… another summer is dying! Wyoy, yea! [With apologies to Tenor Saw & dancehall fans everywhere].
I made haste this weekend true to my word. It was all about prepping the wool. A good armful of the raw stuff hit the compost bin… yucky I can deal with but mildew? The last of the summer wool (out on my 3rd world drying racks):
Hey, it may be an eyesore but it’s a functional eyesore.
When not washing the wool, I sat in the sun like a real hippie and flick carded the wool into submission. I should note that I didn’t leap into the handwashing/ drying rack operation out of sheer enthusiasm. Many people just use top-load washing machines & driers. I actually had no choice thanks to our front-load beauties. Not entirely a bad thing. I had the time, and:
- Like working with my hands (obviously) & with step-by-step systems;
- The weather co-operated for once;
- The 1st – 2nd wash is/are pretty groady – the sheep eats, prays & yes, loves in his fleece for real; and
- Better to pick out all the hay, seeds, and other stuff gradually as the wool dries.
The last point dawned on me as I sat & carded the wool that Joyja had washed in her machine. It’s v. soft but there’s so much of the hay, etc. worked in deep. In my set-up, I can tease the seed pods out without bursting them. Well, the wash/ dry cycle sets the little pesky seeds free & all the brushing in the world won’t make them budge! Easy does it with raw fleece, IMHO.
Naturally, I was preoccupied & wasn’t cooking. DH isn’t one to miss meals… His famous Veggiegetti:
Pretend that it also has mushrooms & onion… He was in a bit of a rush to get back to the gaming. Food was delicious though!
I realize the wool prep really looks like a ridiculous mess. It kind-of is. The end product is worth it. Maggie Casey’s book really helped me here: wind the single yarn over balls (tennis & spare sock yarn, respectively):
It’s all there – from the wonky first efforts to my current thin & (almost) consistent singles. I wound them together & got this rustic badge of pride!
The new thought is that maybe some of this wool wants to tame the silk sari yarn: it needs some balancing & softness. Just an idea… It’s great to have the spinning facet to my knitting now!
The next project is going back to Sierra’s gifts. I am working out a design idea. I have yarn & am at the proverbial drawing board. The up-take on the Per Contra Handtowel has been very encouraging. Over 11 Ravelers have favourited the design & some have queued it! I can’t wait to see some FOs!
This is a special baby. Just in case an original design doesn’t work out so well, I need the time to knit up a book pattern for her. Wish me luck!