Fiber Arts & Furry Critters

Wednesday, May 19, 2004

On Monday evening I finally washed the shetland fleece that I got from Judith Mackenzie back in March. After washing, I put it outside to dry on the picnic-table-sized screen that DH made me last year, and left it overnight. Tuesday I brought it in and spread it all over my bed to finish drying; it was looking like rain all day, but it didn't end up raining until evening. The fleece managed to finish drying on the bed, anyway.

I put the wool/mohair aside when I reached the last bobbin for the Mazurka. When I get back to it, I'll wind the full bobbins into center-pull balls so I have more bobbins to work with. For now, I'll be busy spinning up the shetland on the Majacraft Suzie Pro.

I've found that this fleece is easier to spin fine if I separate it. Here's a picture of a few handfuls of the fleece:

I take a couple of locks at a time from the fleece...

Then I hold the lighter, fluffy (cut) end in one hand, and pull out the longer, coarser fibers with the other. I'm left holding only the finer, softer fibers.

This does result in a lot of waste, because I'm sure I won't end up using the coarser fibers I pull out. I don't know why that bothers me; it's not like I don't have enough fiber to last the rest of my life already. In this case, though, I've convinced myself it's necessary. I am trying to spin a very fine laceweight here, and the coarser fibers just make my singles unnecessarily thick. I've tried it both ways, and I'll keep pulling the locks apart for now. This will be the skein that I submit for the NASSA competition.

I have to say that DH has been more than wonderful with his support. First of all, he had no objection when I added the Suzie Pro to my wheel collection. Yesterday he did something even more wonderful - he ordered me a new scale! My old one only weighs in either 1/10 oz or 2 gram increments. That means something that weighs (on my scale) 10 grams could actually weigh anywhere between 10 to just under 12 grams. The new one will weigh in 1/10 of a gram increments - certainly allows for a heck of a lot more precision. I was absolutely thrilled! It should be here by Friday; I'll be sitting in the driveway waiting for the UPS guy!


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