It's been busy around here. I spent yesterday in the first step of processing that fleece which meant laying it out on a sheet so that all cut sides were down and tip ends up. This took a bit since it'd been compacted into a box from Colorado to be shipped here. Next, I gathered pieces into 12x15 zippered mesh bags, the kind you get at Dollar Tree 3 for a buck. I bought 12 and filled them all; this accounted for about a quarter of my fleece.
Next I put it into water in containers in my backyard where it's soaking until tomorrow to get the first round of goop out. My friend Mary says this is an exceptionally clean fleece and it might take only 1 soaking before we wash.
Last Saturday I went to a Dye Class that Mary taught for the Spinners on the River Guild. It was very cool in that each of the 10 folks there chose a different color to recreate then followed the recipe out of Mary's master book and to get the shade. Each of us got a card from one another with the recipe written out, including any variances we found that day that affected the final colors. It was amazing. I chose shades of green (go figure) and set about making my dye. I ended up with this amazing Big Bird screaming yellow. THEN, I put it into an indigo bath for 5 minutes. The interesting thing about indigo is that it requires oxygen to complete the color change. You can imagine what people inside the University of Memphis thought to see a bunch of adult women out on the lawn spinning lengths of yard madly to get the oxygen into them. It was a sight to put it mildly. The end result was almost exactly the same as the master book. My variances were 90 minutes cooking instead of 60 and 1 indigo dip instead of 2. I'm very happy with the results and wish I had a bunch of undyed yarn and the materials to recreate this colorway at home.
Sunday was Spinning Guild and our program was on short fibers. We had samples of yak, cashmere, cotton, denim, New Zealand opossum with gorgeous merino to blend it all with. I brought home little samples of everything and spun a few inches of opossum and merino while there on my drop spindle. Short fibers aren't my favorite yet. I mostly spun a batt of some blue roving that came with my wheel. It has a sister batt in a ruby shade of the same fiber blend; I'll probably ply the two to get more yardage. I still have no clue how many yards I will get out of anything I try to spin.
Finally, I spun some raw alpaca and got 7 good yards (don't laugh, I really struggle with raw locks still!) to send into the Spin Off thing by June 1st.
In between all this I am knitting the now never ending sweater, a market bag for Mary, a gift for an upcoming shower and the nefarious second sock. Obligatory knitting content inserted.
Serene Cat Photo