Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Fiber

Don has gone up to the cities, so here I was all alone with ‘nothing’ (ha-ha) to do! I should have been cleaning the barn or doing something on my “To Do” list, but instead, I carded some yarn and sat down to my spinning wheel Merlin to do some spinning of the Miniature Llama fiber that Bill Fisher and his wife had given me to sample. “Merlin” and I have been having a wonderful time together. I LOVE spinning on Merlin! And tonight, while I was spinning and watching TV at the same time, I just sat in wonder and amazement. There I was, with the roving slipping through my fingers, turning into real yarn at the magic moment when the yarn twists and springs away from your fingers and fills the bobbin. And I was thinking: “Why did this ever seem so difficult? This is just as easy as breathing air or drinking a glass of water!!” I used to watch people and envy them that they were able to do this and I tried and tried and could not. But I really do believe that the magic is with Merlinand that’s my story and I’m sticking to it!

Almost as soon as Don left I pulled out the fiber bags and boxes and went to work! That is (from left) a box of Yak and dog undercoat hair (Yes, I am going to 'spin my dogs'), Arthur the lamb, and Miniature Llama fiber. Hair, hair everywhere!

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OH - MY - WORD!!! Either the cat had a massive hairball problem or I have a horrible mess on my hands! I have discovered that the Yak fiber, as well as the Miniature Llama fiber, will mat when washed, even without any sort of 'agitation' or mashing or whatever! It just gravitates towards itself and locks in a massive mess! I have read about folks using a lingerie bag. This is what I will probably end up trying in the future. But not to worry - it comes right out with the drum carder.

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A -ha! Now THAT is more like it! This is sheep's (Arthur's) wool mixed with Yak. I have blended one batch with more sheep's wool than the other. It looks like an animal lying dead on the floor, don't you think?

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Here is my Merlin, sitting with roving on his feet, keeping them warm. He is an Ashford Kiwi. Ashfords are made in New Zealand. He is very special to me. Sitting next to Merlin is a Picker. It has nails that sort of comb out the wool and help remove debris such as hay and seeds, as well as beginning to straighten it out so that it starts to face in the same direction. After picking the wool, it is on to the carder which super-brushes the wool and makes it ready for spinning! Meanwhile lying on top of the picker is some wool that Connie is letting me try out. It is all ready for spinning! WOW, is it ever soft! It is from a Shetland Sheep.

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Here is the drum carder. It belongs to PIC (Partner In Crime) Connie, and she is generous enough to share this spendy little piece of machinery with me. Thank you so much, Connie. I don't know what I would do without you!

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OK. PLEASE do not laugh. This is my very first EVER skein of home-spun yarn. It is lumpy, it is bumpy, but it is mine, and I am so proud of it that I just might decide to never make anything out of it and just hang it on the wall of my craft room in some special way to make it look artistic. Maybe Candy can help me with that?! It was spun from Arthur's wool and Heidi's (Don's German Shepherd Dog's) undercoat. I am very happy with my skein!!!

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Mr. Blue, one of Don's male Beta's, looks on in approval. He thinks that as long as I am close by, he may just get an extra morsel of food! "Blue" is a very nice fish. He does what I want him to do, as I have trained him by fluttering my fingers and 'tinking' on the glass. He also allows me to 'pet' him, but I always, always wash my hands first. I do not want him to get any fungal diseases or anything like that. Betas are very beautiful and very easy to care for. When they are happy, they blow bubbles on the top of their water! Can you see Blue's bubbles? I just cleaned his 'cage' today, so he is very happy and blowing his bubbles on the top.

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5 comments:

Candy Taft said...

Nice job on the fibers. You are really getting the hang of it. And my, Blue has gotten big and beautiful.

goodshepherd said...

Thanks, kiddo! You and your sister are my inspiration!

Jnlang said...

Love your skein. :)
Have fun playing with your fiber. I want to try some yak sometime too. It looks great.

Connie Peterson said...

I am impressed with the brown Shetland. Can't wait until I get mine washed.

You are doing a great job.

Connie Peterson said...

Zoom worked - now I can see your blog better.

NOW, put on your new yarn, please! :)