All Spun Up
On 15 May (a lovely Thursday evening) I acquired a whole ryeland fleece for £12. This was very exciting because the sheep are kept in the field just up the road from us. I had mentioned my interest in the sheep to a few neighbours and soon enough I had the phone number of the flock’s owner. It is a really beautiful dark brown fleece and I went about scouring it when I knew we would have a few great days of weather and sun. I haven’t really been able to wash fleece for a few years because we didn’t have any outdoor space of our own. Now we do and I am so glad I can get back into fleece to finished object. I also have half a ryeland fleece from Wildcraft that I need to wash up too. To do the actual scouring (washing) I bought some Unicorn power scour from Wildcraft, Karen’s now the UK distributor for this product, and got to work. First I rolled it out on a clean ground cover and went over it picking out anything that looked muddy or mucky, it was well skirted already, but one thing I have learnt processing fleece is that there is always more being grown so be ruthless with it. I then split it into 6 sections so that is was more manageable for my washing crates. I added some hot water out of the tap and some power scour and then the fleece section. That stuff really works and after one rinse the water was almost clean. I then laid them out too dry in the sun. It was really windy though so I had to net them down so they wouldn’t blow into the neighbours yard. I am planning on prepping this for a sweater for Paul, and I really love how soft it feels and the natural brown colouring. Raw fleece ready for more skirting
My washing crates ready to go.
The fleece drying at sundown, pinned down with pink tulle I had to hand.
On the spindle
I’ve finished my mohair silk blend from HilltopCloud. This is in a gorgeous royal purple and turned out to be a lovely laceweight yarn. I can’t wait to get it on the needles. Still have to count up the yardage.
I’ve also finished another Wildcraft fibre club, this was November 2013 in the colourway Spices. A beautiful humbug shetland top in rich hues. This was an interesting spin as I made a fingering/sport weight cabled yarn. I split the top into 4 sections; two of those I spun straight from the top and plied together as my first 2-ply. The other two sections I split into the browns/greens as a group and the yellow /reds as the other group. I hand carded each group and rolled the fibres so that they were parallel to keep the singles consistent with those spun from the top. The two colour groups made up my other 2-ply.
I gave these lots of plying twist since I would be plying them together the other way again. This is what makes it a cabled yarn. After washing it is over plied slightly, bummer, so I had to run through the wheel in the opposite direction with a large whorl to remove a little of the twist. It is pretty though!
I am going to pair it with the March 2014 fibre club which is the colourway honesty moons in greys and beiges, and I am planning on making the Great Divide Shawl by Michele Brown.