Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Swallow Tail Shawl

I just started this last night...Great pattern. The yarn used is from my coop fleece that I spun up in to lace wt singles. I dyed it in lt purple and brown, cause I can never find yarn that color. Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

MS2 and a sheepy all made out of handspun shetland

Sheepy made from the same yarn as MS2 well and some black shetland I spun up real quick:)
Wow, you should have saw the thing before I blocked it, looked like hell!! I love it know, to bad it's a gift. Yarn used: handspun (by Me) Shetland with just a bit of alpaca, both from raw fleece. Weight ahhh about sock. Needles size us 3. Size HUGE that's why I skipped the edging.
I love the natural look of it, there were 2 different fleeces, one with a little brown and one with a little black. This is a gift for the lady who owns the sheep that this was made of. Oh and the sheepy is for her too, I hope she likes them! Posted by Picasa

4 week old cuties

AHHHHHH SO CUTE
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Saturday, August 26, 2006

Limited Time Only

The new hand painted lace wt is up in my etsy store!!! For a limited time only, buy any Cashmere or Cashmere/Wool lace wt yarn and get a free set of 4 stitch markers of your choice!!!

Friday, August 25, 2006

New stuff in the store

I just finished listing 10 new sock yarns and tomorrow I will be listing some more lace wt yarn, merino/cashmere and pure cashmere!!! All handpainted. Check em out!! www.merlinthecat.etsy.com

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Merlin The Cat's Guide for Washing Raw Fleece or Wool

This is how I wash all my raw fiber; wool, mohair, alpaca and llama. There are some differences when washing a fine wool like merino, (hotter water, more soap, and shorter soaks). But right now we are talking about an Icelandic fleece. If your washing a Shetland it's pretty close to the same, both have lower lanolin and are easy to clean. (just what I seen so far).

I found that this method works best for me, I've read up on how to wash fleece all over the net and have asked a ton of questions on the Knittyboards. I have washed over 10 raw fleeces this summer and have tryed many different ways. In most case my end goal is to spin from the lock or comb my wool. I do not seperate my locks before washing; I don't have THAT much time on my hands, but my try it on my next fine wool fleece. I wash my wool outside; I have a hot water hose hooked up the the water heater. I hver washed wool in the bathtub, and will again when the weather turns, but it's very messy.
Roll out your fleece, check for second cuts, poo, mats, and large VM. Pick the yucky stuff out. I was lucky with this one, I didn't have much to pick out.

Dirty fleece. Posted by Picasa
You need a raw fleece, tub, blue Dawn, white vinegar, and some sweater bags.
Place your wool in bags. Fill your tub with H20. Add Dawn. (Add enough so that the water fells soapy and turns bluish). Try to keep down on the suds.
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Add your wool filled sweater bags.
I now put a pizza pan on top and VERY slowly and carefully push down. I live the pan in to hold the wool under; sometimes I put a rock on top to weigh it down. Now WALK AWAY!!!! Yes walk away! Don't touch that wool till you have to pull it out! Playing with it will felt it, I learned this the hard way with a beautiful BL fleece I washed this summer.

I leave my wool in for about 20min, just don't let the water cool or the lanolin will stick back into the fibers. After about 20min pull your wool out, I set mine on a mesh chair to drip. Dump the H20, I dump mine right into the garden, my flowers love it!
Fill your tub with hot H20 again, place fleece in, and again, walk away. Repeat till the water runs clear. You may need to use soap again fro a real dirty or greasy fleece. For this one 1 wash will do. Posted by Picasa
On the 2nd to last rinse add some white vinegar. This will kill any soap left. Be carful wher you dump this H20, vinegar will kill your plants or grass, I like to water mine down after I pull the wool out After the last rince, pull your wool out, let drip dry (this is where I clean up). Place your sweater bags in the washer and spin to dry (use only the spin cycle, no rinse). After the spin cycle pull your wool out, run your washer with some soap in it to clean it out. Now take your fleece outside to dry, I like to dry mine in the sun. Pull it out of the sweater bags, if it went in the bag in one piece, it will come out in one piece. I like to drap my fleece over the mesh chairs. After it is dry, shake it out, if it has any VM in it, soem will come out now. You are done. Bag and tag. Or comb, card or spin from the lock. The fleece drying, it will pretty much look the same dry. Now if you have a white fleece there maybe staining on the tips, or they my not come all the way clean. Thats ok.
Top side of the drying fleece. It turned out to be cream with red and black hairs. Very cool.
Under side of the drying fleece. Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

I finished the merino :)

That clear box on top is packed full of a clean merino fleece, I did it!!! and it didn't felt at all!!! Oh by the way all those other boxes and the black footlocker, full of fleeces. Thats it no more, I have two coming, and unless I find a cool colored fleece or a coop I'm done till next spring, I better get some of those boxes empty.... Posted by Picasa

ahhh so very cute

They are starting to get around, on got out this morning...They are still a little shaky on there feet. It's going to be hard to keep track of them soon.
She's yelling at Ares....
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3 weeks old today


Both dog are so good with them :) the kittens don't really like them... Posted by Picasa

Monday, August 21, 2006

play time



I finished up this yarn yesterday. It is a bit of almost all my fleeces and roving. I have no clue how much is there, I just pulled it off the bobbin...I need more bobbins!!!!!! soon I hope! Well I've told myself No More fleeces, because fall is coming and i can't wash the stuff. So now I'll save up for my drum carder and more bobbins.....Anyway this stuff was fun to spin! I think I'll make a scarf or something felted, I don't know yet. I do want to start spinning more lace wt coop for the swallowtail shawl... Posted by Picasa

RPM

This is RPM from the newest knitty! I like this pattern it's fun. I'm making these socks for DH...he really likes my handknit socks. Posted by Picasa

Sunday, August 20, 2006

HELLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL


Clean lock
Dirty Lock

The clean lock looks like it has a bad perm, is this normal?? After this stuff is washed it like one big ball of fluff. I know how great it will be once it's all spun up. But wow merino is so different the anything else i've done, and my Coop was very very greasy..... Posted by Picasa

MERINO IS HELL

This is a picture of the rest of the fleece that still needs to be washed.
Washed
getting a tan Posted by Picasa

Saturday, August 19, 2006

ahhhhhh

It's raining....I wanta wash my merino today boohoo!

OHOHOH

I am now the proud owner of 8lbs of raw white merino wool. It's so soft and fuzzy. I'm a little scared to wash it...but I'm going to give it a go, I just can't play with it at all wile it is wet. I wash a hand full today in the bathroom sink and it turned out ok, I just think I really like longwool breeds better to spin from the lock. I did card it after it was dry, I really really need fine cotton carders bad!!! I spun both from the washed ball of fluff and form the bid I carded. The carding worked out much better, I just hate the extra step... What I really need to do is send some of my wool to get carded for me....anyway I will take pictures of the fleece after it is washed, or atleast some of it, I'm sure it will take me a few days to get it all done. Oh and I should really stop buying fleece, I've been spinning for only a couple months and I have more fleece then I'll ever be able to spin, We should flash our fiber! Ok let me think I have, the merino, 2 white shetland, 1 dark brown shetland, 2 different gray shetland, lt brown shetland, 2 black shetland, my boyfriend the coop, 1 white, 1 gray,1 black alpaca, 5 different llama, 2 dorset cross and another one I cant remember the name of the sheep, oh and I have 1/2 lb of kid mohair. Now this is just the raw stuff...Now next spring I should have 2 white shetlands and 2 baby doll fleeces... I really need to stop,

Friday, August 18, 2006

I finished something!!

Wow it feels good to finish something. These are my sock from the Mystery sock Kal. The pattern is called Shell Sock By Sharon Bergersen. I used Knit Picks sock garden or whatever it's called now and us #1 needles. well back to knitting :)
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