Do you knit in the summer? It almost seems contrary to me to be working in the heat of summer on projects made of warm, fuzzy fiber- but sometimes the urge to knit cannot be ignored, no matter the season!
I’ve started a small little project for one of the kids, and while it isn’t ready to show you yet, I wanted to share a bit about the wonderful woman responsible for producing the yarn I am using. Her name is Janet and the yarn has been spun from the animals she raises at Timber Creek Farm (check them out at http://timbercreekfarm.blogspot.com/ ).
To learn about how this fantastic yarn was processed, read her latest post: http://timbercreekfarm.blogspot.com/2013/06/singletons-fiber-processing-where-our.html
Second week of spinning lessons using the drop spindle. This time we worked at“spinning in the grease”… using raw wool shorn right off of my brother-in-law Ryan’s happy flock of sheep from their farm (http://lauridellacres.com/index.html). (We see them every week, and to me they look like very happy sheep- grazing away with nary a care in the world… ah, to be a sheep.) It is definitely a different experience than spinning the roving of alpaca I started working with last week.
Couple of thoughts:
1. My hands have NEVER been softer. The lanolin that exists in the natural state of this raw wool is an incredible moisturizer for dry, rough winter skin.
2. Being so very new at learning to draft the fleece, spinning in the grease did seem easier to do, as the fibers so readily “stuck” to one another. It took a little work at first to understand the process of folding the fleece so that the tips were in the inside and I was spinning from the “cut side”- which moved the spinning along with much less frustration!
1. You have to REALLY dig the smell of sheep, seriously, because you and everything around you is going to smell like a sheep. (Of course, perhaps you do love that smell, and this would be a“Pro” in your list.)
2. You have to spend a lot more time “connecting” or adding in the pieces when it’s raw than from a carded roving…which can be a wee bit trying on your patience when you are new at it and really want to see some yarn spinning before your eyes.
3. Did I mention that you will smell like a sheep?
So…I am glad to have had a chance to learn this technique, and appreciate the idea of a beautiful skein of wool that has been created from this most natural state… and the amazingly soft skin on my hands right now, but I think I’m going to switch back to my pile of roving and see what I can spin with it.
I am looking at the beautiful drop spindle I have got on loan and dreaming of the projects I might get to knit with yarn I spin myself … Just as soon as I learn how! After finishing 7 knit projects that were made as Christmas gifts, I am ready to start something new…something different and just for fun. Of course most of those projects we’re fun too, especially these little owls.
I just finished knitting my first rug. It was also my first attempt at knitting with core spun alpaca yarn (strands are about 1/4″ thick). It’s a gorgeous, soft, natural fawn and cream color. I love working with the fibers in their natural state…although that may change once I start learning to dye them this summer.
When I first saw one of these rugs at a fiber seminar this spring, the woman speaking warned that it was not a task for the faint of heart. Well, actually she said it was not for those with faint wrists…because it’s a real bear to knit with the core-spun. I could only do a few rows at a time before needing to stop because my hands were completely cramped up.
The temporary pain, as with most things, was totally worth it. I couldn’t find a pattern or tutorial online about knitting a rug like this, so kept it to a basic knit/purl and watched with pleasure as the colors began to blend together in the pattern. Now I can’t wait to start another one.