From Ewe to You

Friday, April 29, 2005

Learning to spin

In my last post, I forgot to mention the fact that my husband is learning to spin. He is using a drop spindle, which is much easier for him to learn on than a spinning wheel. Using some merino x that I carded, he is doing quite well for a beginner spinner. Of course, he desires to knit gloves from this!

Oh dear, I just don't do well with holding more than two knitting needles at a time and circular needles do not come in such small sizes with the cables that are attached and I told him that he would have to have someone else teach him how to knit gloves.

He would pick something that difficult to "learn" for a first knitting project. I suggested a hat, which would be much simpler, but I don't think that he is listening at the moment. Perhaps later he will reconsider.

I really don't know if he will keep this up, but he seems to spend at least ten minutes a day with the spindle and that is far longer than I would have thought he would keep at it. The spindle, by the way, is one I made and it has quite the spin to it. He is using the park and draft method, I use it myself for some fibers, and while he could let it spin a bit longer to get the twist going, his yarn is progressing nicely.

A bit of catch up

It is early morning and I thought this would be the perfect time to do a bit of catch up writing. Monday was my spinning night out and I took with me some lovely merino/corridale roving in a dark brown shade. This will make some wonderful socks!

Time passes quickly with friends and when my husband arrived to pick me up, the first words out of his mouth were "the fleece is here". Of course, I figured that it had arrived while he was at home puttering around the house waiting to come and pick me up. No, it was waiting for him when he got home.

Imagine walking into the house and finding around 100 pounds of fleece in plastic bags sitting just inside the door! Lucky for me, my husband is used to such things and could actually approach this massive pile with humor and a bit of excitement.

After I got home, we did a bit of rearranging and can now get in and out of the door without a problem. I have already sorted through three of the bags and will box some of this off and send it to the processor and wash/dry/dye/card the rest myself.

My back isn't what it used to be, so I work with smaller batches of washing than I used to. One of my purchases this year, besides the picker, is an electric salad spinner. I have long used a salad spinner to spin dry the fleece that I wash, but this one is electric and I hope that it will spin faster than I can do manually and perhaps spin out even more water. Of course, I use just small handfuls of fleece at a time, but this goes much faster than it sounds.

With the water spun out, the fleece dries faster and thus I can get to the dyeing even sooner than waiting for piles of fleece to dry. Kinda goes against the grain waiting for it to dry just to wet it again, doesn't it? Still, there is often more fleece drying at any one time than I am ready to dye it, so in the end it does make sense.

The weather is rainy today and it looks like I will be doing drying of fleece in front of a fan today unless the sun comes out this afternoon.

My youngest son and his SO came over last night, along with my granddaughter, Chloe, for my husband's birthday. They suggested a trip in August (for my son's birthday) to Yellowstone National Park in our motorhome. We will have to arrange this later in August, as my oldest son is going to Alaska around the middle of that month and wouldn't be able to watch the dogs.

The trip sounds like fun and we will be very busy as we are going on two trips in July. The first to Montana to visit with a friend of mine, the second to a spinning retreat closer to home.

Sunday, April 03, 2005

Getting busy again

Yes, I am getting busy again. There are lots of boxes of washed and dyed fleece that need to be picked and carded. I am putting my new picker to lots of use and I really should post a photo of the picker so that others can see what a nice machine this is!

Last night I put up two auctions on ebay. This took me hours to do and here's hoping I have figured out how to do this and that it will be much easier next time.

Ebay will give my work more exposure and should something not sell, it can still go onto my storefront blog where I both sell and trade/barter from.

Back to work!

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