Monday, April 14, 2008

much exciting news!

yeah, i made a sell on my etsy.... well, actually not. but close! i made a trade with a very talented seller, raimbowtree. she is awesome! she knits these amazing knit dreadbands *or headbands, depending on what style hair you have!* her shop announcement said she loved to do trades for handspun, so we set one up! i sent her a skein of my peacock 80% mohair, 20% wool yarns, and she made me a custom dreadband with her signiature raimbowtree logo on it, it's super-cute, i'll have to post some pictures once it gets here! i'm so excited, i also sent some exta sample yarns, so hopefully she may buy from me in the future! i'm really trying to get my name out there, so people will buy some stuff. i also issued a store-wide sale: the first 5 people who buy from me will get a discount on their order! so if you're reading this and love using handspun yarns, go to my shop FAST!!!

so, after i went to the post office, i went to check the mail and got a great surprise; the raw fleece i ordered from frene creek farm came in! this is the fleece that i ordered to spin for the danish tie shawl, if everything goes as planned. it looked quite small, even upon opening, there was 1 lb 12 ounces stuffed into a regular-size grocery bag! upon opening the bag i stand there exclaiming how beautiful it is. the crimp of this fleece is amazing! my husband is looking on, holding the baby, dumbfounded. he's like *that looks terrible, it's so dirty!* i giggle, knowing he will never understand this exhiliration! i went directly to the washing machine, because i knew if i waited to wash it, i would never get around to it! *that's just me!* and if you let a greasy fleece sit, the lanolin will really set up in the wool, and it will difficult to ever get it out. i have learned this lesson the hard way. i purchased that claimed to be washed *and this was from a very reputable seller* but not knowing any better, i had it picked, and spun it, and now, after a long while, i that i have had more experience, i know it is still quite greasy, and even the yarn i spun will have to go through one hell of a wash to clean it *if it even works :(*

i was still very nervous to do this washing raw fleece thing, even after all the books i've read and research i've done on the net. but it turns out everyone is right! even though my water is not quite hot enough, i'm still surprised by the process *your water has to be around 150' to successfully remove the lanolin in the wool* i will just have to do more washes, but another good tip is that since i'm doing mine in the washing machine, if you close the lid of the machine, it helps retain the heat and steam in the machine.

i've done about 3 washes now and although it was apparently a rather dirty fleece, it's looking MUCH better, and a lot whiter already *it was a very dirty yellowish-tan* i've had to stop for now, because the baby is asleep in the living room, but i'm going to start on the vinegar rinses next.

fleece after 1 or two washings, can't remember!

here is a lock of the beautiful targhee fleece *i know you can't see the crimp well in this pic, but it's amazing!!*

now for some spinning news! i have finished the first singles of the cotton yarn, and am currently working on the second single. i have finished the first batt *out of two* and since i didn't pull out the second batt into roving yet, this yarn has been temporarily postponed. oh-and i figured out the secret to spinning a cotton yarn! you have to resign yourself to the fact that it's going to take forever! i'm not kidding, this is the trick, and once i did this, the spinning went by much faster! there is, in fact, only a tiny bit of actual skill needed to effectively spin cotton!! i did come across an informative paragraph on a site selling cotton roving, however. in a previous post about the cotton yarn, i mentioned the white cotton being much easier to spin than the colors. this totally perplexed me! but, not anymore! apparently, the colored cottons are what's called "lint" from the cotton plant. and the white cotton is the longer cotton fiber. this is a good thing to keep in mind when buying cotton in the future especially for beginners! anyways, the point is, i only have one batt left to spin before i'm D-O-N-E. and i'm happy about that! :P

yesterday, i was extremely happy to start spinning something else. and what did i pick out of my stash..... a beautiful new bamboo roving! it's the only other one i bought off the fiberlady at kid 'n ewe fiber festival in boerne. it's a very springy color way, just what i needed, something to make me happy! i get all cheery just looking at it! the colors are really pretty together, it has yellow, purple, blue and green where the yellow and blue mix together. once i started spinning it though, it really came alive! the colors are much brighter *usually the opposite of a roving once you start spinning, they can sometimes blend all together and get muddy* they're like day-glow, it's so awesome! it's going to make a very nice summery yarn! i can't decide whether i should navajo ply it or just do a regular two-ply, i really want to navajo ply it, but i'm afraid the LONG color repeats will become very short, making it like ikat knitting yarn, which only works for that type of knitting, it's a very specific style and taste. but i do want to offer something a little different on my etsy, so i think i'm just going to have to experiment once i'm done with the first single, like i usually do, i never know exactly what i'm going to do, i don't like to be very scientific, if can't tell! :)

i'm not going to go on for much longer, but i want to mention now, and hopefully i'll remember to talk about it in full later, i bought some wool combs today! i'm so excited, after much research and agony, i found a set i think will suit me well; i got the majacraft complete combing set with double row combs... i can't wait for them to get here! and i ordered at the exact righ time, majacraft just raised their prices like a week ago, and i was able to get some before the prices were posted, now cross your fingers they won't email in a couple of days and say "we're sorry, but we're going to have to charge you an ass-load more money for those combs you already purchased!" i'll be devastated!

No comments: