Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Winter Wool Workshop - Part Two

Warning - very picture heavy. I would have broken this down into three posts, but tomorrow is Yarn Along day and I'm hoping to get my Iknitarod sweater swatch done in time to post for that. At this point I don't even have the skeins wound off, so it looks like some late "training" tonight...which is good practice for the actual race :-).


We'll start the picture marathon with Miss Mira because I fully realize that most of you are only here to see her ;-D.  Yes, she really is as cute as she looks and tiny, tiny, tiny.  She and Maisie weren't far off on birth weight, but she does seem smaller than Maisie...maybe because Maisie was born larger than life ;-).


So, we started with six freshly washed fleece samples and experimented with combing, hand carding, drum carding and flick carding.  I didn't get pictures of everything, but here are some bits and pieces.


Preparing to comb.


Getting ready to pull the "top" off the combs.


Yes, we used my fancy beer cheese plastic container diz.  I am nothing if not classy ;-).


Now this is classy.  Nistock Taffy.  Just a gorgeous fleece and a dream to work with, as was Nistock Freckles who I somehow managed to not photograph either day (?).  Both were combed and drum carded.  We didn't attempt to hand card them because the staple length was so long.  Hand cards work best between three to four inches.


The pretty gray fleece was another group favorite.  Note the difference in length from Taffy.  Wool comes in many different lengths, textures, colors, crimps (curls/waves)...  This fleece was hand carded, combed and drum carded.  


Combing catches all the too short parts of the locks and any debris that might be in the fleece.  See the short bits left on the combs?  The top (long skinny stuff coming through the diz above) that pulls off is perfect.


The two white fleeces were a good challenge for the hand cards.  I'd have thought the the finer fleeces would have preferred the finer cloth (spikes closer together) cards, but we actually seemed to have better luck with a coarser set.


But the finer cloth drum carder handled them best.  Always something to learn.


Some fluffed up  Nistock Luna headed for the coarser cloth drum carder.  This was another stunning fleece.


Using the "stabber" to pull it off the drum.


After one pass through, ready for a second pass, already dreamy.


Like a cloud.


I'd forgotten I had a teasing board.  I found it when I was pulling out tools and I'm so glad I did. The board anchors to the table and you can easily flick the tips of your locks open and also catch any second cuts you may have missed when you skirted.  See how it quickly pulled off the sun bleached tips?  I am going to use this for Baaxter's fleece this spring!


A line up of beautiful, fresh from the farm fiber.  What a treat!


Nothing goes to waste.  All the leftover bits and pieces and mistakes and combing waste...got set out on the forsythia bush for the birds, because even though it sure doesn't seem like it, it's time to start putting out your collected yarn scraps and wool bits.  The babies might really appreciate some wool lined nest this spring!


17 comments:

Deb W said...

I'm not surprised. I bought two sets of hand card, one fine and one 'course' (regular). I never liked the fine set for anything, even alpaca or angora! Combing is one technique I have never tried. Maybe at next year's WWW.

Lori Skoog said...

OK OK! I could not be more impressed! Love the new baby, and hope she is doing well.

Far Side of Fifty said...

What fun! So great to see all the photos..yes that yarn looks like a clod...and Mira how cute is she in her blankie and sweater:)

Sarah said...

This is all fascinating! I love seeing this process because I love working with wool thread. '-)

Cary at Serenity Farms said...

Oh my, those fleeces look divine!

Alice said...

The combed fiber looks de-luscious !

MarmePurl said...

It was the best of days. Lots learned. Thank you Dear One. You are an amazing teacher.

I need orange said...

Oh my.

I loooooooooooooooooooooove wool. Love it raw. Love to watch it bloom in the water as the dirt rushes out. Love to see it all perfect and ready to spin. Love to watch it turning into yarn. Love to knit with it. Love to wear it.

Love the way it smells, at every stage, love the way it feels to my fingers...............

You had gorgeous fleeces to work with, and the results of your labors are gorgeous, too. What an excellent workshop.

:-)

Amy Dingmann said...

Gorgeous fleeces, gorgeous pictures. Thanks for sharing with us. :) I shall wipe the drool from my keyboard. :)

LannieK said...

Ooh, aaahhh... Beautiful! It's such an amazing process. Turns into such beautiful fluff :-) So glad theweather cooperated for you!

Michelle said...

You had me eagerly anticipating more photos; I was disappointed when I came to the end!

Sheepmom said...

Wow, you really thought of everything! I've seen less in-depth workshops at festivals! I'm happy the fleeces worked out and I can send more for your next class ;-)

Awesome pics, BTW. Worth several thousand words......

Susan Mckee-Nugent said...

OK, Orange, you and me are the total LOVERS of everything :) esp the 'scent' haha Now, that Sara is the classy one with the
original Diz!! What good work you all did and you had a good 'manager'!! Oh that Miss Mira.........a fairy princess if there ever was one. St. Blaise combs? That gave me the shivers................

Michaele said...

I would have loved to attend this! Beautiful wool and photos!

sophy0075 said...

That was very kind of you to set out the fleece bits!

I *did* appreciate the photos of the combing and carding (love your diz. I think I'll try that. Any excuse for a southerner to eat pimento cheese). And yes, I appreciated the daily Mira fix.

Miha Giustina said...

Cannot believe that I was away from you blog for so many days.... lots of catch up on.... and who is this beautiful little fellow, Miss Mira?!😍 What a gorgeous little girl!💕💕💕💕

Lisa Smith said...

What a beautiful sweater you were wearing (picture #13)! I was interested to see your "Stabber" tool; was it a "Phillips Head Stabber"? (Sounds like a good tool for the folks on Walking Dead!)

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