Saturday, June 6, 2009

Double, double toil and trouble...

Every other Friday, I do a little something just for me: I hire someone else to clean my house. This indulgence is necessary, because if I didn't, we'd be surrounded by dust bunnies and dirty dishes. I like that it leaves me free to feel no guilt when I spend the following Saturday immersed in fibery goodness. Today I spent the entire time at the spinning circle playing with a dog. Not just any dog either. This is the fur from my friend Kim's Newfie, Boomer. I'll have to get a picture of him so that you can see what he looked like. Boomer died two years ago and before he did, I convinced Kim to keep his fur from his last grooming for me to spin when I learned. The time has come.

In pictures, Boomer appeared to have a black coat, but in real life, it appears more like dark chocolate. With fur too slippery and short to spin alone, I'm mixing it with a natural dark Blue Faced Leicester (BFL) which has a longer staple length.

Kim wants mostly Boomer in the yarn, so I'm using 25% BFL and 75% Boomer. To try to get precise, I weighed it on the scale so I could get 3 parts dog to 1 part sheep.

I spread apart the staples of the BFL, then spread Boomer on that and topped with some more BFL. It's kind of like making a BLT sammie, minus the mayo, but smells like dog. It's then placed in the drum carder, because if you think I'm carding this by hand, think again.

Since Boomer was sheared instead of combed at his last grooming, there were a lot of short fibers I had to pull out while I was carding. Despite trying to be neat, those short hairs went everywhere.

I made Rolags that are ready to spin and got down to business to test the ratio of wool to dog.

I was going to spin more Creamsicle yarn, but spent the day with the dog instead. After about 4 hours, I couldn't wait to get home to shower. I don't know how enticing I find it to prepare my own wool for spinning-it's a lot of work. You know how your neck gets itchy after a haircut? That's how my whole body felt. There were little short dog hairs everywhere, and I couldn't wait to get home to the shower (that someone else scrubbed) to wash it off.

What did you do for yourself today?


Stephanie V said...

Are you happy with the spun yarn? It sounds very soft - in spite of the short prickly hairs.

Today, I spent hours organizing my sewing room which has kind of gotten out of hand lately. With oldies on the radio and uninterrupted time, it was a treat. Thanks for asking.

Anonymous said...

Boomer is going to be beautiful! He will have a wonderful afterlife!

When I got home from class, I spent the entire afternoon in the garden. I love to be outside - Digging, planting, mulching. But boy am I sore now. Tomorrow I plan to play with my new Alpaca fleece. It arrived today! Sunday will be wash day.

Go Wings!

Rudee said...

Winnielucy-I've never been much of a gardener. This year I'll buy potted plants. I'm jealous of the Alpaca. Is it a whole fleece?

Stephanie-have you ever felted a rug?

Anonymous said...

It looks like it will be beautiful. What do you plan on making with it? I'm learning from you a little about spinning.... preparing your own yarn?

Brenda said...

Well, I see I have to copy and paste this blog on my sidebar thingy. I didn't see this post when you first did it. Very cool process you are teaching us..."who know nothing about spinning" The presser machine looks a tad expensive, but I am guessing that mashes the yarns together? I love seeing all of this.
I was at the book store yesterday and saw a book on knitting clothes for teddy bears. I was slightly tempted to buy it, but didn't.
I was curious also, if you have something in mind to make.

Rudee said...

Brenda and Betty, my friend only wants a skein of yarn to be made. She doesn't want it knit into anything, and that's ok with me. Though other types of dog are soft, Boomer seems to be a bit scratchy.

Glennis said...

Happiness is having time to ones self when one would like it, to do something one really wants to.
You now have a very unique 'wool' to make into something really unique.
Once long ago an old friend spun some of the hair from my Siamese cat that I saved when I brushed her, it was so soft and silky, but there wasn't a great deal of it, not enough to do anything with.

Rose said...

Good for you! You definitely look happy while you're working, always a good thing. Is that your craft room? It's got nice light.

kanishk said...

I love to be outside - Digging, planting, mulching. But boy am I sore now. Tomorrow I plan to play with my new Alpaca fleece. It arrived today! Sunday will be wash day.

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