Tuesday, April 26, 2011

First-shear spinning

My little ewe, just 1 year old now, who was too small for breeding last autumn, was kept on as a fleece sheep. I liked the feel of her locks. But with her half-heritage of Easy Care shedding sheep, she began to throw her coat before I got to it this April, so I set out to shear her before she shot the lot!
I selected about 1.5 lbs of her neck and back locks for spinning.
first shear 2011 2

There is a sprinkling of short, very white kemp fibers (Easy Care hairs) in the fleece but it's pretty easy to identify and remove and it tends to hop out during spinning and plying. The vast majority are soft silky fibers.  It's a pretty clean fleece, with virtually no VM and only mildly greasy so I spun it unwashed

The fibers were a bit too fine for my flick carder so these mini carders (which has a higher pin density)  worked better:
As a first shear (obviously she was not shorn last year), her coat fibers are softer than the mature sheep 'though the locks are quite long - around 6 inches. Also, the tips are soft and best pulled off before processing:

The tips just pull off.
 Lashed on but tips not pulled off yet.

Carding - just 2 passes.

 Drawn off long-ways.

 Ready for spinning

Its being spun on the Traveler, supported tw long draw. Ratio  9:1; 5 treadles out over 18 inches treadle one in - which  only comes to 6(9)/18 or 3 twists per inch - a pretty low twist, but it hangs together and I want to keep it soft - plus it will be 2-plied which helps to strengthen it.

Mankey pinney and finger nails !!!

Blurry single on the bobbin.

Well, there's quite a long way to go but it's a nice job.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Lamb Gang 2011 and some Gortland roving.

Experimenting with some Gortland sheep roving I've had for a while.
gortland roving prepared 1
It's silvery-gray with white mixed in. Very silky coarser outer-type gray fibers and softer, shorter white and light gray fibers. It has a lovely feel/hand. Just spun a little - thicker and then thinner , plyed it once then knit a small swatch.
It's  hard to decide whether to go for the slender shiny yarn and perhaps knit on larger needles for a "holy" fabric for a shawl or spin thicker and keep the softer bounce. Doing the latter would probably make a fairly hairy end fabric - but that might be OK on an outer-wear garment. I'm toying with the idea of spinning it thing and tight and then 3-plying it as I expect it would still become soft and blossom again after soaking the yarn.
Then it might rake an over-dye when finished...
Ah decisions ....
Some info on the Gortland breed:

Spun it up anyway: -
gortland spinning 1
On the Traveller: TW short long draw 12:1 over 1/2 inch.

gortland on the bobbin 1
2-plys at 9:1, 9 treadles out, one in.

Gortland hank drying 1

Ended up with about 91 gms/ 3.2 oz  of 2-ply, 12 wpi/sportweight.
It's an interesting yarn - fairly coarse yet silkey .
I saw an Raverly  (www.ravelry.com) download pattern - "Treads "    by  Victoria  Anne  Baker  which I think would work well with this yarn. It's for a pair of open-fingered gloves with a very interesting pattern at the wrist and knuckles.
Now I've written this here i just might got on and knit them.

Lambs are loving the mild weather - going mad at sun-down as usual:
This year's Lamb Gang:

Monday, April 18, 2011



Monday April 18 2011.
Saw a Chronophage on the TV. I't a time-eating clock, made and displayed by it's inventor.

Got me thinking about time-eaters – as I shoveled another spoonful of Oatabix Flakes into my gob.
Human babies are notorious chronophages – as are other mammal babies. Lambs, for example – and these guys:

Cheeky white out front.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Runner woven, now to give it finish.

The PATR yarn is woven on the rigid heddle into a table runner 5 ft long and 11" wide, with a 9.5" fringe each end.  I meant it to be longer but another pattern repeat would have brought me right up to the heddle itself so I had to finish it off at that length.
The hand-spun behaved well until the last 1/4 when one of the warps began to get shaved by the heddle so I changed to beating it with the weft stick, which seemed to work fine util I took it off and found ti made the cloth narrower. So I had to ease it sidewasy to widen that end while it was wet.
I showed it to Agnieszka (Ravelry's Jagienks ) and Lindy (Ravelry's Rosknit) and we thought it would be better to not twist or plat the ends. I might put some kind of binding round on groups of yarn tails about 1/2" from the ends.
How to soak/wash it with all thise ends? Well rubber bands were handy.:
So it got a soak

Drying. Pins to mark skips and little ends to weave in better:

Yesterday, Myself and Lindy had a great time learning spinning and seeing beautiful yarn and knits at Agnieszka's place.
Anyone wanting to learn to spin or other yarnie things would do well to book an hour or two to do the same.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Some weaving progress

I'm happy with how this slub- and- noil hand-spun yarn is behaving on the rigid heddle loom.
I did the maths and made a plan to weave it into an 11" X 72" table runner, with a tweedy-plaid effect.
PATR weave plan
The different shades of yarn lined up for action behind the 8-dent heddle (which the yarn fits through :) ).
PATR woolie troops
The warps in place:
PATR warp
About 1/3/ done:
PATR woven
I can use the heddle to beat the weft in without harming the warp. I wasn't sure this would work out but glad to say it did. Hopefully I'll remember to check my stash in Ravelry to see how that yarn came about.

Lambs 2011

My little flock has almost completed lambing.
One of the first to lamb had triplets - she needs some peace and quite.
I need a rest from trips
Some lambs take liberties:
cheeky lamb
Hopping up on mamma's back!
Some ewes are just like their mothers - this one is Divine's daughter - and like her, is fiercly protective of her lambs:
stay away from my lambs

Blackthorn all around

Blackthorn seemed to "enjoy" the severe winter - or maybe it feared for it's life so decided to make lots of seeds to survive!

Blackthorn April 2011
Blackthorn Huddie
Huddie says - "It's handsome and thorney like me".

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Rufus - my sore paw

Rufus recovering from a mysterious injury to the sking on his right front leg - (Huddie??). Got shaved and stitiched up 3 weeks ago now ready to have the last stitchd removed:
sore paw 2
He'll do anything to get to stay in the house.

Rosemary in the Loo; slubs and noils in a yarn - Pools Among The Rushes

What to do with the toilet when it's been replaced by a newer model?
Plant a low-growing Rosemary bush in it :).
Rosemary Toilet 2
Rosemary toilet 1

The multicolor batt, made from drum carding blue, green and yellow-green short fibers with noild sandwitched between un-dyed white fleece  was spun into singles using supported long-draw at 12:1 using 8 out, 1 in over about 28 inches. It was plied with different solid color fleece spun at 12:1 over 1 inch using  twist-assist short-draw . The batt sigles were spun with different solid colors making a bouncy 2-ply at 9 wpi except for one which was plied with brown and light green making a n 8 wpi 3-ply.
Pools Among The rushes fleece
Pools ATR skeins
Pools ATR hanks2