Saturday, June 23, 2012

A fine day

This week, on our regular spinning day, I took the day off work so that I could enjoy our year-end outing. The ladies usually like to plan a little trip somewhere to go and spin and have lunch. This year, we travelled about an hour south of the city to a small farm of a spinner. It was a lovely day, with sunshine and gorgeous blue skies! We haven't seen that for ever so long. But being the first day of summer, we were so fortunate in getting this. I do think, however, that this may have been our summer! For the forecast for the next seven days is clouds and rain. Great.

The lady at the farm has a couple of sheep, of unknown heritage. They are free range, and there wasn't any control of which ram bred which ewe, so there is a large mixture of probably everything in these. She had one fleece there for us to play with. She had a pot of dye on the stove, and welcomed any of us to take a handful and dye it. She also told us to take some home with us, if we wished.

I did take a lock and spin it on my spindle. It is quite a long staple, with good crimp, and fairly fine quality. After spinning 2-3 locks, I decided I would take some home, wash it, and spin something fine with enough yarn to knit a small delicate something.

Here is a pic of the washed fleece. It wasn't too dirty, although some sections had a bit of VM in it. I tried to pick out the better section, and the longer staple. I washed it with some soapy water, not very hot, so there is quite a lot of lanolin still in it. Feels nice on the hands as I spin! I was careful to pull out the locks and lay them out all in the same direction as best I could. I combed each lock, laid them out together, and then made some roving out of them.
Keeping the direction the same, I spun the singles keeping the hairs all in the same direction. I could very easily tell if there was some hairs that were turned around, for it didn't flow as smoothly.

What will I do with it? I'm not sure yet. I will make a 2-ply and then see. I don't know how much I will get out of this small handful. But I am getting good yardage out of the little bit I have spun so far -- and so I should, seeing how fine I am making it!! I may have enough for a short scarf or something like that. That is yet to come.