Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Pickwickflock...cotswold lamb fleece to yarn

Test skein
It was lovely to spin. It's soft, lustrous and a little fuzzy.

Test knit
I knitted it with 4mm Knitter's Pride Dreamz, as it got some fuzz I did try larger needles as I would do for mohair to see how it would react.

Now the real deal!!!

376 yards/150 grams
It is very nice, soft, lustrous... still need a good wash.

The final result...
washed with shampoo and rinse with some hair conditioner, then I used the salad spinner to drain off all the water and to finish a good whack.  The photo is showing it drying.

I named the first skein Big Pearl... and I think it deserved some little ribbons.

This one is even softer as I didn't twist as much as the test one, and it really does make a difference.

It even got a twin!

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Pickwickflock... processing my fleece

First thing I did was pulling the locks, so that way I can pick up any second cuts and then I put all the locks I'll be washing in my "large" salad spinner basket, filling up the kitchen sink with very hot water adding some dish soap "Dawn" original *blue  
I'm just taking the basket right into the water and do let it sit for 10 minutes, I do not let the water getting cold and I don't put too many locks so there is lot of water around,  when done all I have to do is taking the basket out and let it sit in the spinner while I fill up the sink again with very hot water for the first rinse, putting the basket back to the sink and let it sit for 10 minutes and I do another rinse the same way.  For the very dirty parts I just take it apart for a cold soak few hours and later wash as previously mentioned.
When I'm finished with the rinses I take the basket out of the water, all the water just draining off without manipulating the fleece, I put the basket in the bowl put the top on and I do spin all the water out, it's making this the easiest way to wash even if the weather is not perfect.

The same locks all dried up, you will probably notice there is still some lanolin and yes I do this on purpose as it is making the wool easier to spin, if you ever find out you "over washed a fleece just use some good quality hair conditioner while rinsing after dying or while washing after spinning, it's better than using liquid fabric softener as wool is hair after all.  I do this too with finished projects too, you can always add few drops of lavender essential oil for a fragrance on the plus side it is a natural moth repellent. 

a lock next to some tussah silk top

Combing the tips

processed on my hackle and dizzed... fluffed like a cloud

Spinning on my wheel

Thursday, 10 October 2013

Pickwickflock... Raw ram lamb fleece

Today I just received my firsts lamb flee from *Pickwickflock on Ravelry, it was fast as it's been shipped from the UK on Monday 7 and delivered in Canada by Thursday 10, it is a very nice fleece and it does smell good too, and it is soooooooooooo soft!!!!!
Nice shinny locks, average 5 inches quite long for a lamb :)

almost no vm , 
few dirty tips...
so I did a washing test...
as you can see for a first wash it's looking good

after the rinse I used a salad spinner, it's the best way to get most of the water off without hurting the locks structure,  it's not dry yet but you can see it's pearly white, lustrous, so mostly in average this won't need more than 2 washes and 3 rinses to have sparkly white tips, so it is an easy to wash fleece.  But I will see when fully dry I might just keep it that way as I want to keep some lanolin for spinning, and as per usual I always wash my yarn when done.

Monday, 30 September 2013

Fun under the sun...

I have been spinning  all summer.  Since last spring my right arm has been in pain so no knitting for me :(  I only been spinning merino giving a rest and some time to heal to that injured arm.
 Now I have lots of merino 
2 pounds of dark brown, 1 pound of golden and 1 pound of powder blue.  This was from the fibers I posted on this blog earlier, it's all washed and whacked then dried outside, now it's all waiting for some needles or crochets.

Monday, 16 September 2013

Keep your wool safe

Since I only use natural fibers and I don't buy yarn as most are dyed and dipped into pesticides to keep the moths away... well many people might find they are not allergic to wool or lanolin  but to the chemicals used at the processing mills while dying.

I simply buy few planks of red cedar, I put those in the closets and use lavender sachets in the drawers, you can always use some lavender essential oil to refresh the sachets.  The bugs won't bug you and won't feast on your wool, better be safe than sorry, this is very simple and natural no harmful chemicals.

It's not very expensive or complicate and it's working great.

Saturday, 17 August 2013

Micro Plastic

I don't buy synthetic yarns anymore, first I found having skin problems wearing synthetic fabrics and mostly it's a large source of ocean pollution. You can read this article:  Every time you are washing synthetics you are feeding the ocean plastic, then the fishes are eating it and lastly you are eating those fishes.
Cutting your synthetic fabrics and plastic use is important if we want to keep this planet alive.

Watch this video if you want to learn more about this topic.

Thursday, 8 August 2013

From Raw to Washed

Raw English Leicester fleece.
Same fleece washed, it's very nice light and soft, can't really see on the pictures but it's got luster. I really like the colour it's a mix of silver and fan on the tips.

Next fleece is a raw white English Leicester.  As you can see there is a lot of lanolin and the tips are dirty.

Same fleece washed, after 2 baths and rinses it turns light and soft with a very nice luster, I still have to comb the tips to get what's left and I did care to not taking all the lanolin off , as I might dye locks or simply spin it as and washing the yarn later and it will be pure white.

Thursday, 25 July 2013

First attempt dying locks

This is my first time dying locks, those are from an English Leicester fleece.  It was a fun experience and the result is a very nice rainbow.  I used food colouring with vinegar and about 10 minutes in the microwave.

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

More Free Patterns...

I'm giving you a link to more free patterns... a full variety of gorgeous projects.
Just click the link and then click the different covers to see all the patterns from the issues.  Knitty is a great online magazine... enjoy.

Thursday, 4 July 2013

My new spinning wheel

Ashford Country Spinner 2
I finished it with 2 coats of Tung oil and 2 coats of bees wax, now it's all set and ready to spin.

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

June's project was...

A green sweater with a touch of red for my mom.
The yarn was a mix of 30% viscose, 30% silk, 40% wool, It was inspired by drop's woodland but  I didn't made the pockets and the decorations...

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Mini Blanket for my Bodum

I like this coffee press and now even more with this mini blanket, I knitted it with a handspun I made with my CD spindle and leftover roving hand painted with food dyes.  It's simple and it really keeps my coffee warm, now I'm happy.

Thursday, 20 June 2013

If you like to crochet...

This online publication could be what you are looking for, very nice and well done.'

Sunday, 19 May 2013

Spindle from hell

I bought this Turkish spindle from Knit Picks, it is called convertible as it could be use as a high or low whorl spindle and the advantage of this spindle is to make a center pull ball.  Let me tell you I call this one the spindle from hell, it's not balanced at all.
If you look closely you can see it's not flat underneath the thicker arm, this is a very bad design as those curves are not smooth and hang to the the wool when you try to pull this part off your ball. It is poorly made and it's not worth your money and time. Even a hand made spindle with a CD works better than this.
A bamboo stick, an old CD and a hook plus some tape and voila, you can make your own spindle. 

Thursday, 2 May 2013

Cashmere sweater

 The photos been taken before blocking, I used some cashmere wool to knit it and I used the pattern Blue Lagoon Sweater from Drops but only use one colour, once it will be washed and blocked it should look way  better as it will give a little fuzz. This was my big April project. It was fun to knit, one piece sweater the only sewing is few stitches under each arms, so really no seams.

Monday, 22 April 2013

More projects from March

March was the month I crocheted more projects than I did in the entire last year. This adding to the spa set,  I crocheted one small grey neck warmer using mohair and a full size red blanket 100% wool.  It is nicely warm and light weight.  I didn't use any pattern.
For this neck warmer I crocheted a tube and folded over so it's double making it very warm.

Thursday, 4 April 2013

Spa Set

March projects 
I crocheted a pink spa set with 100% cotton, this is fast and easy and the small soap bags are so handy to hang to dry out the soap.  I didn't use any pattern.

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Hand made hackle

This is my hand made hackle, pretty easy to make with a plank of hard wood floor leftover and 74 nails, drill all the holes a tad tight then push the nails in.  It is 21" long including 1" 1/2 each side free to get enough space for the grips to hold it safely.  It works great.