Tour de Fleece

Apologies in advance for the whining, but I’m a little frustrated.

Granted, I did not manage to spin every day of the Tour, but I came pretty close (I did go on vacation for part of it, and airports don’t look kindly on long pointy sticks with hooks in the end).

So today I went to go look at the spindlers and rookies threads on Ravelry to get some inspiration for taking pictures of what I’d spun.

And discovered entire threads of pictures from people who have been spinning for 1-2 months that is perfectly balanced, even, and in huge quantities.  I’m not sure if the difference is the spinning wheels (most of the rookies have wheels), or that I have crappy spindles, or if I just absolutely suck and should not spin anymore, but I’ve been doing this for a year and can’t create yarn like that.

Needless to say, I’m not bothering to post my meagre, lousy skeins.  They’re only going to get felted anyway.

I should’ve painted my face too…

So my usual illumination stuff for Monday nights got canceled today.  Instead, I went to go hang out with the fiber arts people, who have been having fun with raw fleece.

I thought I’d be safe, since they’ve already washed the fleece and would be dyeing tonight.

I was wrong.

I now have a vat on my back porch (ok, it’s a bucket) full of barely washed fleece, indigo, and the water that we washed the fleece in – yes, the dirty stuff.  I’m apparently to let that sit on the porch in the sun for 7-10 days, stirring daily, in order to create an organic fermentation/chemical reaction that will bind the indigo (a non water-soluble dye) into my fleece.

So I’ll have blue fleece.

Otherwise, I’ll have dingy fleece and a really smelly bright blue mess.  We’ll see what happens.  Come to think of it, right now what I have is dingy fleece and a really smelly bright blue mess.  I have blue-ish fingernails too.

I also got some uncarded wool, which – at first glance – is going to be a lot of fun.  My wool cards create small rolags (rolag = fluffy bit of carded wool in a little tube), and I’m trying to spin this at a thick DK/thin worsted weight off the rolags, spinning woollen.  This means I get about 2 drops per rolag, sitting down.  However – the hand washed, hand combed fleece really does spin a lot easier than the commercially prepared rovings, I think because it’s not so compact – the lanolin might help as well.

Also, I’m not having to spin from the fold, since the rolags are prepared for spinning woolen.

Spinning takes a lot longer when you have to card all the wool first.