Tuesday, January 26, 2010

A Sheep With Texture

I guess this texture would be "drowned rat". The weather here has been just awful and I felt sorry for the three musketeers braving the cold rain over the weekend. I believe they've told Hank about living in the house as babies, because that's a "couldn't we all please join you in front of the fire in the wool house" look if I've ever seen one.

The texture I'm actually referring to is Crazy Esther's. She's had a wonderfully soft, almost fine, fleece, but at her advanced age, it's no longer in good shape. She and her fleece are fragile and terribly sunbleached and if you handed me this bag, I'd know instantly it was Esther. We love her anyway, like the Velveteen Rabbit.

Even though I could probably pick through and salvage some "decent" locks, I decided that I wanted to spin a yarn that looked like Esther. My first experiment was to just run some through the picker and spin it straight from there.

Definitely the right texture, but her coloring is no longer quite that distinctly white and gray.

Here was some I ran through the drum carder - next to the original yarn for contrast.

I played with the white balance on my camera and this is actually a truer representative of the colors. The picked yarn is on the left; carded yarn on the right. The dark seemed a bit too dark for Esther, so I ran some of the picked yarn through the carder and came up with a lighter gray.

Here are all three knitted swatches. The dark is definitely too dark. The mottled is a bit too mottled. The medium gray is about right, but doesn't have as much texture as I'd hoped for.

Any thoughts?


DayPhoto said...

No suggestions on the wool, but I enjoyed the photo of the three boys. I think you are so right...can't they please come in and be with you!


Michelle said...

Just admiration; I think all three swatches are lovely in their individuality! And that photo of the boys - priceless.

Joanna@BooneDocksWilcox said...

so you're trying to knit something to remember Crazy Esther by? Give that old gal a hug for me.

Joanna@BooneDocksWilcox said...

you didn't send me your address for the Holiday Mail for Heroes prize, can I steal it off here so I can send your cards
I am clueless about what youe are saying but yes. Some of YOUR cards? omg!
Joanna Wilcox
POB 2317
Boone, NC 28607
(and put your return address on there)

Teri said...

I think they are all nice ... And would love to knit up a nice warm cowl for the cold weather that is coming back our way!
I also have a few wet woolies ... every once in a while you get one or two that just have to tough it out ... when they could be in a nice warm barn.
Stay warm!

Christine said...

I have no clue how to help, but I just wanted to say I love Crazy Esther. And why won't you let those poor boys in there with you? I'll bet they would like to help.

Tammy said...

What a trio! I just love how Hank has formed an alliance with Grahms and Keebs. Priceless. Just goes to show you can find friends anywhere.

Alice said...

"The old grey hair it ain't what it used to be..." is what came to mind. I think the colors are lovely in the pictures. Only Lady Clairol might provide uniform color ;-)

Those boys look so pouty in the picture. Maybe some extra 'nilla wafers would make them smile. Too bad you put carpeting in the wool house, then they could come and sit beside you all toasty and warm.

Anonymous said...

I cannot imagine the stench of those three in warm confinement! Wet dog x 2 wet sheep. Oh. My.

I am amazed at the wool; I always am at spinning. No wonder witches always spun, it is so magical. I am afraid I have no idea how you can get both the colo[u]r and texture you want. I hope you have the resources to find out. I am looking forward to seeing what you discover.


lisa said...

It still looks like beautiful fiber to me!

Claire said...

I wonder if plying a strand of the mottled with a strand of the light grey would give you a combination of the texture and the colour that you are seeking?

thecrazysheeplady said...

Bingo! Great idea Claire. Thanks :-).

flowerweaver said...

They all look good to me! Maybe you need an addition to the wool house with a cozy fireplace and tile floor for special ones on days like this? You could have a sheep-high Dutch door and they could hang their heads over like Mr. Ed the talking horse!

Ed said...

Very cool, should have saved this one for Sunday Stills..:)

cyndy said...

Too bad you couldn't lather, rinse and repeat in all that weather you are having...

Your yarn has wonderful things happening in it! No matter how many years I spin, I'm still interested in seeing how colors in the wool "work up" in to the finished yarn. You are on the right track..sample, sample, sample!


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