My mother went to a farm to buy some eggs, told the farmer that I was learning to spin, and was sent home with a GIGANTIC fleece, which is now out in the back garage at my parents home on Vancouver Island. When I visited, I peeked in on in fearfully… and brought a little tiny piece home in a ziplock to ponder.

It sat on the pile for a little while, and I regarded it with suspicion, but eventually it had to be dealt with!!

raw wool before washing

raw wool before washing

washing wool

washed and dried wool

So here are the photos in order, from dirty stinky, horrible mass of fur, to something that almost seems spinnable.

I just washed it in really hot water with dish soap, and I repeated it 3 times, and then rinsed a couple of times. Then I set it out to dry.

I’m certain this isn’t the nicest or gentlest way I could have processed this wool, but I’m no expert! And I had no idea how clean it would come, but it looks pretty good now. Some of the tips are a little stained, but not too bad.  And, most importantly, it doesn’t smell like poo anymore!!

My question now is, what is the cheapest most accessible set of tools I can use to card or comb this so it’s ready to spin?

I used some little plastic combs, which really didn’t work at all, and fluffed enough wool up to spin a tiny little test. It’s not terribly soft, but it’s easy to spin!

I want to try some more, but I need tools…

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I feel like the last little while has been a very productive time for me, but I haven’t really taken many GREAT pictures; so I don’t have the ‘money’ shots which inspire me to blog! Regardless, I’ve been spinning very regularly, working with the polwarth fibre I dyed previously to blue/greens. This is the first ball of a fingering-weight 2-ply. I’ve finished spinning the last of the fibre into singles, and I’m almost done plying the second half. I think when I’m done I’ll have 300 yards… what will I do with it?!?

I’ve also started to try to learn to spin a bulkier single; which I’ve found surprisingly hard to get at all consistent. One problem is that the roving I’m trying to spin felted slightly in the dying process… MY fault!! I am also not used to the heavier spindle, which spins more slowly. Pics of that inconsistent bulkish yarn will eventually go up.

This hand-dyed, recycled bulky wool-angora is another result of my recent productivity. All told it is 5 skeins of nice, bulky, solid yarn, 722 yards. I’m moderately happy with the results of the dyeing, and I plan to start making cushion-covers for my couch with this yarn soon. It will be nice to have the instant gratification of knitting with bulky yarn for a change!!

Finally, I’ve saved the best for last (or maybe it’s not really the best?) Swatches. Of my birthday yarn, which I have already swooned over enough.

stockinette stitch

woven herringbone stitch

seeded or mock rib (top) / seed stitch (below)

mock honeycomb stitch

woven transverse herringbone stitch

daisy stitch