

In between all the other things I have been doing, I have been sneaking a few rows at a time on the Auburn Camp shirt, and am up to the bodice increases on the back. I hope to get more knitting done this weekend on our roadtrip.

Well, better go pack my suitcase. I sure hope the weather is nice for our trip. I would love to feel and see the sun when we go to Sacramento!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Fiber Preparation............

can be a very smelly business. My eyes were trying to water when we had this dirty fleece spread out on a tarp and talked about how to sort a fleece.
The teacher, Crystal, was a little disappointed in the fleece as it wasn't as good a quality as she had originally thought it would be. It was a good example for learning what to look for as there were fibers that broke when you stretched them - a very undesirable quality when using that fiber for anything other than needle felting or stuffing.
This is my fleece soaking in Dawn dishwashing soap and hot water (Don't worry I cleaned the sink very thoroughly after I was done). I was a little nervous about the amount of bubbles..................
Thankfully the bubble action diminised easily with a few rinsings..........................
And here is the dried fleece...................

I had a very hard time trying to get the lighting for this picture, and it still looks dark and yellowish, but I swear that the fleece looks alot better!!
I am enjoying the different steps right now, and am looking forward to next Saturdays class where I will learn how to use hand-carders and a drum carder to prepare clean fiber for spinning. I have actually used a drum carder before, but I hope to fine tune those skills.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Spinning to my heart's content...

After a month long hiatus, I have resumed my spinning classes to improve my skills. I had a lesson on March 7th and learned how to spin from the fold. I need to spin 2 bobbins before my next class on the 15th. I work 8-5 all next week and have an evening class on Tues. Hopefully I will get at least one bobbin done today, and have enough time th rest of the week to complete the other one. I'm not sure if I like spinning from the fold, only because I'm having a little trouble keeping the fibers on my index finger, and then my finger wants to cramp! I'm sure it will get easier with practice.

This is the cormo that I spun and plied last Friday. I believe my skills are improving quite a bit. This fiber has some nice little flecks of black that make it look very homepsun. I toying with the idea of experimenting with hand dying on this fiber.
I have also been spinning up some Wensleydale roving from a bump that I bought before Christmas. I still have a couple of ounces left to spin.
I'm very excited about next weekend. We will be learning about fiber preparation and learning how to sort a fleece - whoo-hoo!! When I told my husband about this class, he thought I was crazy - why would anyone want to do that? I guess he had a bad experience when he was younger and had to help his grandparents with their sheep.

Last weekend we went to Roseburg, Oregon to see a play. On the way home we took the coast route and stopped for lunch and shopping in Bandon. I got to stop at the Wool Company and got some beautiful roving. It is from Ashland Bay Trading Co. The dark blue is 80%wool and 20%silk, the rest is 100%wool. I can't wait to spin it!
I have also been working on the Auburn Camp Shirt. See my pics of my progress here.