Sunday, May 27, 2007

From sheep to...

Who knows - we may have enough fiber here for a sweater. The sheep belongs to Debbie, who lives on Prince Edward Island. She used to live locally, but moved up there when her husband retired. She's done my hair for several years, and comes back regularly to take care of clients. Since this past Friday was the Senior Prom, she was back to do updos for her girls (DD included; she was gorgeous). She's quite aware of my fiber obsession, and that DH spins, so she brought us a fleece to work on. It turns out that the sheep is a Shetland, and is black, so we have the potential for some amazing yarn.

The process of getting from sheep to yarn is somewhat daunting. Sheep are not clean. We started by putting the fleece in our spa tub, and yes, it is the first time it's been used by us. We put an old sheet in first to keep stuff from going down the drain. One alternative was to use the washing machine; based on the VM and questionable other things in the fleece, I'd rather not have that pollute the washer.
Fleece soaking in the tub
We put the fleece through several soak and rinse cycles. This morning I took a large bowlful outside and arranged a cleaning procession. One bowl with Eucalan, and three for rinsing. That large bowlful occupies my two sweater drying screens.Drying fleece on sweater racks
DH took care of the rest in the tub - about three additional soak cycles. That fleece is drying on the two sheets. Drying fleece on a sheet
We picked out a lot of VM, but there is still a fair amount of stuff stuck to the fleece. A friend from work has a drum carder; time to beg and plead to borrow it.

DH and I are finding this all pretty humourous - it is very typical for us to try something to "see what happens". We've learned with this one - the next one is going out for processing.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Gratuitous cute animal picture

I finished the first sock, and since it doesn't look that different from the in-process pictures, the cute dog was enticed into the picture. He's looking for someone to throw his tennis ball, which I did shortly after taking the picture.Mackenzie and sock
I've added Montego Bay (Summer IK) to my knit list, and went ahead and ordered the Sea Silk in a pinky rose color. I have a pink scarf that has seen better days, and this will replace it. There are 6 inches to go on the Chevron Scarf, so better get that done before the Sea Silk arrives.

Debbie, who has taken care of my hair for years, moved to Prince Edward Island a couple of years ago, when her husband retired. She comes back every couple of months to visit family still in the area and do hair. They have a farm up on PEI. With sheep. She knows about my knitting "habit", and that DH spins, so is bringing a fleece. I'm pretty sure it's fresh off the sheep, so needs washing and skirting and whatever else it is one does with a fleece. It'll be fun, right?

Thursday, May 17, 2007

We interrupt the regularly schedule knitting

to bring you a hat. I bought the yarn in the middle of the winter because of the bright yellow color, and just decided that it was time to knit a baby hat for an expectant coworker (5 weeks to go). So progress slowed on the Chevron Scarf and Tofutsies sock while I knit this up:
I started on size 3 dpns, decided that was too loose and switched to size 2 circs, or so I thought. The circular needle was the same size as the dpns, but the hat turned out okay. The needle was a bit too short, but I managed to use a Magic Loop method. The yarn is Sandnesgarn Mandarin Petit; it's machine washable and air dry. I threw it in the washing machine to make sure; it looks exactly the same.

Back to the sock and scarf!

Friday, May 04, 2007

Alpacas go "Meep"

It was too dark to get a decent picture of the alpacas, so here are some sheep:
I'm positive that I heard an alpaca make a "meep" noise. There were two that were very watchful; standing next to each other, heads together and looking about. The weather was perfect for the fiber fest, and I love the small size. I checked out all of the vendors, then went back to make my purchases. Along the way I found Karen and Pea, and Jessie whom I met last year. We were all wearing our lace shawls, so I was glad that Icarus was with me. Note to self: wearing of lace is a great conversation starter.

My haul was under control - I brought cash and didn't even spend all of it. The yarn on the left is sock yarn from A Piece of Vermont, and on the right is alpaca from Hampden Hills Alpaca. The socks are for me and the alpaca will be a scarf for my SIL for Christmas. Any thoughts on a pattern that will show off the yarn?

The roving on the left is a Merino/Tencel from The Sheep Shed, and on the right is Coopworth pencil roving from Wild and Wooly Fibers. Last, but not least, I bought some sheep's milk cheese - yum!