Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Spinning and Romney wool.

 This is that Romney fleece before washing it. Pretty clean really. It's beautiful and soft!

                                    This is after washing it. Can't wait to start spinning this now. Amazing!

                I just finished plying the blue and white together. Now I can get busy spinning more.

It is freezing outside. And the wind is blowing. I actually walked over here with my "regular" shoes on. The mud is frozen solid. But I cannot spin with shoes on. I have to be either bare foot or with socks. And I think I need to put my wheel on a little rug. It likes to go for a wlk when I'm spinning. Very bad wheel.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

It's snowing!

 Last night, the sheep wanted to go back to the North side and the shelters. They knew it was going to snow. But there's no hay over there right now. It's in the south pasture, out in the field. They don't mind snow and light rain. But the wind they don't like. The alpacas head to the barn when it starts raining though. They're so funny, those guys.

                                                Can you spot Sugar in this group of sheep?

                                                         Misha looks so cute with snow on him.

My very favorite ewe, Campbelle. She's the sweetest girl. She likes to eat out of the container, so I have to save some for her. She's the smallest ewe, so she has the hardest time getting to all the feed in the trough. So she's special and gets a little extra love.

                                    This is the goats, running out to say hello to me this morning.

Then they quickly realized it was snowing and cold, so they turned right around and went back inside their little goat barn!

Here is a beautiful Romney fleece I bought last year from Windswept Acres. It mush have been coated, because there was hardly any VM at all. Isn't this beautiful? I really want to look for a Romney ram soon to breed my Finn ewes. I just think that would be some amazing fleece.

Well, now the sun is out and the birds are singing! Snow is all gone. But it's SO COLD! And windy. Great day to stay inside and play with wool, right?

Monday, February 8, 2016

Making rolags

 I think that's what these little balls of roving are called. Whatever they are, I love them.

But I do not love these evil combs. If I'm not careful and get to going to fast, I get stabbed. And it hurts bad! But I do love how it makes this messy wool into something so beautiful and soft, so fast. With not too much waste. I think I'm going to make pillows with the thrift store wool sweaters and use all the waste from combing for stuffing. Just gotta get started. I also have a few fleeces that aren't very good to spin with, that I could use for stuffing pillows with.

Isn't this amazing? I wish you could feel how soft it is. And I really love spinning this too. There are no bumping places and it also gets out all the little bits of stuff that I can never seem to get all out of the wool.

This little thing I am using for a diz is a glass piece  that was a key chain a friend brought me from one of her trips to another country a few years back. It makes a perfect diz for making the roving. And I use the smallest little crochet hook to pull the wool though the hole to get it going.

I have already spun the basket full of rolags I made last week from Buttercup's wool. Need to make more now.

I went to town today to shop and pay bills because the next few days are going to be COLD and we might get some snow. So I am staying at home! I do not like getting out among the crazy people who do go out in weather like that. So I shall stay home and work here in my studio til it's done. It's only supposed to be in the 30's and 40's all week here. My last electric bill for my studio was twice as much as our house. We heat with wood over there and the bill was just $80. Here in my studio, I have wall heaters (old ones) and a new radiator type heater. I just ran 1 wall heater and the radiator heater to keep it warm over here. This past bill was $161. UGH! The man that built this house used a little pot belly stove, so there was a little hole in the roof for the pipe. But when we had the new roof put on, they went over it. I'd love to have a little wood heater over here.

I hope y'all have a great week, where ever you are. Stay warm!

Saturday, February 6, 2016


 This is Buttercup. She'll be 3 this April. She's about 95% Finn. Her wool is amazing!

This is her wool from last year. It's like silk, it's so soft. I made a lot of combed top from this so far. I have a whole other full tote just like this of hers to work with.

I had a good sized basket full of these little clouds of fibery goodness. It is a joy to spin this too, let me tell you. A pure joy!

Here is some all spun up. I take my wheel and wool with me to Mrs. T's on Friday and Sunday, so I can spin there. It's so peaceful and not many distractions.

This is some of Buttercup's wool with that blue BL lamb roving I bought at SAFF. It's so pretty and soft. I have another 2 oz. of roving to spin and I'll make another skein of this. This is about 75 yds.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

First flower

I saw this daffodil a few days ago. It was just starting to open up. I got it today and put it in this vase and it's in my nice clean kitchen. The first sign of spring to me! Although the birds are busy looking for nests already.

This is a clock my friend Beth gave me years ago. I've always kept it on the stove. It got a good cleaning today too. I love to hear it ticking. And the chicken's head goes up and down. I love this clock. It's pretty old.

A clean kitchen

Last night, I stood in my kitchen, looking at the door. It was horribly dirty. The stove is very near the door, so it gets lots of grease and stuff on it. Then I looked at the tall cabinet next to the door, in between the door and stove. It's horribly dirty too. Then I looked at the stove. And the floor. And the cabinets. And walls. My whole kitchen is a mess!!! I don't know, but the past several years, I have not been a good house cleaner. I do what I have to do of course. But with dogs that shed like crazy, and dog hair ALL over the house, it's messy. I don't even mop. I figure, why bother? The dogs are worse than kids really. And with all the mud outside, and dogs going in and out, it gets messy. We sweep and vacuum and stuff like that. But not deep cleaning. Well, today was the day!

After breakfast, I started in on that kitchen. Started with the door. Then the cabinet. Then the stove. Then I got under the stove and cabinet. Got the hand held vacuum and got corners. Got the counters. And walls. It's so clean now! And now I want to paint! I never have painted the long cabinets. Or even put pulls on them. And the walls haven't been painted since we first moved in there. Ugh, there is still much more to do. But the floors are mopped! And it's clean for awhile! And it feels so good!!

I went to the farmer's market yesterday. Got a chicken. I'm going out to the garden and pick some kale. I love to put a big bunch of kale under the chicken and roast it a few hours. It's amazing! Y'all should try it. Put some cloves of garlic in the kale and chicken too.

Oh, I keep forgetting to tell about the pottery class I'll be starting the end of Feb. I'm so excited about this class! It's an 8 week class on Tuesday nights. I have always wanted to learn how to make mugs and bowls and plates. I also want to learn to make yarn bowls. I love them. So this should be fun. I went the other day to put my deposit in. So I am in! And ready to get in the clay.

I'm also going to a basket weaving class in March, taught by our friend Bill Haley.

This was the sunset a few nights ago. So beautiful.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Lots of wool.

I still have some fleeces that needed to be washed. This is Annabelle's. The 1st is before washing. The 2nd picture is after. I'm not the best fleece washer. I just use Borax and blue Dawn. I wash a few times, then rinse. I see a huge difference, but the tips are still a bit dirty.

I plan to dye some of the whiter wool sometime soon. I want to use natural dyes. I also have some Jaquard dyes too. So I will be experimenting. I would love to grow a dye garden too. I want lots of flowers anyway, for the honey bees.

This is some of Amarillo's wool. With some of Sugar, the alpaca. So about 25% alpaca. It's so soft. So this took me a few weeks to do. And this is not even a little part of her wool. There is SO MUCH MORE!!

This is Buttercup's wool. 2 totes full! I just don't know how I'm going to get all this spun up. Plus I have about 16 more fleeces in totes just like this.

This is some roving I bought at SAFF. BFL lamb. It's so pretty. This is just 1 of the rovings. I bought 2 like this. So I have some really pretty tan colored alpaca. I thought I might spin some of that with some white and ply them together. I'll see what it looks like first. But I think the dark blue with some tan would look pretty.

This is some that I bought last year. I can't even remember what it is. But it's really pretty. And long! It's in the washer right now. I think I'll use my combs to get this made into roving.

                                                              Look how pretty this is! I love it.

So, I think I'm fighting a loosing battle here with all this wool. There is just no way I could have all this spun by the time the next shearing comes around in May. It's a little overwhelming, just looking at it all. I think I'll start looking around here for a mill that's close enough to drive to. I was thinking if I could just get it made into roving, it would be so much more manageable fr=or me. Because the preparation is what takes so long for me. I'm not really liking my little drum carder. So I have been using hand combs. You know how long that takes to just get enough for 2 bobbins? A LONG TIME!

Anyway, that's all I've been thinking about lately. Wool. If anyone knows of a good mill close enough for me to drive to, please let me know. I think there's one in Ga. but I just have to find it. And in N.C. And another near Nashville.

So back to washing wool and spinning! Have a great week y'a;;!