Friday, April 29, 2016

Fibre Friday

As you might be able to guess from my prolonged absence I've been a little busy. My usual damselfly activities of flitting from one thing to another plus a whole raft of family visits seem to have eaten my life! I've even been out in the garden finally after avoiding my usual spring duties apart from harvesting the early produce. Much more work is needed but I have to build up to it slowly. I prefer nibbling away at it anyway rather than go all out and risk hurting myself. Self-preservation becomes ever more important as we age, doesn't it?

One of the nibblings has been the Arcott/Romney blend wool that I'm prepping to spin. The Arcott has been teased and carded into batts and now I'm onto the baby Romney. This is a fleece I bought ages ago and washed in locks carefully in little net packets. I think I was planning to comb it. However now I need to card it to blend equally with the Arcott. The cut ends are matted enough to make it harder to tease in the normal way and the tip ends are a bit dirty still. So I hit upon the best way to deal with this - flick carding. First I pull the bunches into smaller locks:

The small sections are much easier to hold and flick. In order to avoid pulling off too much waste I put a twist in the lock and grip that with my fingers. Flick the tip end:

It looks so pretty all fluffed out!

And check out how much dirt falls out! Flip the lock around (hanging onto the twist still) and flick the butt end:

The whole lock is now open and runs through the drum carder like a dream.

My flicker is a Woolhouse and I've had it for at least 25 years. I used it during many a sheep-to-shawl competition! It has held up very well considering the amount of wool it has processed over the years. The plastic lap board underneath was recycled from something or other and saves damage to clothing or furniture. Here's the little bit of waste left after flicking the lock. Short bits and neps that you don't really need in the yarn.

I still have plenty more of this fleece to process but the carding and blending will go quickly once I'm done.

What else? I'm weaving on the third of the six tea towels. Nearly halfway there and I'm very happy with how they are turning out. The Still Dark tunic has a sleeve and a half to go. I'm knitting in more decreases than the pattern calls for since the sleeve seems wider than my skinny arms prefer. This tunic is a relaxed fit anyway but I don't want to swim in it. And the Falklands wool is about 3/4 spun up. I'm going to need it for my next sweater so I'd like to finish spinning it soon. Though I haven't been working on it as much as I should.

Never a dull moment around here! And it's always Fibre Friday. And Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday as well...


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