Saturday, 17 January 2015

Groby and other things

I've been busy helping out over at my neighbours' alpaca farm (Pine Tree Alpacas). I went over there a while ago and helped sort some of their fleeces. Sunday and Monday I went over there again and we sorted all the white fleeces, cleaned the worst of the vegetable matter off and trimmed about 6 inches all round each fleece. It was educational to see the difference between each fleece. Some had crimp from butt to tip, others not so much crimp, but a fine micron count. Some were very dense and soft, others quite thin in comparison.

Nick and Lisa had given me a whole fleece from Whiskey (a lovely white boy), a few weeks ago. I have spun some of it and Navajo plyed it just to see what it looked like. I took the spun samples, washed fibre and carded fibre the last time I went over there. Lisa took pictures for their blog to show the progression from fleece to yarn. I also came home with a white commercial fleece from one of Nick's 2 sheep, reared from cade lambs. It looks quite big, so another one to clean and wash.

This time I took home some of the skirted fibre on Sunday which is a rich dark chocolate colour, gorgeous! I have washed and dried it and now need to card it and see how it spins, being the rejects. But, I just adore the colour. Monday I came home with fawn remnants, still not washed, but due for cleaning tomorrow (Sunday).

Today was Guild Spinning Day and we were meeting at Groby to try the hall out. We have 48 members now and Botcheston where we normally meet is beginning to bulge at the seams, especially when we have workshops. The new hall was a bit bigger, but the kitchen is tiny so we couldn't have the food set out in there. The kitchen is too narrow for 2 way traffic. Because of this, we had 2 tables set up in the hall which took up quite a bit of room. I don't think overall, that it made a lot of difference and parking is worse. Next month we're back at Botcheston anyway. I spun some more of the alpaca and did a continental knitting workshop. I've got the hang of knit stitches, just struggling with purl, partly due to the arthritis in my fingers. I will persevere.

I've just finished a crochet lovey blanket for Sarah's friend Kellie's new daughter. Just have to sew it all together. Almost done one for Cammie, and a tube scarf/cowl for Rowan. They should all be finished this week. Pictures to follow.

Friday, 9 January 2015

New Year

I spent New Year's Eve and the following week with my daughter, son-in-law and granddaughters down in Devon. we didn't do a lot, we ended up playing Monopoly and watching Delia through the decades on TV. We barely made it to 12 before we went to bed.

Since then, we collected 3 Suffolk fleeces from a friend of my daughter's, we were offered 10 but didn't have the time or room to process them at the moment. They are rather large. One was fine, I just skirted it (took all the dirty fleece off round the edges) and packed it in a vacuum bag to bring home. The second was unfortunately badly felted along the back, it was rather damp as were the other two. I had to put that into the junk pile for lining hanging baskets and making fertiliser. The third one was very orange and smelt rather smelly, so not sure if it was a ram fleece. I washed that as well, but in addition poured fabric softener in the rinse water to make it smell better. It did do that. I spread the damp fleece on sheets in the studio which has under floor heating. Should dry very quickly.

We went to the Eden Project last Sunday. I really enjoyed it. In the rain forest biome, we went right up into the roof on a metal walkway which swayed as you walked up. Fantastic view from the top.