Saturday morning spinning and more fiber prep

August 23, 2014

Good morning, and happy Saturday! Looks like it’s going to be a gorgeous late summer day today. It may be a bit on the humid side for me, but since there aren’t going to be many more days like this left this year, I’m going to enjoy it. I’ve been seeing more than a few trees with bits of color that aren’t green, so I know what’s coming, and I’m not going to complain about that one bit. Autumn in New York is my favorite time of year. I love the warm sun, crisp air, and cool nights. It’s also harvest season, and a great time to hit up your local farmers market. Apples are my favorite fruit, and our local orchards all have great selection to choose from in autumn.

It’s also fiber festival season. There seems to be more of them this time of year, possibly so we fiber fanatics can stock up on things to keep us busy during the long winter. I’ve already got several events and festivals on my calendar for September and October that I’ll be attending and participating in. A couple of years ago we put together a list of all the local-ish fiber festivals, and I’ll try to get something together to share later on this week.

Earlier this week I washed a batch of the white wool (Corriedale or Corriedale cross) that I acquired last summer. This was the fleece that was so full of vegetable matter that I didn’t bother sending it to the mill. Nor did I try to salvage very much to wash by hand, maybe three pounds or so in raw weight that has very little vegetable matter in it, at least by my standards. Keep in mind though, my standards are probably low, but I do have them.

Top L-R: raw/unwashed locks, washed locks, flicked/opened locks Bottom: carded roving

I’m always amazed at the transformation between raw wool to roving, especially with this fleece, since I acquired it and the bag of brown wool for next to nothing. One usually doesn’t expect those practically free fleeces to be of very good quality or yield very much usable fiber, and since I got over 6 pounds of gorgeous roving from the bag of brown wool alone, anything that I could get out of the bag of white was just a bonus. I am kind of regretting not saving more of it, but what I got rid of was given to a friend who was not intimidated by all the hay and wood chips, and he did manage to clean it up nicely, so I’m glad it’s getting used.

Rather than spin each morning this week, I’ve been spending a bit of time each day using one of my hand cards to open up the ends of the washed locks, which makes running them through my drum carder much easier. I’ve accumulated quite a bit that is ready to be carded, so I’ll spend some time this morning working on that so I can free up the mesh bags to wash another batch. I may try to get another batch of Aslan’s fiber cleaned up and ready to card too.

My first skein of Aslan.

Speaking of Aslan, I did finish spinning the first cleaned and carded batch of his fiber last weekend. I had busy evenings every night this week, so I saved the plying for last night. The final yarn came out to be about 240 yards of a heavy worsted/Aran weight 3ply. Despite all my concerns about the inconsistencies in my singles and the bits of hay still in the carded fiber that I spun, it came out absolutely gorgeous. The yarn is still damp this morning, but as soon as it’s dry, I’ll deliver it to Teri. I hope she likes it. 🙂

That’s all for now. It’s still really early here this morning. I woke up at 2AM, and have been up and out of bed since about 3AM. The dogs are all confused, and have been bugging me for their breakfast for the last hour or so. It’s just about time to feed them which means they’ll go back to sleep, and I can go play with wool.

Have a great weekend!

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