Thing-a-Week #19

Right. So, remember the tiny knitting I did last week? This is why I did it:

Thing a Week #19: Tiny Sheep

Yes, it’s a wee sheep. I made this for Ewenique because, well, she requested one! The sheep is made entirely of the Romney wool I processed last year, and I added the tiny knitting project from last week. She stands (er, sits) at about 3 inches tall. It was fun to make, if a bit fiddly because it’s so small. And I only bled once from stabbing myself with the felting needle this time! Go, me!

Thing a Week #19: Tiny Sheep

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Thing-a-Week #11

It was gorgeous this weekend so I decided to do something I’ve been wanting to do as soon as the weather got nice: scour some fleece. I know how to have a good time, don’t I?

This fleece is a Cheviot / Clun Forest cross that I bought for cheap from Craigslist in March. It was pretty dirty, so I gave it several cold water soaks outside in a bin before scouring. Then I scoured it in my washer with some Seventh Generation dish soap. Two washes and three rinses later, I ended up with this:

Thing a Week #11: Cheviot / Clun Forest Fleece

The tips are still pretty crusty. I’ll have to flick them to see if the dirt comes out; otherwise I might have to start trimming. The locks seem sound, soft, and springy, so I should be able to get some nice fiber out of it. I’ll know more when it’s finished drying!

Dawwww

My post titles are devolving. I expect my next one will be a series of grunts.

If you remember from day 4 of Stitches West, I went to a needle felting class and made part of a sheep. This week, I finished the rest!

Daww.

Sheep

Daawwww.

Sheep

Daaaaaaaaaaaaaawwwwwwwwwwwwwww.

Sheep

If you need me, I’ll be this puddle of goo in the corner.

Stitches West 2011: Day 4

Well, that’s it. It’s over. It was a jam-packed, exhausting time.

This morning I had a Farmyard Friends: Needle Felted Animals class with Sharon Costello. I made a sheep. Well, most of a sheep, since we ran out of time to finish.

Class

Aren’t the samples cute?

Samples

After class, it was back to the market for last minute stuff and the grand prize drawing. Nothing really grabbed me except a couple of dizzes and buttons, and I didn’t win anything. What a drag.

Sherry was kind enough to drop me at the airport for my flight home, so here I sit, waiting for my flight.

I’m completely worn out, but I had a wonderful time. Thanks to all my great Northern California friends, you made me feel a part of the family. See you next year!

Isn’t she lovely

Isn’t she beautiful…

Romney handspun

I’ve been playing around with that Romney fleece I got late last year. I’ve been doing things here and there since I washed it: I first hand-carded some of it into rolags and spun some test yarn, and more recently I scored a Pat Green drum carder on Craigslist and carded some of the fleece for real.

Pat Green Drum Carder Romney batt

I’ll need some more practice, I think, but I’m pleased with what I’ve done so far. This yarn is around aran to bulky weight, a little thick and thin, very light and lofty. It’s only an ounce and three-quarters, so I’ll have to card and spin up more if I expect to make anything out of it. Still, it’s a start!

Romney handspun

And, over the holidays, I finally broke out the dyes I bought a while ago and dyed up seven 4-ounce batches of fleece in various colors. These were dyed in a crockpot using Dharma dyes.

Dyed Romney fleece

I’ll be carding these as well, and hope to come up with some really pretty batts. Wish me luck!

Fun with fleece

So, if you remember from my last post, I bought 5 lbs of raw Romney wool off of Craigslist. Last week, I separated the fleece into five piles, approx 1 lb each. This weekend I washed 2 lbs. of it, using lingerie bags and our washing machine. This is actually the dirtiest two sections of the fleece. I figure I can practice on this and save the good stuff for last. :)

Romney fleece

I flicked the tips before putting them in the bags, because during a test run of 1 lb. last weekend, the tips didn’t seem to wash well.

Romney fleece

To wash, I let it soak for 30 minutes in hot water and Dawn dishwashing detergent in my washing machine, spun it dry, then did it again. To rinse, I soaked it for 20 minutes in plain warm water, spun it dry, then did it again.

Romney fleece

After all the water was spun out, I took it upstairs and laid it out on a sweater drying rack. The picture only shows a pound (well, less now that the dirt and lanolin is washed out). The other bundle is drying in a kid’s toy net hanging under my table.

Romney fleece

The fleece got a really nice white, though some of the tips are a little yellow. That should blend fine when it’s carded, as the wool itself is undamaged. I haven’t decided whether I’m going to dye this batch or just try spinning it undyed. We’ll see!

I’ve gone off the deep end

Well, as if all this spinning and knitting isn’t enough, I decided I’m going to try processing some raw fleece. I know, what’s wrong with me? I can barely keep up with the hobbies I have!

Anyway, I scored about 5 lbs of very clean Romney fleece this week on Craigslist. The sheep’s name is Valerie, and the fleece was taken this year. It was covered, so veggie matter is minimal, and already skirted and sorted. It looks like it’ll be a lovely creamy white after it’s clean.

Romney fleece

Speaking of cleaning, that’s next. That’ll be an adventure as well. It has a lot of lanolin in it, so it smells very sheepy! After I wash it, I’ll need to card it, and spin. I might try dyeing some of it too. Wish me luck!