Thursday, 23 August 2012

Hot Weather and some UFOs

 It's not often, but now and again the weather is so gloriously hot and there isn't enough breeze to go sailing we find ourselves on board in need of a sunshade.
We use our old groundsheet as a Bimini by slinging it over the boom and tying it down with bits of old rope which we always have stowed aboard- you can never have enough bits of old rope, very useful.

 Washing the decks, a spot of fishing, catching up on our reading and a good picnic lunch was the order of the day. Lazy days of Summer....
As for my UFOs (UnFinished Objects)! This Summer I seem to have started so many makes and they are all piling up waiting for finishing. Hand knitting is so portable, I can grab a ball of yarn, some needles and my imagination and Cast on and Cast off!
However to block, sew up, press or felt, decorate and label to complete my items ready to sell I need to be in my work room for these tasks to achieve a professional finish. In the photo are soon to be hand warmers, headbands, socks and handfelted bags.

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Wash, Card, Spin Alfresco!

 It's a great time of the year to get out in the garden and work on this season's fleeces. I have three large and one little yearling Jacob fleece to spin. So I started on smaller fleece, it's fibres are fairly short, however it is lovely and soft being the first shearing. It will be interesting to see how much yarn I can make from it.

 First job; to wash lightly just to remove the dirt as I want to spin this "in the grease". As I get my fleeces from a farm where the owner of the flock is a spinner herself, the fleeces are always in good order and nicely "prepared on the sheeps back" so to speak and carefully sheared.

 Second job; when thoroughly dried in the sunshine I'm ready to card the fibres.

 I tease the wool to clear any small bits or lumps and then I use my hand carders to comb the fibres so as they are light, fluffy and uniform.

 My airy rolags are now ready to start spinning into yarn.

I decide to spin the darker wool first. After filling two bobbins, I ply the singles together to make my yarn. It is very relaxing spinning in the garden listening to the bird song and enjoying the sunshine.  I usually do all my carding outside as it always makes a bit of a mess with bits of fibre, fluff  etc. (in the colder months I will light my little chiminea to keep my hands warm as I work).
 Summer spinning alfresco is a joy and I hope to work on my fleeces this way more often!

A few days later; The finished yarn worked in the garden that sunny day. Having been skeined, washed and allowed to dry in the fresh air.