Monday, February 22, 2010

Women In the Arts

Liz Wells wanted to share this announcement with you about Women in the Arts.

Washing Demo

Jen sent us photos of the washing process she uses for her fleece. She thinks she started with about a 3-4 pound fleece and will weigh it again after drying and then carding.

The first picture is the belly wool and the skirtings from around the britch and at the bottom of the legs which will go into the mulch pile.

Here Jen is gently pushing the bag of wool into the hot, soapy water with a wok stirrer working slowly and gently.

The wool is now fully submerged. Over the next 15 minute or so soak, it will float to the top. At that point, Jen will usually flip it over.

Here is the wet fiber just pulled from the soak, the water has drained from the tub and she lets it sit for a few minutes on the rack that came with her dryer until it stops dripping. She then repeats the whole thing; this fleece she soap soaked three times, and rinsed it three times.

This is some of the dirty nastiness at the bottom of the sink, which rinses away.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

For Sale

One of our members, Pat Hoffert, has a gently loved Bosworth Journey wheel for sale. It is a single treadle, solid cherry wood with a carrying case. The wheel includes 3 bobbins and a built in lazy kate. She is asking $900, but will consider trades for other types of spinning wheels. Leave your name in the comment section and I will private message you Pat's contact information.

Since we are on the subject, I am selling a 32" 10 dent Kromski rigid heddle loom, Kromski stand, The Ashford book of Heddle Weaving, 3/4 lb. of 4/4 navy cotton, 2 spools of 8/4 red and navy cotton, a significant stash of rigid heddle patterns and a few magazines. This total package is worth $378. I am willing to part with this 'warped but once' beauty for $300 or best offer. I just never fell in love with it. Contact me by leaving a comment and we will talk. I will deliver it to the next guild meeting!

Friday, February 19, 2010

This is the Way We Wash the Sheep...

And I complain about prepping one fleece? Imagine taking care of an entire flock!

Donna found this great post on washing raw fleece that she wanted to pass along. Follow that post with more information from "Ask the Bellwether" about removing twigs and hay from clean fleece.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Skirting the Issue

Donna has sent us another short link on skirting a fleece. I certainly hope you are learning as much as I am!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The Finer Aspects of Fleece

Jen has sent two documents that she will be referring to in her presentation on Sunday.

First, a chart on micron count; and second, "How Fine is a Shetland?"

Again, let me know if you have any difficulty opening the links.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

A Peek at Rare Breeds

This is a very interesting UK article about rare breeds. It opens as a Word Document so don't be alarmed when it asks you to open the article. Please be assured we practice safe computing!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Spinning Jenny has a great blog post Donna would like to share with all of you. Please scroll down a distance (after the lovely picture of the bat, yes bat, and Jenny with her tub of potatoes) and you will be in for a wealth of information.

Happy Reading!

By the way, Donna has asked that you feel free to bring in a samples of problematic fleece or questions for the program.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Skirting a Fleece

Our Program Chair, Donna Ball, will be sending us a series of articles and links this week in preparation for Sunday's meeting. We will start with some program notes and then links directly related to our program.

In an effort to keep a "green guild" the following will serve as our program notes; there will be no handouts the day of the program. If you need hard copies, please let one of the board members know and we will be happy to print them for you.

Why start with a fleece? Because you can control every aspect of its prep. You can get EXACTLY what you need to make the yarn you want.

Jenn will provide an explanation of why all fleeces are not alike, how and why we have different breeds and therefore different types of fleeces. She will also lead a discussion on how environment and deliberate breeding lead to specific characteristics with some discussion on rare breeds.

From there we will discuss the main categories of fleeces including fine, down, long/"strong", dual coated and others such as karakul and churro.

We will learn about what makes a good fleece. Jenn will lead us in a discussion of choosing a fleece based on project choice, staple length, and quality (breaks, felting, and weak areas). We will learn how age, sex and weight for the particular breed impact individual fleeces.

The presentation will also discuss the connection between fleece quality and breeding, pasture control, feeding practices and shearing.

We will finish with a discussion of skirting and washing of the fleeces. Please enjoy this and this and this on the topic!

Check back tomorrow for more articles and links!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

First You Catch a Sheep!

Remember the old rejoinder: "How do you make chicken soup? First, you catch a chicken"?

Spinning is like that, too. First you catch the sheep!

Our program presenter is Jen Johnson of Whispering Pines Farm who raises Shetlands. She will discuss how breeding, care practices, feeding, and shearing affect your yarn. Starting with a fleece, she will cover analyzing the fleece you are considering buying, skirting, separating for purpose and quality, and washing.

Jen is requesting that we pitch in with questions and personal experience. Bring everything you know or have questioned, problems, tips or tricks, as well as any books, articles or equipment that you have found useful.

For the rest of the afternoon - vendors, social time and spin-in. See you February 21, 2010 from 2:00 - 5:00 p.m.