Tag Archives: wool batts

Life Provides Balances

Thank you to everyone who reached out as we were adjusting to our cat’s sudden illness. It meant so much. Our little sweetheart did pass away about 12 days ago and while the end is never easy we were grateful she did so before the vet who was coming to the house to euthanize arrived. She was so afraid of everyone except us and that would have made it harder initially for her. She came and woke us up when the end was near. That meant a lot to me because she had a semi feral first year and a half of her life and once when she got out of our house she reverted to that. I wondered if she would do the same at this point and hide but she wanted us with her when she was distressed.

Thankfully life has balances and one of mine recently was the enjoyment of having two young neighborhood girls here for the morning while their mother was at work. As you will see I am not comfortable putting children’s faces into cyber space but hands are safe I think. 🙂  Since my entire house is something of a fiber studio we:

Enjoyed drum carding wool to make batts

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Drum carding a wool batt

 

Being a mother of sons and not having a girly bone in my body means that sparkly pink things have never been a part of my life. It was fun to see the creativity that they put into this one.

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Pink sparkly batt

They had used hand cards on a field trip that included sheep so were familiar with them. Why weren’t those kinds of field trips around when I was a kid?? They taught me how to make wool bracelets like they had made there.

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Hand carding

Spinning occurred of course and knitting.

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Spinning first yarn

What better way to top off a morning than making chocolate chip cookies. We went out and fed the chickens and got their eggs for the cookies. One of us preferred to put them on the cookie sheet with her hands which I found entertaining. We all know they taste the same no matter how they go on so why not if that is your inclination!

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Cookies!

 

 

 

 

 

 

It was just a really nice day.

 

 

A Non-Violent Takeover

Yesterday my fiber flock took it upon itself to spread to a clear area in my house. It reminds me of a conversation I had with my sister-in-law a few years ago. I was telling her about a blog entry I read about a woman who bought a home with her sister and then made every room a fiber room. I told her how much fun it sounded to me and that I would love to be able to do that (but didn’t think I should because my husband deserves a little non-fiber space.)

She remarked that I already had done it. 🙂 I guess I had. And after yesterday am still working hard toward that goal.

dining room before fiber

The early morning tranquility of the dining room.

fiber approaching

But the fiber is slowly and steadily encroaching.

Fiber takes over

Completed!  No fiber or furniture was harmed in this takeover.

Christine and I are making batts to sell and yesterday I loved having everything around me to pick and choose. More dyed fiber troops did arrive as the day went on and my enthusiasm kept on increasing. If that is possible.

Remember Henna the Gulf Coast before she was dyed?

GC Henna before dyed

Gulf Coast Henna before she was dyed.

Dyed Henna GC Blue Purple

Henna the GC sheep dyed

 

 

Below shows her now.

Henna batt

Henna the Gulf Coast blended with other fibers

 

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Colorful Batts and BFL locks

These are the batts made so far. I put Josie the Bluefaced Leicester locks on top of two batts that will go into boxes full of a variety of spinning fibers that we will be selling. I kept it there for the picture because it reminds me of our latest tv obsession, Broadchurch, seen on BBCAmerica. It takes place in today’s Great Britain and in the courtroom scenes the judge and lawyers wear traditional small white wigs on top of their regular hair. Kind of the George Washington style but smaller and perched on the head. Kind of like the locks in my picture.

Which brings me back to the wonderful and adorable Bluefaced Leicester sheep.

Bluefaced Leicester yearling females in wool .

Leicester ewe (female sheep) thanks to Farm-Images.CO.UK

I don’t know a single spinner who isn’t crazy about Bluefaced Leicester (BFL) fiber. The locks are just so darned cute. Here are some lamb locks I dyed. They are short, bouncy and have the sweetest little curls.

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BFL Lamb Locks- Millie

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Individual BFL lamb locks

I am not going to use these locks for anything except adoration.

BFL sheep typically have fleeces that weigh between 2  1/4 and 4  1/2 pounds. The lock length is 3-6 inches. Mine shown here is shorter as it was a lamb’s fleece. Her adult fleece would be longer. The individual fibers from an adult fleece are measured to be 24 to 28 microns. The reason a non-math spinner like me avidly follows micron counts is because they correlate with scale of soft to coarse feel of the fiber. 21 is considered to be the highest count that many would find comfortable next to the skin. It is a general term because people vary in the way they perceive fiber.  Millie’s lamb fleece is probably softer than 24 microns because lamb’s fleeces are softer. I am not interested in micron count because I always want soft wool. I don’t always. I have lots of uses for coarse wool too. Micron count helps me to better understand the fiber as a whole.

BFL has a nice shine to it (luster) and as pictured above, takes dye well. Since the locks are so bouncy and curly they are best first picked open. I sometimes pick them apart with my fingers but usually give them a few strokes with my hand cards. More on processing/spinning BFL next week.