Saturday, July 25, 2009

A Few Updates

Still lots of spinning and knitting going on...still LOTS of spinning and knitting to go - until what? Am I running a race? Sometimes it feels like it - and I just keep falling further and further behind the leaders - whoever 'they' are.

The spinning of the Border Leicester is moving slowly along - I have found this fiber, because it is so coarse, somewhat painful to spin for a long actually rubs my fingers a little sore if I spin with it too long. I have about 3 or 4 more pounds of it to spin - maybe I should wear protective gloves - NOT! And I really have not even made an in-road with the Dorset which is much more pleasant to spin - there is only so much time in a day and I do other things with my life as well (like all of you who read my blog) - like knit and read and attend concerts and garden and keep a home and work and try to keep up with Tea-and-Roses (not too successfully since I have become a fiber-junkie) and cook and blog and Tweet and, and, and...

I finished the Double Bubble socks for my grand niece's birthday - only a month late; but I think she will like them. The Booga Bag is felted and my current sock project fits perfectly in it. I can see these being knit as future gift items for family and friends. If I expect to have any for Christmas (of 2009), I better start knitting them yesterday! Although the kniting is quick & so is the felting and it is a fun and rewarding project.; the whole thing still takes time!

I am still following the preparations for Sock Summit 2009 (aka SS09) with envy and I voted in the 'Dye for Glory' contest; there are some absolutley gorgeous sock yarns exhibited on the Ravelry pages. If you are a Ravelry member go to this link and cast your vote in each of the categories. Of course, I want to own many of the entries but realized today that I have EIGHT different brown colored sock yarns, all gorgeous & all hand-dyed, in my stash right now. And that doesn't count all the other sock yarns I have that are just in the brownish-family or were bought to make socks for someone the beautiful 'David's Eyes' (Cascade Heritage Sock yarn) I just bought to knit a pair for my DH (aka David). PS The yarn does match his eyes.

Long story short: I am addicted to hand-dyed sock yarn and I can't stop buying it even though I now have enough that if I knit a pair of socks a month (which I won't) it would take me almost 4 years to knit up my stash; that is, if I can refrain from buying anymore hand-dyed sock yarn (which I won't)! HELP! Is there a 'Sock-Knitter's Anonymous' out there anywhere?

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Breaking News

'The Fleece Connection' has been renamed (after only two weeks of existence!?!).
We are now officially known as...

Now we just need to design a logo and we are ready to take it to the next level...whatever that will be...Stay Tuned!

PS. With 'Thanks to HRC

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

From Fleece to Fiber Presentation

This past Tuesday, we (friend of the 8 fleeces and I) gave our presentation to our local knitting guild chapter and, happily, it was a great success. The ladies came out in force and seemed quite interested in all we had to say. I had built a PowerPoint presentation of the steps in the process going from the sheared fleece to a finished project. In the case of the Border Leicester, a gorgeous purse Peggy knit from our fleece's yarn was lined with silk and even had a label with our endeavors' name 'The Fleece Connection'. We also had on display the various stages the fleece goes through from 'in-the-grease; cold-washed; hot washed; teased & picked; hand-carded; drum-carded; spun singles; 2-ply worsted weight yarn; skeined; a ball ready for knitting and the finished swatch (in Peggy's case the wonderful purse). Everything looked quite impressive laid out on tables and shown together in a basket...but we think most of the ladies would probably just head to their LYS for their yarn. I gave a spinning demonstration which was also very well-received and the entire proceeding had lots of energy...we were pleased that every one enjoyed it.

The Dorset was not left out, although being white without lots of lustre or sheen, it definitely takes a back seat to the Leicester (which my English friend Paula remined me was pronounced 'Less-ter' not 'Lye-ster'...try as I might-I really am not a Brit.
Not being as creative as Peggy, my swatch looked exactly like a...SWATCH. The drum-carded Dorset is truly gorgeous however, it looks like puffy white clouds. I am spinning this at closer to an Aran weight and the swatch did make us all say 'Aran sweater'. This is the fleece we have the most of and a lot of it will be in the dye pots we are planning for later in the Summer or eartly Autumn...another endeavor of 'The Fleece Connection'. Who knows where all of this will lead us...but we are having fun, even though it is very time-consuming to go from 'Fleece to Fiber'. Going through this entire process (the only thing we have not done is raise & shear the sheep) certainly does give you an appreciation for the time when there were no yarn shops!

Thursday, July 02, 2009

From Fleece to Swatch

Friend Peggy (she of the 8 bags of free fleece) and I have agreed to make a presentation at our next knitting guild meeting. We spent hours on it today and have more to go but we have moved ahead. Peggy brought a skein of plied & washed hand-spun Border Leicester home (see photo) with her so she can swatch it before the meeting on Tuesday and I have plied a bobbin of Dorset which I will skein & wash (to set the twist) tomorrow and then I will swatch that. It is really getting more exciting now that we have some REAL yarn to play with!

The gorgeous Gotland fleece I purchased at Woolbearers in Mt. Holly, NJ has been put on the back-burner as I work on the pounds & pounds & pounds & pounds of Border Leicester & Dorset fleece and while all of this is fun and a great learning experience, I really will not do this much work again to get roving to spin...unless the sheep in question is BROWN!!