Sunday, July 10, 2011

Sheep to yarn

As promised here is what happened to our Banky boy.

First and obviously,,, he was humiliated beyond belief!  MAAAAA Unfortunately the children had to help hold him so they weren't free to take photos... but as you can see from those eye's he's degraded and wanted to run off and hide.  So that's just what he did.  As soon as he was released he ran to his spot in the barn.  Poor dear boy.  I know he's happy to be without that massive winter coat though even if it was only 6 months worth.  Turns out he's got this growth thing,,,, you can see his old owner in the striped shirt there... she nicked it... and then came the flood GROSSNESS!!!!  You probably don't want to hear but she just pinched and this massive snake of lanolin (least that's what she said it was, doesn't smell like lanolin to me!) came out and kept coming out GROSS!  YUCKO!  It was so disgusting.  The good news is she talked with the children the entire time and taught them a thing or three about what all Banky needs as far as care goes.  The sheering took all of one hour!  It went really fast.
     Then the fleece came inside... here I am plucking the nasties and the second cut.  There was a lot of fox tails, beetles and what we call OClocks... the little weed that has an arrow that splits into 6 and then each of the 6 curls independently with a very sharp point on the end.  DS and I sat there and plucked for about 1 hour with the object of getting it into the sink.  This is only 6 months of fleece so I figure it's about 3 pounds.
I'm pretty lax about this process and know that my health will only allow a few hours of work so I have to work fast.  In went the Dawn out came the dirt... loads of dirt.  WOW so much dirt.  The fleece gets whiter and goes into the dye pot (on the left) which then goes onto the stovetop.
 Here are two examples of the dye pots.  I just add dye, vinegar, bring it to a boil, turn it down, cover and heat for about 30 minutes.
    These are dyed by just putting more and more dye into the pot
until I'm happy with the results.
The black also the green on the right was several different types of greens put into the pot.

On the left you see my sweater... the green didn't show well in the photo it's the one up on the right... and a more true representation of it.  I had thought to go with a lighter more subdued blue but I just can't see to be anything but a drama queen.  The entire thing from sheep to the photos you see took all of 2 more hours!  I can hardly believe it but there you are.
    The next day after the fleece was a bit drier we would have started sooner had I not wanted to ruin the dryer with all the smell of lanolin.... so then we started the clean up process.  I'm sure you can see a bit of VM here and there.  The only way to deal with it is with either hand or machine... I did try the hand carders but ended up with the children running it through the drum carder a few times.  We started with the pink and green.  I want it for a hat as it's still got a great deal of lanolin in it and so any article made from this fiber will be water proof!
Here we have the batts fresh from the drum carder and on the right you can see a bit of it on the bobbin... below the finished product... it's more subdued then the photos show but I couldn't get an exact replica.  Soon there will be a hat from it.  I decided to spin lofty and make a 2ply that resembled a DK or sport weight... deciding and doing are two different things.  I was very slow and methodical on the greener one but come to the pink I ended up thinner and tighter with the level of tension in the house.  It's difficult to spin lofty and thicker once you are used to spinning lace weight!   It's just another skill set so I shall acquire it.


Lastly I promised you photos of my silk outfit.  Here they be.  I didn't like the photos of me so here you have the top on me and the skirt on DD.  It's got a drawstring so it worked.  She's REALLY tall now so you can see this is definitely a floor length number.  It was very simple and I'm sure you can make one yourself.  Just make a gauge swatch, measure, multiply and cast on then just TRY to stop knitting,,, I challenge you.  Have fun.

 DS took a close up photo of me... I hated it as my face is wracked with pain... the only part I liked was the smile so here you have my smile of great enjoyment from playing with Bankys donation.  What fun we will have spinning up all this lovely numminess!

1 comment:

  1. That's a lot of fleece! He's beautiful! The colors are striking and you've made a beautiful skein of yarn. Would love to see the rest after you spin them!
    Your outfit is so pretty! Love the accent ribbon, too; it adds just the right touch.