Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Organizing the Dye Studio

As I've mentioned in an earlier post, I have been listening to the podcast Spin Doctor.  In this podcast, Sasha Torres talks about fiber related organization which has inspired me to become more organized.  She talked a little about a class she took with Deb Menz (who has a wonderful video Dyeing in the Kitchen) on dyeing fiber and on dye studio organization. Today, I set out to organize my dye studio by making stock solutions of each dye powder I have.

I made a 1:100 concentration of dye solution stored it in a labeled mason jar.  My goal is to mix these dyes in different percentages to get a range of different colors and record all my results in a binder with a sample of the fiber!  Wish me luck...

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Shetland Fleece Part 2

Yay!! It's here!  My two Shetland fleeces finally came in the mail.  Here is the first unrolled in my living room...

 Gorgeous locks!

I test washed about 4 ounces of this today and it is now drying.  The fleece itself is impeccably clean, however, I think I didn't get all the lanolin out.  Eh, glad I did a test wash.

Does anyone know, judging by the last picture if this fleece has guard hairs?  I think it has a few dark grey-black guard hairs, but I'm not sure as I've never seen them in person.  Anyone?

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Fleece Washing Day

Sunday was the perfect weather for fleece washing.  It was sunny, windy, not too hot, and not humid at all!  Perfect fleece drying weather.  I got started washing a fleece that I was totally lucky enough to be given from friends of the family.  I'm not sure what breed the sheep is that this fleece came off.  It has about a 2-3 inch staple, fine crimps, and is very soft.  If anyone has any idea what breed this might be, please let me know!

The dirty fleece:

Since the fleece is decades old, I was nervous about washing it.  I had read that old fleece is difficult to wash since the lanolin and dirt kind of solidifies.  I washed about a pound of it at a time in super hot water with a glug of Dr. Bronners.  Here it is soaking:

I washed it twice, then rinsed twice. Let me tell you, I must have mad skillzzzz!  This puppy came squeaky clean.

Squeaky clean and drying!

Now, the question is, to card or to comb?  Any suggestions?

Monday, August 13, 2012

Shetland Fleece

Check it out!  I ordered two fleeces!!!!  My original plan was to buy one Shetland fleece to spin up for my cuz to be knit into a sweater.  Well, I can't buy an awesomely gorgeous fleece for her, and not for muah!  So, two fleeces it was.  I ordered the fleeces from a farm in Oregon from these sheep.

OMG! How adorable are they?!  I can't wait for them to come in the mail!!!!!!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Perfect Saturday

Today is going to be the absolute perfect Saturday.  I'm going to stay in my pj's, knit, and listen to a new spinning podcast I just found!  Have you ever heard of Spin Doctor?  It is an awesome podcast about spinning, spinning tools, books, fiber, etc.  I found the podcast yesterday, so today I have about 30 episodes to listen to until I am on the current episode.

My new knitting project that I'm working on today is the striped baby blanket .
  One of my best friends is due in September, so I'm knitting this for her in grey and red.  I originally knit her the Surprise baby blanket in kind of a minty green:
But, of course, after I finished it, I decided I didn't like the color anymore!  Ugh.  So striped baby blanket it is.

Monday, August 6, 2012

TdF 2012: Finished!

These are the following skeins I've spun over the past TdF!

Everything was some sort of wool...but I'm not sure of the specifics. First skein on the left, most recent on the right.

Now I need to figure out what I'm going to do with all this yarn!