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20 June 2006



It's great fun drum carding and blending fibre you've washed yourself ! Really ! You get to know it intimately. You know all this. ;-]
The little bit of yarn looks perfect to me. The best handspun doesn't have to be totally smooth and precision spun. That yarn looks soft,interesting and lively. Rita Buchanan once wrote an article about how the nicest looking,most evenly spun yarns didn't always knit up better than those with a bit more character. I don't have time to rummage through my old SpinOff copies to find it.
I feel that the quest for very evenly spun,perfectly smooth yarns can be somewhat misguided.Hand spun yarn doesn't have to replicate machine spun yarn to be good.


I just love the colors in your shawl! I'm knitting one in similar colors, but I think I like yours better!
I haven't read anything about your socks in a while...just wondering how they're coming along?


Spinning in the dark on a hot summer night? What's wrong with that?


I love the picture. Emma states stuff I was talking about with the knitgroup leader (Lorrie) last night, who is also a spinner. It's the idea of letting go of spinning precision yarn. I know it's necessary and desirable, it's a process, however, to get there.

Does this mean you are going to lean on me for the drumcarder next? Marcia is already screaming Pat Green in my deaf little ear.


thanks for that, it gives me back some motivation to resume fleece washing and trying to spin it afterwards.

i remember long summer evenings spent helping my mother opening by hand all the wool locks in our bed pillows, to fluff up what had become tangled by our heads during the winter months. by the end the wool was soft and lofty again. they were coarser locks, not spinning fiber, but i bet they would have spun beautifully.


Actually, I would have liked to see a picture of the umpteenth batch of handwashed Polwarth fleece. I find the umpteenth batch is usually the best. And the most photogenic.
How sad for me.


Many people bought spindles at Estes. After watching them and giving them tips (ME, who can't spin!) I feel it's time to stick with some spinning until I have it down pat. Spinning in the dark would be lovely, actually.


I agree that hand-processed fleece is better. More time-consuming, but it has more character than commercially prepared fleece. Weave a blanket from commercial yarn, and then one from handspun, and people will drool over the handspun with barely a glance at the commercial yarn. I've spun by candlelight before (hurricane knocked out the power for days), and it's magical.


You really shouldn't post the SOB and the natural wool at the same time. It makes the SOB seem that much worse and I'm starting to cringe. Granted, when you first showed the SOB, I liked it. Now... not so much. The spinning, though, I will always love that.


Spinning in the dark? Very primal.
Benedetta's story is marvelous. We lose something in the 21st century, don't we?

Rachel H

I think the spinning in the dark sounds lovely. A great way to focus on the feel of what's going through your hands. I'm not good enough to try that yet, but now I really want to.

6 weeks till my wheel arrives.


We should talk...I have been hand-washing the Corriedale that I bought at MDSW and now know every centimeter of my kitchen sink intimately! I'm not having such good luck with the box of Rambouillet that arrived yesterday from Idaho, though. Husband does NOT understand. Polwarth, Corrie, Rambo....same issues, no?


*Sigh* The smell of fresh herbs, the soft sound of the drizzle, and the feel of fresh wool on a spindle in the cool night air? That sounds awfully romantic.


Nice work washing that Polwarth and not felting it.


I see you owning sheep within the decade.

Judy H.

This just reminds me that next on my to-learn list is wool processing. I have a black garbage bag with some really old raw fleece in it out in the garage. I wonder if it's worth trying to save it? (It's not very high quality fleece, but it *was* free!)

Dorothy B

Everything is better when you've done it from start to finish.


I'm finding that I'm starting to enjoy processing a nice fleece. Lesser fleeces will rarely come home with me and may actually be thrown out once I inspect them closely.

I'm also really loving knitting or spinning on my patio this year.


I love that spindle. So simple yet lovely.


Spinning by streetlight is just as romantic -- in its new-fashioned way -- as spinning by candlelight.

Oh, wait; that wasn't very romantic, was it. Just a lot of hard work.

And -- weather? so ready for the thunderstorms we've been promised for two days now...


Do I really want to see the umpteenth batch of handwashed Polwarth fleece?

Yes, yes I do. I thought we had an understanding.


Your spindle is so pretty!! Polwarth is one of my favorite wools to work with and one that I use frequently to blend with bunny ;-)

The Purloined Letter

Oh, I so agree that it is a very special thing to work with wool you take from A to Z. Reminds us of how sacred this whole process is.

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