Thursday, 5 December 2013

Spinning Hurricane

I had a bit of a busy crafting day last week.

Remember the alpaca yarn I made from raw fleece in the summer?  Well, I gave that yarn to my sister a couple of weeks ago so she could show it to the owner of Hurricane (the alpaca the fibre came from).  That spurred me on to getting the sack of raw fleece and carding some more.

I spent the morning off and on, in between other jobs around the house, carding.

I was sensible and lay down a piece of sheeting on the smaller table and then a couple of sheets of the Daily Mail (it seems quite fitting to use that particular sensationalist newspaper to brush grit, dirt and muck onto!) and started pulling pieces of fleece out of the sack, flicking them open to de-tangle and get as much dirt out as I could and then put the pieces through my drum carder.

I carried on like this for most of the morning and by the time it was lunchtime, I had a batt of around 50g which I carefully peeled off the drum and rolled up.

I told you alpacas are mucky creatures didn't I.  I've read that they do enjoy a mud/dust bath!

See the brush in the top left o the photo?  I don't have a proper brush that fits on my drum carder, but I'd read of people using a wallpaper brush to smooth the carded fibres down, enabling a bigger batt to be made.  You can see how grubby the brush was getting.  On the right are my hand carders.  The bits of fleece that I haven't put through the drum carder I've been hand carding into rolags for future use.

At 3.30pm, DD2 came home from school and after a snack, started to 'help' me.  At first, she turned the handle of the drum carder (once I'd explained that she needed to do it slowly), but after I'd popped into the kitchen for whatever reason, I came back into the lounge and she'd got my flick carder and was trying to brush bits of fleece, so I showed her what to do and she seemed to enjoy that for a while.

When it was time to pack everything away, tidy up and prepare dinner, we'd done a pretty good job between us and DD2 had even made a batt of yarn.

The two on the left are mine (a total of around 100g).  The lumpier one on the right I'll probably pull apart and hand card as I don't think it's spinnable in its current state!

I've started spinning some of it, but as you know, all my crafting efforts are expected to be put into DD2's pink sweater at the moment so progress is a bit slow.  I might do some spinning in a little while, so don't tell her!

Here's what I've spun so far:

Forgive the plastic bag hanging off the end of my wheel.  I have to put fleece and fibre in bags and keep them close to my wheel otherwise they tend to disappear and I find Jess with bits of fluff hanging from her mouth, or DD2 sitting at the dining table playing with it.

The photo of the spun yarn looks cleaner than it is.  I have to stop spinning every now and then to wash my fingers as they get very grubby.  The yarn's currently a beige colour but I know that once it's spun and plyed and has been washed, it will come out a beautiful off-white colour.

All this activity means I'm very disorganised crafting-wise at the moment.  I've finished knitting my grey Reine cardigan, but need to sew in ends and sew on buttons.  I've finished a pair of socks but haven't sewn in the ends of those and I started a scarf a few weeks ago that I was going to show you, but haven't got round to photographing yet.  On top of that, I need to clear out the corner where I keep my current crafting projects.  We have a hollow, bottomless footstool that it all goes in, but that's in the corner where we'll be putting up our Christmas tree at the weekend.  I'm also going to have to find somewhere to re-locate my wheel to as it will be too close to the tree.

The run-up to Christmas seems to be so busy, doesn't it!  Oh well, I'd better get on and 'do' - the washing machine's just finished its first cycle of the day.

1 comment:

  1. This was fascinating to read. I'm surprised by how much dirt came from the wool! My mother-in-law spins and I enjoy watching her but I don't know a lot about the process, I just enjoy the mesmerizing experience of watching someone spin. I would like to learn someday though and I am sure she'd teach me. Thank you for sharing your experience.