Sunday, December 14, 2008

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alicia in Hawaii

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Wool for Embroidery

Now that I've started with embroidery, I've been thinking of spinning my own embroidery threads/ is all that wool?

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Stuck In Limbo

Well, all the fluff and wool is stuck in limbo for a little while. All of the pretty clean fleece was packed up and moved with our household items and is now nestled in boxes (plastic and cardboard) awaiting carding, combing and spinning. It's, uh, 83 degrees spinning wool isn't the first thing to pull out and start on. ;)
We've been snorkeling...trying to fit all our little crafty projects into the limited space we have here doubled up living with family, and getting our wood craft items out and ready to work with. Take a peek at our WoodWorks blog to see any new items so far.
I'll be pulling out the knitting and spinning soon. We thought we'd do some painting, then woodwork, then maybe some amigurumi, then back to knitting (I did make some 'flip flop' socks and kilt hose), then back here to spinning and wool processing. I've sure missed ALL that open space in my EMPTY house!

Saturday, July 22, 2006

The Road of Wool

My Road of Wool
Keep your sofas, recliners and tvs...
nothing makes for better decor,
then clean, soft, whispy wool.

This fleece decorates two sides of the room.

The brown is from the same fleece, Melody has a 'spot'.


And the Play Goes On...


Play, Play, Playing in the Wool N Fluff

What can I say?
The whispy parts are not felted, they are the soft wool just looking as they do when drafting.

Rearranging the overall area...and excuse to get my hands back in it all.

A picture is worth a thousand words.

It goes on...and on...

Fun in the Wool N Fluff!

All that clean wool! I LOVE this part!
Actually, I have found that I really like to wash wool. I'm weird, I know. I like the smell of wet wool. I'm a bagpiper too, so, the kilt must have something to do with it! ;)

I usually pull out a section from the laundry bag, pull, tease, pick the locks just a little, and try to set them out evenly, with enough space to air out while drying. I try to keep the sections of wool together. I'm not sure why though. I know that parts of a fleece are softer and so forth, but I'm really not trying to keep an 'area' together. I guess I just want all the locks to stay with their 'neighbors'...hahaha!

See...the little locks are there...pulled a little...all nicely clean and fresh! Each fleece is different. Each type of wool is different. I have an adventure awaiting me each time I wash a fleece.
This one, by the way, is a 3/4 merino, Melody.

Gently...pull and fluff...
I am in my own world while I do this part.
Nothing can disturb me when I am this involved with the clean wool.

Release The Wool!

Here's the moment I've been waiting for! Notice, no gloves!
OOOhhhh, AAAAAhhhh, nice clean soft!

Zip open the bag...

Let the bundle out onto the mest rack...

And Release The Wool!
Whoo Hooo!

My Drying Stage...The Living Room

We have no furniture. Anyone who is unaware of this at this point, see the side links of the blog and read my Hurricane Katrina blog.

This absence of furniture, gives me a GREAT drying stage. You won't believe your eyes!

This is one wall of the living room.
The other walls look the same!
Yes, that is black tree mesh stretched over rubbermaid tubs. (Those tubs hold all our stuff for evacuation by the way.)
Yes, those are our Pepsi cans holding the mesh still.
Hey, did I mention that we are artists and woodworkers and create handy dandy stuff from whatever we can find ;)

Just another view. See the wool waiting to be let loose on the drying 'rack'?

Before Running Away...

Take care of the washer! You may actually have to wash clothes in it sometime soon.

I set the washer to a full LONG wash...

Add some Dawn, (for the sheep oils)

Add some laundry soap (just because)...

and let the whole washer run a complete cycle, empty. When that wash cycle is done, my washer is good to go for regular laundry.

Keep in mind that both my hubby and I really don't care as much about our everyday clothes as we do about art and creating things. We are 'jeans and t-shirt' people, so a little sheep left over for us is no big deal. However, I haven't had any troubles yet with the regular laundry even resembly 'sheep'. It's all good!

The Wool is "Done"

All that hullabaloo is done...there is nothing left to do but open the lid of the washer and lift out the wool bags. I never know what I will find!

Lift it out, no water dripping...the locks look far.

Another is out, no felting.

As they come out of the washer, I put them in the dishpan.

All looks good! No water, no felting!

And everything is a sparkling white!

Cross Your Fingers, Hope for the Best

I find the very start of the spin cycle...set the machine...

Close the lid, it starts to whirl...and I hold my breath!

And, look how 'little' the cycle has moved along...I do NOT let it spin for too long. All that has to happen at this stage is a little 'press' to get the excess water out of the wool and down the drain goes the water.

Cross you fingers! Hope it works...

Many Rinses Later...Layers to Spin

After a few rinses that produce clear water, it's time to spin the water out of the wool. I just use the washing machines spin cycle to press the water out...although I sometimes am taking a chance that the wool will felt...I think that it's a good trade off. If the wool felts from a spin in the washer, then I probably don't want it for yarn to dye or wool locks to dye would never make it through the dyeing process if it felts that easily, for me anyway, that is 'true'.

Empty the washer...

I start with a single layer of wool bags. I try to spread the wool fluffs out while in the bag, so that the wool and the bags make a 'ring' around the center of the washer drum.

The bag and fluff just rest at the bottom of the washer.

One full layer, or round, looks like this.

Sometimes there is enough wool to go around a second layer, so I just place those in a second 'ring' around the drum. does it spin?

Friday, July 21, 2006

See the Progress

The water will run clearer as the wool is getting cleaner.

Here's a peek at the vegetable matter (vm) in the wool.

You can see the wool becoming 'whiter' as it is getting cleaner.

Once all the wool bags are in the hot rinse, I remove my gloves and wash up.

The First Rinse

Run the hot waterfall...

Lift the cleaner wool out of the dish pan...see the clean-ER water in the tub?

As I lift the wool bags to place them into the rinse, I let the locks pull apart a bit, just so that the rinse water gets into all the bundled wool. Sometimes, it will compress just a little, so if I open it up a bit, the water can get to all the 'centers'.

Notice the clearer water after the lift of this past wash. When it clears this way, I usually go to the rinse cycle.

Get that Dirty Wool Soup OUT!

Get the dirty wool soup OUT! I have to guesstimate where the washer settings are to empty the water in the drum. Once I get it, I have to close the lid of the washer so that the dirty water can empty out of the washer.

Once the washer is empty of the dirty wool soup...

I start all over again. Fill with hot water, add soap, gently add the wool bags, leave the washer lid up so that the wool will soak again in the soapy water.

While I wait for the second, or sometimes third or fourth washing soak, I rinse out the plastic dish pans.