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Tag Archives: fleece

Marvellous Things

Since Woolfest, an eclectic collection of marvellous things to share.

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A romp on the beach with the dogs and my son after Woolfest.

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A wonderful day spent mooching around with everyone.

Foxgloves.

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Orchids.

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New arrivals while we were away!  Hatched by chickens as mother duck got fed up with waiting!!

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Bert.

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Geese.

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Progress with fleece.

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A new tam design.

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Poppy heads.

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Smelly, Colour and Knitting

What strange unpredictable weather May has brought us.  A little of every season all jumbled up and selected at random.  Regardless, the shearing has started and the sheep are free of their heavy load.  The fleece are being picked over and sorted.  I have a bubbly feeling!  I adore this sorting and selecting and skirting.  Probably i should get out more, but hey ho!  At least I am happy!

I have started THE solution today with 2 of the most gorgeous soft Shetland fleeces ever!  I need the solution is deal with these in a gentle manner, so I start with the finest fleeces.  The solution gets fierce as the summer goes on and often i will have to dilute it if the fleece is fine.  It needs diluting or the fierceness of the mixture can literally eat the fleece.  So here is the start of this years cleaning.  It felt good!

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The large blue barrels are employed again! 

Does it say something very large about me that I find this exciting?  Just a thought!!!……..

Moving on……. to the weather?  Like the weather I am trying little bits of lots of things in no apparent order.  Inspiration is coming thick and fast and I have started lots of ideas and patterns.

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The barn is full of colour, just like the hedgerows

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And the Clematis is stunning and covering the back of the cottage completely!

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Hot and smelly!

I spent this, the hottest day of the year so far in an indescribably awful smell and up to my armpits in filth. SO many horse flies and much interest and ‘help’ from the dogs! I have been brewing a very special type of home-brew. The fermenting fleece! This prepared concoction is now bubbling away nicely giving off the most awful smell. It is now ready to scour the fleeces I have queued up for this process.

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No detergent and no hot water and very little water in fact is used to cleanse the fleeces ready for spinning. The only thing there is a lot of is smell and patience! The safest thing is that there is no danger of felting the fleeces and it seems to me the most organic way to set about scouring.

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Here is a snap shot of a small amount almost ready to enter stage 2. We used these Suffolk fleeces to prepare the fermenting solution. They are being rinsed off ready to go back in the smell and slime for 3 – 4 days. Then they will come out clean! I then rinse them off and they dry. The fleece retains some of its lanolin for spinning which makes it easier to handle. The final washing as yarn removes the last of the lanolin and then it is ready for you guys to make wonderful things with!!

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My hands are 20 years younger after today!! The smell is dreadful but the effect on my skin is miraculous!!

Part Time/Full Time

 

Apparently have decided in my alternative world of ‘I should have more time’ to interact with my full time life on a part time basis. So besides having animals to care for and about 42 puppies (6 in reality, but definitely 42 on last count), I must have thought I should start something new. Maybe this is something to do with old age and being in denial, or maybe I just needed a break in my head? Who knows? So this is what I decided to do…..

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I am a knitter. Through and through a knitter. I have never been able to grasp crochet. Not at all. My crochet attempts have so far always involved dubious language and a pair of sharp scissors. I made an attempt with my friend who is superb at crochet, and this almost ended in tears. I crochet like a knitter. And the problem with this is????? Anyway I have started 2 projects (never by halves this one), and all scissors have been removed from my reach. This is what I am attempting,…

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Not perfect but PROGRESS!!! I will not reveal however how long this took me OR how many attempts I made. Plus I have discovered matches have an even more satisfactory result than scissors!

 

Wonderwool was great but left me feeling like I had been hit by a train! And I still have not sorted the stock from where we unloaded (is the crochet the lesser of 2 evils??). But I WILL!! I have also been visiting the flocks I buy fleece from and collected so much Shetland on Thursday I had to share the driving seat with ram fleece. The dogs were well impressed when I got home. The puppy people less so. Funny how you get used to smell….. Or not!

 

So part time projects in a full time life seem to fit the bill right now. I am off to get enough fabric to finish those patchwork trousers I started over the bank holiday……..