Thursday, 23 June 2011

New Jacob Fleece- Follow the Process Part One

It was a gorgeous sunny day when I popped down to the South of the Island to collect my newly sheared Jacob fleece. This is the flock seeking the shade of the trees even though they really can't be too hot now they have been relieved of their winter woolly coats.

This is the sheep who "grew" my fleece for me! Obviously looked the wrong way when I snapped the photo! but at least you can see what lovely marking she has which will give me a wonderful blend of colours to spin with.

It is a large fleece and is in very good condition, in fact the sheep is a prize winner, so I'm thrilled to have such great raw material to spin a lovely quality yarn from.

This photo shows you the underside of the fleece. I hope you can see the "hand" quality. Hand is the term used to describe how the wool feels, initial feeling is that this fleece is springy, soft and pleasant. I shall be sorting the fleece according to it's variations in fineness, fibre length and crimp.

You can see the crimp in this photo. When I spin the yarn I will also be selecting by colour as I want to mix by plying a handspun "black" with a handspun "white" bobbin together to produce a blended yarn.

I plan to lightly wash a small section of the fleece to assess it further, but as it is so lovely and fresh I think that I will be able to spin it "in the grease" with ease.

Monday, 13 June 2011

A Breezy Day On The Solent.

On Saturday we had a little sail in the Solent. Having checked the weather and coastal forecasts we knew that a big fat weather front was approaching for the weekend carrying lots of well needed rain for the Island.

So Skipper planned a short sail out on the Solent while the wind was still manageable for our small Sunstar 18.

Once out of the river Medina we had a good SW F3-4 and we raised full sails and creamed along making 4-5 knots of speed.

I like to think we gave this lovely "Round The World Clipper" yacht a run for her money! sailing on the same tack together before she sped off- well she was much bigger than our 18foot and had a lot more sail area, especially when her crew raised a third sail!

The wind blew stronger the more we headed to the North shore and the sea was pretty lumpy out in the centre of the Solent. We tacked around heading back to the Island shore and lowered our mainsail and sailed under jib only. We were in more sheltered waters here and making 3 knots we leisurely made our way back to Cowes.

Arriving at " Cowes Roads" the entrance to the harbour just as both the Red Funnel High Speed Red Jet and the Car Ferry were passing.

Also spotted this Helicopter which had landed on a very small space on the harbour wall!

The pilot was taking photos of his amazing feat too!

Sailing back up the river under jib only was a bit tricky as the wind was swinging through a westerly and then southerly direction, but here on the Island the sun was still shining.

Back on our mooring we had a delicious late lunch of Cornish pasties, hot coffee and a generous slice of ginger cake.

The Isle Of Wight Music Festival was on all this weekend just up the river and when the weather is good we sleep aboard on our mooring, enjoy listening to the music, have a glass of wine and cook our supper on board. Sometimes we take the dinghy up a little closer to view the big screen of the main stage from the water.

Not this year, we knew what was forecast...

Heavy rain and F7 Winds

Skipper little planned quick sail before it was too windy was excellent. Sunday was a snug day at home happily watching the rain "water" my garden. Those poor Festival goers, hope they enjoyed the weekend all the same.

Thursday, 2 June 2011

Retained The Cup For Weaving!

I'm very pleased to say that I have won;

The Marleen Upson Memorial Cup For Weaving for the second year running!

It was presented to me by the Isle Of Wight Spinners, Weavers and Dyers Guild.

The following photos are the stages of the winning item in creation on my loom.

My inspiration, my beautiful new rambling rose in my garden, just coming into bloom.

I chose the colours of the warp

Warped up the loom.

Weaving in wide stripes of multi colours

A close up of the woven fabric.

On display.

The finished piece makes a lovely table runner or small throw to decorate a chair or drape at the foot of a bed. It's soft muted and blended colours of early Summer gives a warmth and easy country style.