Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The fleece arrives

Got my Galway sheep fleece last night!

Very grateful to the farmer who left it in a designated spot for me to collect.

It makes up for the vile headcold with muscle aches etc. I, and loads of others , currently have.

Separated into 2 kg of leg/side wool and 3 kg of choice back wool , small amount of dagging gone to the flower beds.

This feels very nice and soft. Washed a few locks and the lanolin came off easily with a little washing up liquid. Probably don't need the soap - indeed the locks got very soapy from very little soap.
Spun a bit (of course) and seems to make a nice soft moderately lustrous yarn.
Wonder how this compares with the Bluefaced Leicester as a good wool sheep to do well here in Ireland. I think the Galways's meat may be preferable which would make it a good dual purpose sheep. Now I'm tempted to keep a few Galway sheep - but it's early days. Scouring is next - and this will get a more carefull scouring (in small lots in a laundry bag in the sink) than my own got this summer when I was in a big rush to get them all clean and stored.

Of course, the other projects will be vieing for time with this "foreign fleece" work but bring it on anyway.

Must remember this link :

but for some reason, this doesn't work from here so I'll just go to the blog spot and add the rest of the address from there

as she has excellent descriptions of how she handled the fleece from raw to yarn. Might get to that point some time. After Christmas no doubt.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

socks done, what next?

After various sessions on the computer looking at different methods of sock knitting (toe up, one circular needle, two circular needles etc) I reverted to kind and made them using 5 DPN's. It started coming back to me (the leg, the heel-turn, the toe taper) as I went along. Had forgotten I'd knitted these as a child (and still do by the looks of them :).

Anyway, they are done and very toasty. They do look like they'd fit Finn McCool, but actually they as designed for my own stubby feet - and allow entry to the wellies. I've washed them and no change - I'm glad to say.

I've finished pulling rolag into the matting and the rug is drying after a bath. I loke the colors and the feel but ubfortunately, I don't think it's good enough to give as a present to my sister - 'though she may deserve it , it being partly her fault that I made it in the first place and surley she should suffer the consequences. I might put backing on it - I'll see in a while.

Now it's busy, busy - and nothing else finished.

All sorts started (spinning this, combing that, making rolags, making batts) - but where's it all going? Getting a bit long in the tooth to be "just practicing" - yet it's good therapy after a recent berievement. I won't go on about the latter as I think there is too much whineing going on in the post-tiger Ireland. I'd love to make a whinometer - a page that scores the national radio broadcasts as per whinges per day and the number of times "they" are blamed. So much indignation - and very little problem solving. Gets on my nerves. On no! I'm whining about whining!
Best shut up.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

summer color in winter

Experimenting with some dyed fleece. Some dyed with Landscape "fern" and it's after wash; some with the after wash from a deep red (kept in the garage in a zip lock bag for months) and some with after wash from a mossy green - which came out very light limey green. Making rolags and spinning these in sequence ten plying them so they randomly combine is a very pleasurable thing indeed. Even more so when knitted and you don't know what the mext row's colors will be. The combination is very summery - yet I want to knit it into socks as my feet are getting frozen during this very cold spell. 
One small snag - don't know how to knit socks :(. --- so  going to try Amy Swenson's toe-up short-row worksheet which was free on tehe net.
Don't know how I'll get on, but thank you my for furnishing this as I thik it's probably the only way I'll manage to get the size I want from the various yarn sizes I spinn.
Will have a bash at it tomorrow - hopefully.