Monday, June 05, 2006

Monday Monday

Warning: non-fiber-related news ahead. Scroll down for the fiber news.

Survived the weekend. I was wondering there for a little while! There was so much going on over the weekend, and last week was so busy, too, that I'm a little shocked that I was looking forward to a Monday!

My mother started moving over the weekend. They bought a house last fall, and have been fixing it up all winter (removing a pond from the living room included!) and finally moved in on Saturday. The move is not complete, but a LOT of work got done, and those who were involved, the many involved, were all exhausted.

Sunday saw daybreak, as I dragged the Little Boy out of bed to go to Relay for Life in Monroe, to walk for the family team. We had a morning shift, and he was full of energy by the time we got there. I took a sock, but didn't get any knitting done at all. It rained just enough to make wool sticky. We made it home in time to shower and get to Mass, then home in time for Little Boy to change into his soccer uniform and eat a sandwich on the way to the field.

After that were wandered with a friend and a cousin over to a local festival that turned out to be a bunch of big rides and a collection of food vendors. No local artisans. A few political action groups and school fundraisers.

By 7pm, Little Boy was crying for supper and sleep. Literally. He asked to eat and go to sleep. So unusual. I normally have to struggle to get him into bed when it's light outside. He was asleep within 5 minutes.

So an entire weekend with no knitting or spinning of note. I sat at the wheel for a few stolen moments while waiting for the slow 6 year-old to get dressed or whatnot, but that's about it.

Fiber content

My big achievement in the last few days was getting some fleece washed.

Years ago, when I first learned to spin, I went to my first fleece fair, in Indiana. It was wonderful, and I learned so very much from the generous artisans, farmers, and other souls there.

I bought my first fleece, a romney first shearing. Beautiful fleece, gorgeous colors, even crimp, no vm, clean, a perfect first fleece. I even was able to spin in the grease.

The same vendor also sold me a kid mohair fleece, raw. I was skeptical, but she showed me that it could be cleaned, but taking some into the washroom and washing it to a beautiful white lock. Having more time than money, and lusting after mohair, I bought it, too.

I never washed either fleece. I'm not entirely sure why. I tried at least once, and was dissatisfied with the results and the process. So they have been sitting in their original boxes since I bought them 9 years ago. Smelling like the animals they were cut from.

I pulled them out of storage last week, and started washing them. I figured if they're still salvageable, I might as well try! The romney is coming out beautifully, exactly as I wanted it originally, and I can spin it from the locks without carding, it's so clean. I tested a lock yesterday, and got a fine laceweight like I've never spun before, 2-ply. I'm about 1/3 through the box of 4.5 pounds, though I'm not sure how much I played with over the years. I'll have to weigh it when I'm done.

The mohair, however, is an entirely different story. It is a dirty, messy, straw-filled mess. If anyone wants it, it's yours! I don't have the time or the patience to fiddle with this fleece! It comes clean, yes. But it's going to take some serious carding to get it spinnable, and I do not have a drumcarder. It's taking 2-3 washes in scalding hot water with original formula Dawn to get the hardened dirt out, then it's a nest of vm. The fibers themselves are about 4" long, smooth, strong, and glossy. Lovely mohair. But this was one dirty goat! Seriously, if you want it, email me or leave a comment, and it's yours. Free. There's several pounds there, though I won't venture a guess as to how much is mohair and how much is other stuff! (Or what the other stuff is, for that matter...) I'm not going to tell you how much I paid for it. Just know that I found the receipt in the bottom of one of the boxes, and I'm embarrassed about having bought that fleece. Get it out of my house, and maybe we can both be happier! I'm positive there's a gorgeous fleece in that box, it just needs help being released from it's prison of straw and dirt!

And one last note, in this pic-free post: my first finished skein on my new wheel is currently drying in my gazebo. It got soaked last night and hung out to dry. The gazebo is truly earning it's keep lately, as that's where I'm drying all this fleece that I'm washing!

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