I promise, I haven’t been slacking around. I have actually done a few things since I’ve last posted!! I’ve been wanting to post for quite some time now, but I get sidetracked every time I sit down for five seconds!
I will keep this post short. I’m going to post pictures and brief captions, plus I really, really want to talk about my very first ever Tour De Fleece! *SO EXCITED*!!!
Who would have thought that the image on the left would end up the picture on the right? It was an experiment, and in the end, I followed where they went and though unexpected, really like them. Grade A garnets on woven copper, they are surprisingly light weight and are just a hair over two inches long from the top of the ear wires to the bottom of that lowest little curl.
Little garnet clusters, these make me think of grapes. Nice weight to them without being horribly heavy, they measure just a tad over two inches from top of the ear wires to the very bottom of the dangle.
I made this AYE-mazing yarn that I just LOVE, and called Lush Garden, and learned a hard lesson-never dye less than eight ounces. This is a small skein, so I am kicking myself for not dyeing more at the time. It’s a little hard to repeat spontaneous hand-painting! This is so soft, semi-worsted merino/alpaca/tencel, next to skin soft.
We attended the Yellow Rose Fiber Fiesta this year!! I was luck to have been joined by some of my favorite framily people and V and I snapped up some raw long locks that were being sold by a nice lady named Tracy Ross of South Texas Angora Goats. I opted for the 50% teeswater/BFL cross locks and V brought home some awesome 50% teeswater/Wenslydale locks. We had a Fiber Day here at the Ranch, and together skirted/washed a good half pound of locks. V hasn’t dyed hers yet, but I couldn’t wait! I laid them out in a pan and dyed them in the oven using Jacquard Acid dyes I painted on. Success!! These locks are an average of nine inches, with some being around 6 but most closer to 9-10.
Now these are mohair locks from my wether, Henry. I love that goat. He is two years old and has the silky soft lustrous locks of a kid. I haven’t done any tail or lock spinning yet-so I decided to practice with Henry’s locks before diving into the teeswater/BFL locks. And OH MYYYYYYYYY!!! I am just blown away at how silky these are!!
V and I both found some wonderful BFL roving! We dyed together, V’s first time! (Hers on the left) I was so proud of her! I also gave her a drop spindle demo (so glad the Muscle has handy like that-he whipped one up right quick while we did the fiber prep!) I can’t wait to see it all spun up!
So… all this dyeing-what am I leading up to? If you guessed something to do with the 2014 Tour de Fleece, you guessed right! I had heard of this last year, but I felt I didn’t know enough, didn’t have the skills or experience to join the Big Kids in this event. I still feel like I lack the skills, experience and really have no idea what I’m doing half the time, though I fake it well-I decided I would join this year! I teamed up with an awesome group-Team Nevermore- and they are an awesome bunch. Totally My Kind Of People. They all seem like a bunch of people I’d love hanging out with In Real Life. Why does the world have to be so big, scattering birds of a feather so far from each other? Anyhoo-Tour de Fleece is a spinning event that coincides with the Tour de France-basically, you spin every day that they riders ride. Makes sense, right? Different groups have their own little “challenges” or goals within them, and everyone is encouraged to have their own goals-mine is to fill a bobbin a day! With my wimpy small bobbins, hopefully that will be a goal easily achieved. At the end of the Tour, I hope to have some wonderfully squishy soft amazing skeins of yarn for sale, or to be knit up in a variety of sellables. Here’s the official logo:
I forgot to mention my escapades with silk brick. If you haven’t yet reached the conclusion-I absolutely love dyeing fibers. So I decided silk bricks werew next on my list. Silk bricks are approximately four ounce rolls of 100% A grade mulberry silk. I cannot even begin to describe how silky (heh.. silk is silky, go figure………..) this stuff is, and how incredibly soft and SHINY!!! After a false start, I was finally able to dye a brick a beautiful swirly mix of blues and purples. My first attempt was a little…. sad. I tortured the poor silk, causing it to form a texture on itself-while is is still incredibly, wonderfully soft and even shiny, it isn’t as smooth as it should be. So that has become an add-in for blending with other fibers.
See? Shiny! I took some of the abused silk and blended it with Cormo wool (yummy, next to skin soft!) blending with my hand cards first, making a little rolag. Then I blended it using my combs the Muscle made for me, and made a little mini-batt. I honestly think I prefer the mini-batt to the rolags. I plan to do some core-spinning with these! The blue/purpley brick however will not be blended. If I don’t sell it as is, I will be spinning the silk alone. Have I mentioned how hard it is to photograph bright colors without having them look crazy over saturated or just plain washed out?? No happy balance here, I’m afraid. I got the pics as close as I could to reality.
Well, I think that’s all for now. Whew!!! I know I’ve done a few more things-camping, more jewelry, more yarns spun, but these are the highlights and I really felt the need to document them! I will be posting more during TDF to share my little victories, and I have more jewelry in the works-stay tuned! Til then, don’t forget to stop and smell the roses… =^..^=
And Bearded Iris.