Monday, March 15, 2010

Fiber Prep Class 1

Class was great on Saturday.  It was our first installment of fiber prep.  In this class we learned to skirt and wash fleece.  Then it was off to the prep stations to work with combs, hackles, drum carders, hand carders, flicker and picker. 

The image of the large birds nest is a sample of the combed fiber which we transferred to the hackle and blended together.  It is a mix of natural brown alpaca, lilac colored wool and mohair, mint colored wool, mohair and targhee.  It is a dream to spin.  We then took all the left overs from the combs and hackle and put them by the drum carder.  I can't bare to waste a thing.

The batts came out beautifully I really like how they blended together with the colors we used.  Next class will go more in depth with the fiber prep tools.  They will learn how to blend the different fibers together then we can dye them for our next class.  I only wish we had more time to work with the fibers, but some of my students we have a whole year in fiber.  We are working on getting a Art Apprenticeship Grant and I will teach them how to work with a bunch of different fibers, dye with plants from our area and spin up all those fibery goodness.  Until next time.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Fibery Goodness

Ok, so there might not be such a word as fibery goodness, but when you see a pile of fiber that look so soft you want to sleep on it, then what else could it be.  I have been washing up fiber for the Fiber prep class this weekend.  I will be taking some raw wool for them to wash as well as washed wool for them to card and comb.  It should be quite the experience.  I had hoped to have some dyed, but when it comes down to it the dyed stuff would work better for next class in two weeks.  This class will focus on getting the wool cleaned and then preparing it to card or comb and comb and or carding it.  I am hoping to have at least an hour at the end of the class to spin.  This weeks homework will consist of spinning up the fiber we didn't finish in our last class.  I just can't wait till Saturday.  :o)

Saturday, March 6, 2010

The fleece is in the mail.

Well it is official.  My fleeces are in the mail or already in my hands.  I have been putting a little money away here and there so I could get some fleeces at shearing time this year.  I would have liked to get more then I am, but for now this will do.  I have already a targhee fleece and a CVM fleece.  They are so soft even my father, who greatly dislikes wool after a bad experience as a child, said this stuff feels like soft cotton.  Then I have some alpaca, rambouilet and cormo on the way too.  I am still searching for some good merino I can afford, but I may have to wait till next year for that.  I would have never thought I would enjoy cleaning my own fleeces, but I do even though it is rather time consuming beings I still fear I am going to felt some of this gorgeous wool.  Going to make some batts for my shop to sell and maybe get some more money for fleeces before shearing is all over and maybe one special one for my dedicated spinning student.  Spinning, cleaning, carding and knitting are my form of relaxation.  LOL