Monday, August 1, 2011

Busy Busy Summer

     Well folks, I realize it's been simply eons since I've posted an entry here. There are very good reasons for this. Quite simply, the process I've been involved in lately just isn't a spectator sport ... it's truly boring. Boring to do, boring to write about and deathly boring to read. I had finally acquired a good supply of fiber to spin and felt, but much of it was in the raw state due to cost restraints. I've been cleaning it. It's has taken quite awhile too ... some I purchased before I really knew what type of fiber I was looking for, so I was taking in by low price. It turned out not to be prime fiber, rather seconds from the neck, chest and upper legs. There are lots of guard hair in this type of fiber, which must be removed, along with any hay, clumps of debris, short cuts and other assorted ufo's. It all had to be washed, dried and picked through carefully, in an effort to be able to spend a relaxing winter spinning it all and knitting wonderful objects with it. 

     The next step will also take likely a couple of months to complete. This is the process of carding it all into rolags for spinning. My limited experience has shown that I achieve my best yarn from carefully carded rolags, so that's the way I'm going for now. Someday I may be able to afford a drum carder to make life much easier, but it just isn't in the cards at this time. Shown at the left is a basket of cleaned and lightly picked alpaca fiber which I'm blending while carding to get a lovely natural dark grey. This yarn will become a lacy neck cowl with matching fingerless gloves spattered wtih emerald Swarovski cyrstal beads for a lady I'm going to swap for supplies. I'm pretty sure she's going to love the items. 

     Here is a picture of a single of the above mentioned yarn. I already have 256 yds of it made, and will begin the knitting this evening. 

     Summer is upon us now .. finally and we've been having some stellar weather. It's really been making me feel much better and therefore, I've been much more productive in the domestic chores department. I've had two marvelous weekends with good friends in a row and wonder what I did to deserve such good luck. I even managed to find a nearby swimming hole which is simply amazing and it a good place to take the dogs out for a swim as well. I can't believe I've lived here for 23 years and didn't know about that spot. 

     Shown here are some sheep wool slugs I've dyed. They were over processed by some else so I took them to use as stuffing. Since I've recently been admiring the work of another artist who does lovely wet felted vessels, I've had some ideas of my own and prepared these little mats of wool for my use with them. I'm sure the ideas will come to reality sometime over the next couple of months, between some knitting projects. 

     So there you have it, I have been very, very busy, but not doing anything very exciting as yet. It's all in preparation for some wonderful works this winter, when I can let the creative processes flow unhindered by mundane technical work. Wish me luck and now off I go to enjoy the rest of my summer.