Wool fiber carding and preparation is our topic in this episode as our Summer Spin In continues. Current spinning and knitting projects along with a couple of rants are also on the program!
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I frogged the foot of my Drops Fabel sock, turned the heel and I am knitting the gusset.
Picked up a long dormant shawl called Simple Shawl by Jane Hunter that I started in March 2018. Using Michael CWD in the colorway San Francisco Fog.
Cast on the pullover Atlas by Jared Flood for my brother. The yarn I’m using is Navia Tradition. My gauge is 20st/4” instead of 24st/4” so I am making the smallest size. I have knit about 7” of the body, excluding the ribbing. Because I cast on with a provisional cast on and the body is all stockinette it is very curly. It looks like a holiday wreath!
In the last episode, I mentioned that the color work chart distinguishes “dominant” color and I was guessing what this meant. Thank goodness for YouTube and Jared Flood who has a great video explaining why we want to pick a dominant color and the technique for doing this.
I’m still spinning on my green/brown merino.
Hidden Brain: This is the link to the website. Then search for the episode, “Why We Hold Onto Things” from May 31, 2021. I was unable to put a direct link to the episode.
I finished carding about 400 grams of Oxford batts and sampled them. Yes, actually sampled! I made two small skeins of about 20 g each. One is 2 ply and the other is 3-ply. Since the fleece was slightly sticky I used boiled water to put in the wash bowl and they both washed up nicely. I like the 2 ply best. It is softer and fluffier. I now have a full bobbin of singles all spun up. Here is the project page for this handspun.
I started a handspun sweater! I am using a new pattern called Dark Green Forest (Ravelry link) by Christina Körber-Reith. She also has the patterns at her website, Strickhauzeit. Her website also has both measuring/fitting and bust dart tutorials.
Don’t forget your tetanus shot!
Summer Spin In Topics
From Nathalie (SuperKip)
Two additions that might be helpful:
- Don’t prep fleece when you’re pregnant (toxoplasmosis is a danger)
- For ‘rescue’-fleeces, a flick-carder is also very helpful, this also gets rid of many waste types of yarn.
Fiber preparation tools: Hand cards, flick carder, mini combs, combs, drum carder, blending board
Hand Carding with Beth Smith
Spin Off Free Guide to Wool Carding and Combing
How to Skirt a Fleece by the Spinning Loft
How to Skirt a Fleece Video by Rayne Fiber Arts
Fiber Shed Mill Inventory
Fiber Prep Ravelry Group: Fleece Processor List
Mendocino Wool and Fiber
Valley Oak Wool Mill
Morro Fleece Works
Hi, this is Marsha
and this is Kelly.
We are the Two Ewes of Two Ewes Fiber Adventures. Thanks for stopping by.
You'll hear about knitting, spinning, dyeing, crocheting, and just about anything else we can think of as a way to play with string.
We blog and post show notes at toTwo Ewes Fiber Adventures dot com.
And we invite you to join our Two Ewes Fiber Adventures group on Ravelry. I'm 1hundredprojects,
and I am betterinmotion.
We are both on Instagram and Ravelry. And we look forward to meeting you there.
Enjoy the episode.
Good morning, Kelly.
Good morning, Marsha.
Well, how are you today?
I'm doing fine. I'm out in the trailer. I've been complaining about how cold it is here. It's in the 60s again, again every day. Well, not right now it's less than that here now. But I'm wearing an undershirt, a long sleeve shirt, a flannel shirt. And on top of the flannel shirt I have a shirt jacket that will probably come off as we go. But it's cold here.
Well, it's cool today. I don't know what the temperature is. But it's it's overcast. And the wind is blowing. It's very cool. And I but I have to say I'm not complaining. It feels very nice. After that hot hot weather we had
It was like 110. Like, I still, even now two weeks later, people are still like how'd you do with that heat, right. But everybody's asking, but so it's nice. And it's overcast and breezy and cool. But that's how it was yesterday morning. And then it turned out to be a beautiful day it was actually quite warm. So yeah, sort of typical for us is cool, and overcast and sort of misty in the morning. And then
Yeah, it's been wet almost every morning here for the last week. So it's been cold in the house. And of course I'm not going to-- I am not running the heater in July. That's ridiculous.
I don't know if they have this in other parts of the country. But there's a group in in Seattle, all the neighborhoods have a group in this way. It's called Buy Nothing. And it's basically where you can't sell anything. You just post everything out for free. So I've been posting up things like yesterday, well, the one that I thought was so interesting is--I think I got it as a Christmas gift years ago.It's a, it's for grilling, it's a fork, but also has a thermometer in it. Like 10 people wanted it. So I just had to pick somebody. And then other stuff nobody wants, you know, but it's kind of fun. I mean, you know, Kelly, remember you were talking about in front of your house, because you do live on a high traffic street. You just were putting stuff out in front and then and then it was fun to see how fast it went. And then you started going around looking for things to give away. It's kind of like, it's like now I'm very motivated. And I'll tell you why I'm motivated in a second. But anyway, someone's coming today to pick up--I have an old ice cream maker, you know that we had probably in the 60s, right? That we used to make ice cream. It's the hand crank kind that you put ice in and the rock salt and stuff. And so and she's all-- this woman is super excited about it, because she's gonna use it for their Campfire or Girl Scout troop to make ice cream, which is really fun that's going to get used, right?
it's it's kind of fun. It's a little addictive. And you know how I am. For years, I've had such a hard time getting rid of stuff. But people are so excited about it. You know, and this other woman, you know, she's excited because I just posted up-- I have a, you know, a large, really large stainless steel mixing bowl. And I posted that up and she's like, Oh, I'm a baker. And I said I'm a baker too, you know. So I thought maybe I'll meet my neighbors this way. Because it's just, you have to be in a certain block radius. So, um, so probably I think it's, I think it's nationwide.
I don't know.
So I will... let me just say why I'm doing this as is. You know I've...as you know, the listeners now I have my house that I've had in Ballard for many years. I'm getting that ready to rent. I moved into the house I was growing up in. I've had to combine two households. And I've done really well getting rid of stuff. But there was that last stuff that you know, that you hang on to. You think maybe I'll use it, right? Maybe I will make ice cream in the hand crank ice cream maker. And I've been thinking that for how many years? My mother had it in her basement and I thought it's never going to happen. So and if I do get a wild hair that I am, I will go buy one again but I'm probably never going to miss that thing. So I'm...and I had a...Yeah, there's all kinds of things I'm getting rid of and little things but they'll just make space and so I'm now motivated. In the basement because... and Kelly you know this and people if you're following my Instagram feed, you probably know what I'm doing. But I took everything in the basement.. The basement is divided into half. One half is...there's a rec room with a fireplace and a bedroom. And the other half we always called it the dirty part of the basement. But that's where the washer and dryer is and the workbench and stuff, the furnace, hot water heater. So I took everything out of that dirty part of the basement and put it into the rec room. Then I had the wiring redone the plumbing redone for a new hot water heater, new washer dryer, new sink. And then we painted the walls because it was just bare concrete walls. Well actually, they've been painted with calcimite which is like, almost like a chalk like substance, and it doesn't... you can't paint over it. The paint just peels off, so I had to wash down all the walls. Scrub the floor, degrease the floor. So I painted the walls, the trim on the windows, I painted the floor... two coats of concrete paint on the floors. So now I... last night I started moving things back. But Kelly, did you look at my Instagram post this morning?
I think I posted it last night of the shelving unit, Ben shaking it. He said they're not safe. So I ordered last night, I just saw that you can go and order and pay for stuff at Home Depot and just go pick it up. So I ordered it and I get a text in about 15 minutes that it's ready. So Ben went over and picked up the shelving units and we built three shelving units. So today after we finish recording, I'm going to now start putting things that I'm keeping back on the shelf. And my plan is, if it doesn't fit on those three shelving units I'm not keeping it.
Oh, that's a good idea. it will keep you honest
And my other plan . Yes, and this is my other rule. Nothing sits on the floor. If it sits on it, I can't keep it if it sits on the floor. It has to go up on a shelf. Is that a good plan?
Do you think it's attainable?
I don't know. We'll see. How many people want your free stuff?
Oh, my goodness. Yeah.
So anyway, and I will put a... Well I think I got kind of motivated too because pulling everything out... when I saw all of the stuff in the rec room my thought was, I'm one item away from being a hoarder. One more item and it might be at the tipping point. And then as Ben said to me, you know, a lot of stuff is not my stuff. A lot of it is stuff that is other people's stuff that I inherited. So like, I've talked about this before, but you know, 10 sets of dishes that were all inherited from various relatives that I didn't buy, I don't want them, but I now have them. And I don't know what to do with them. And so and then along those lines, having that conversation with Ben sort of motivated me. It did, it sort of did motivate me and then also, he recommended the podcast Hidden Brain. I think the show airs on NPR, but it also is in the form of a podcast and he had an episode and I will try and find a link to it. I forgotten the name of it. But it's something basically about why we keep things and a lot of times it has no monetary value but it has sentimental value. And how do you and how... Which is true. Like I have these...I talk about all these dishes I have. That old treadle sewing machine... things I don't necessarily want. But the people who gave them to me really wanted me to have them. My aunt really wanted me to have that treadle sewing machine but I don't use it. So it's silly to keep it but I feel sort of duty bound to keep it, you know, and all the family history and photographs. I don't want them. And so I've decided I'm going to contact other members of the family and see if they want them. So they can store them and not me.
You should just do like my aunt's have done and...
just put it on their porch...
Grab a batch of pictures, stick them in a bag and just either put them in the mail and send them or, well, like my my aunt will send something home with Aunt Betty or my mom drops something off when she comes here. It's like you start divesting yourself by giving the stuff to to other people. So yeah, like zucchini. You can just drop it on their porch. [laughing]
And you speed away. [laughing] Maybe I should put my family photos on Buy Nothing. if you want instant family.
No, I just think... and like the other thing too is I have been saddled with things. I adored my aunt. I loved her, my dad's sister, but she did all the family history. And I have three banker boxes full of all of her research, two trunks full of photographs. And I don't know how many plastic bins full of photographs. And I got, well, chosen or saddled with the family history stuff. And I, the truth is, I don't really care that much. And I know that's terrible to say, because everybody's doing all this family research, but somebody else in the family who is more motivated and cares more than I care should probably do it because I... My aunt, I think thought I cared a lot more than I really cared about all the family history. So anyway, way too much information about what's going on here. But I'm in purge mode.
So, Kelly, yes. Should we talk about, like, fibery things now?
I think so.
You're not purging any of that. Right?
Well, I know I'm not yet right. Not now. But I do need to figure out a different way of storing.
Well, that's a perpetual question. What do you do? Yeah. How do you store those? Yeah, yeah.
So let's get to projects. Do you want to go first?
Sure. I'll go first, because mine is short. Oh, first of all,
is that good?
I don't know. Well, it's fine. It's, it's kind of normal. It's kind of the way it's been recently. But I finished carding about well... I'm gonna say finished because the Oxford fleece was in two bags. And I finished one bag of the Oxford a fleece and it's about it's about 400 grams. And so then I sampled. So I, I made a two ply, about 20 gram skein, I think, of two ply and a small skein also of three ply to see which I liked better. And I was, I was thinking I was gonna like the three ply better, but I liked... I actually liked the two ply better. It's fluffier, part of it might just be the amount of twist that I put in the three ply. Even though I like a nice round three ply. This particular yarn that I made, it feels sort of buttoned up. It's kind of like, you know, it's round. And, and, and, you know, bouncy, like a three ply is, but it feels kind of just too much twist. There's just too much, too much twist in it. And it just really wants to be a little looser. At least that's what I'm thinking. If I had done the three ply, with less twist. I mean, normally, you put a little more in, because you're going to be untwisting a little bit more when you ply the three ply. And so I think that might be what happened. I wasn't intentionally doing that, but maybe that's what happened. Anyway, it just feels a little too tight. And the other one feels nice and fluffy and loose. And so think I'm gonna do a two ply. And so I started a bobbin. Last-- yesterday, and I managed to spin an entire bobbin, most of a bobbin, of this Oxford fleece. So I'm still keeping my options open that I may opt to do a three ply. You know, I'm not gonna ply it right away. Think about it, and I'll do a second bobbin first before I decide, but I'm pretty sure I want to do a two ply with this. So it's nice, it's it's springy. It's softer than I expected it to be based on when I was carding it.
But it's like a medium You know, kind of a medium workhorse kind of fleece but softer than the Perendale. That Perendale that I talked about a couple of episodes ago, that blue and green one. Blue, green and yellow from the prepared fiber that I bought from Sheep Spot. The Oxford is a little softer than that. Actually is quite a bit-- it feels quite a bit softer than that now that I'm spinning it. Now I think I mentioned that I didn't do the best washing job when I first washed it, so it's a little sticky. So I just when I washed it, I just used boiling water in the bowl, along with some soap and washed the skeins and they came out really nice. So I wasn't too worried about it. I had done that before. So I wasn't too worried about the, the fact that it was a little sticky spinning. And it's perfect for spinning now. Because even though you know, even though the weather is cool here, you know, it has been in the high 60s. So if I sit in a little sunny spot and spin, it slips really nicely. You know, it's more lanoliny than sticky once it gets a little warmed up. So I mean, I'm not, this is not spinning in the grease by any means. It's...
It's, it's clean, but it's still got more lanolin in it then I really liked to have. So that's one thing that I'm working on. My spinning project. But I also started another project for our spin-in which is, you know, making something out of your handspun. So I started a handspun sweater.
So I spun the yarn years ago, well, over several years. Maybe people who've been listening for a while might remember. It's the CVM fleece and I had it processed at Yolo fiber mill which is now Valley Oak Wool Mill, a different owner. But it's up in Woodland, California. And I had it when we first moved here to this house, so that would have been '05. I'd had the fleece for at least at least a year, maybe came from the fair in 2004. Sat around here for a while before I sent it away to be processed. And then once it came back, I started spinning it and I used that same fleece for the... There was like six pounds of it. And I used that same fleece that sort of taupey beige fleece for the Orca sweater, the Orcas Run sweater, my big, bulky sweater. But this is a fingering weight, three ply, and then I dyed it red over the kind of beige color. So that made it kind of a terracotta, rust, I don't know what you would call it exactly. But it's real pretty. The dye color was called dark red. And I found a pattern. So, again, I had talked many times about what pattern I was going to use, right? I had a couple of choices in my queue that I was pretty sure I was going to use one of them. And then finally I just decided you know what I'm going to go looking again. And so I found a pattern called Dark Green Forest. And it's by Christina Korber-Reith. Korber-Reith is her last name, k o, r, b e r, dash r, e, i, t, h, she's German. And I actually looked up how you how you pronounce it.
In German. And...but I can't say it that way. I did the best I could. But she has, she has some really interesting patterns. Nice, kind of the long sweaters that I like, cozy and casual. The one I'm using has a cable like a honeycomb cable down the sleeve. It's got a saddle shoulder, which... I don't know if I've ever done an actual saddle shoulder before. But I think this is a saddle shoulder because the cable comes down from the collar and then goes down, down the top of the shoulder and then down the arm. The collar is a square collar. I don't know that it would be called a shawl collar. But it's nice. It's...you start at the... you start at the collarr and go down and it's it's one of those collars that folds over and is just square. You know, it's just
like a sailor's collar. Is that what they call it?
Yes. Yeah, I think that is what you would call it. That is what it's like, exactly like that. And it has ribbing on it. So I've gotten... I've gotten down... I'm in the the arm hole increases.
But I got messed up somehow. And I need to... I'm trying to decide whether I want to go forward and see if I'm in the right place for the cable. You know that cable crossing, or do I want to rip it back again, because I already ripped it back once to to get back to where I thought I knew where I was. And now it's not looking right. So. So I have to decide what I want to do. Do I want to forge ahead? Assuming that I'm right?Or, or did I somehow make a mistake again, not paying attention and get an extra, you know, an extra row in there. So. So anyway, that's where I am with that. But I'm really liking the pattern. It's fun. It's well written. I've made good progress, but with a collar that big. I still haven't gotten that far down, you know? Yeah, I'm in the, in the yoke. A little bit below what she calls the yoke in her pattern, so. But I'm excited about it. I have a sweater on the needles again, something more than a dish cloth.
Mm hmm. Well, I was just looking at the pattern. I think it's a very nice pattern. And I love the color. That terracotta color, I think is really nice.
Thank you. Yeah, I'm really pleased with it. I was laughing because somebody, I was talking to somebody about making things. And I suddenly realized, I like everything I make. I mean, it's good, right? I'm making it so it should be made the way I like it. But, but it was kind of funny. This person that I was talking to was much more critical of her stuff than I am. I'm like, you know, Oh, I like that. You say Oh, I like the color. I'm like, yeah, isn't it great? Oh, I like how your sweater turned out! Yeah, yeah, isn't it great? [laughing]
That's interesting. I'm trying to think... do I like everything I make? I like most things. I've had some. I say I like everything I've made. I like the yarn and the color and stuff. Sometimes. They don't fit right.
Yeah, I have some. Yeah, I have some fit complaints about some of the things I've made. Mostly related to raglan sleeve shaping that has the raglan part starting at like two stitches. And yeah, my top of my shoulder is much broader than two stitches. So unless we're talking about, you know, a totally high neck collar, that's not enough. But even those, I mean, I yeah. I guess it has to do with when, right? Especially when I'm making it or when I first finish it. It's like, Oh, I love this! Once it's in my drawer or closet for a while I sometimes realize oh, I don't love this as much as I thought I did. You know?
I--you know, I noticed because I don't grab it out as much.
But yeah, no, I'm not very critical of my own work. There's, I've made-- I did make one hat that I thought okay, this is really ugly.
Was that the charity hat you made? That you were talking about in the last episode or two episodes?
Oh, no, I, well...I guess I could count that one. I think that one's kind of ugly. And oh, well, not ugly, just not the best thing I've ever made. So maybe two things. No, this is one I made a long, long time ago. And I was going to a meeting and I just had to grab stuff to make a hat. You know, I knew I was going to be sitting in a meeting for a long time. So I just grabbed yarn. And the colors didn't really go together. And then I decided to make stripes. Because I thought oh, if I if I make the stripes of this way, it'll look better the colors will actually go together. One was like a teal and the other one was like a rust color. And they just didn't, you know that can be... that could be a really pretty combination. But this particular teal and the particular rust just wasn't wasn't a good mix. So I know that that hat sat in my stash for a long time with me thinking, well, maybe it's not so bad if I look at it in a different light. Oh, I think it's all right. Or then I thought, oh, maybe I'll just overdye it and I thought you know, I just just put it in the bag of goodwill stuff.
So I finally did get rid of it. And one of my, you know, times of going through the closet and getting rid of stuff that hat went in. So yeah. Anyway, but those are my only two. Really my only two projects at this moment are the spinning project and the new sweater on the needles. So...
Well, very nice. You're busy.
Yeah, I had hoped to wash fleece. And I won't go into a lot of gory detail but my top load washing machine from 30 years finally died. So...
Yes, so did you get another top load?
Yeah, yeah, it's another just basic washing machine. So it's coming on Friday.
30 years. That's actually a really long time for... I mean today for appliances,
The one we just bought will not last 30 years, I'm sure.
So we'll hope it works. Nobody at the place knew anything about, you know, things like can you just...
can you wash a fleece in it? Right?They really couldn't answer that question. [laughing]
Will it just spin and drain? Oh, you know, can you open it up in the middle of the cycle? You know, all that stuff. They didn't know anything about it. So we'll see. I have my fingers crossed. I think I'll be able to use it. I'll be able to figure something out. It has a pause button. So you know it locks but it does have a pause button. So I should be able to... Yeah, I should be able to do something with it. I don't know. But it doesn't have... it has an automatic water level. That might be a problem.
Oh, yeah, cuz you want to
Yeah, cuz I wanted to fill and then put stuff in. So I need-- I might need to figure out how to make it fill with nothing in it. Stupid. I don't know why they can't just make a--Well, I won't go into a ramt. It just, it's just ridiculous. There's nothing wrong with a regular washer. And I you know, I was reading through all of the things and oh, you know, you need this washer because it's gonna make your clothes last longer. I'm sorry. People don't want their clothes to last longer. People want to go shopping and buy a new outfit next month. It doesn't make any sense.
Actually, that's a really good point. I never thought about that. Because that was the the selling point of those front load front load washing machines is they're more gentle on your clothing because there isn't the agitation. But to your point, we don't want our clothes to last because we buy clothes are so inexpensive that we just buy new clothes.
And honestly, my clothes have gone in a... Now I just sound like an old lady on a rant but my clothing has gone into a top load agitator washer for 60 years. I have never felt like my clothing wore out too fast from going in the washing machine. Never! Not once have I had something that I thought, oh my god, it just wore out so fast from going in the washing machine.
Okay, so since we're on rants, I'm going to add my little rant to this. It's not about washing machines and appliances, which that could be a whole--that's a whole nother podcast of ranting! Light bulbs. So
Oh no Marsha! [laughing]
I'm gonna say... [laughing] But here's the thing. I remember when they came out with the LED light bulbs. And the big selling point of those light bulbs is that they were going to last 25 or 30 years. So I had all these random light bulbs, and I discovered most of my lamps are three way. So I bought all new light bulbs. Because I as I say had all these different light bulbs. And so I bought all new three way light bulbs. Put them in probably two months ago, and two of them have burned out. Now, I think... And I clearly sound like a conspiracy theorist when I say this, but I don't think I am. I think it's the truth. I think they're designed to break because it's not-- it doesn't make any sense. It's not a smart business model to make light bulbs that last 30 years right? Because nobody's gonna go buy your light bulbs. They won't buy them again for 30 years.
So the business model is they use less energy, which is good. But they cost more. Like I don't know, they cost more to make? I have no idea. They cost more to buy which is good for the manufacturer. And you have to buy them just as frequently or more frequently than an incandescent bulb so it's a great business... it's a business model that makes sense. You don't want them to last. Planned obsolescence. You don't want things to last, you want things to slow down. You know, you want things to break and wah, wah, wah, wah, wah. Old lady, old lady Failor here!
And old lady Locke here having our rants
Okay, does that make me sound like a conspiracy?
No, why would you make something-- Why would you make something like a light bulb that would last for 25 years? Because yeah, once people...
It's a bad business.
It's not an appliance. I mean appliances don't even last 25 years!
Your furnace! The furnace doesn't last. I mean it's funny, the the oil furnace that was in the house. This house was put in 1929 and my parents took it out in the 70s so that still forty... but there was nothing wrong with it they just wanted... they were sold a bill of goods that electric was better which is ridiculous.
Okay, now, last one last rant! That big green furnace in the basement that I loved the look of? We had replaced and it had, I mean it had had trouble and it was inefficient and eventually we did end up getting a new one last year because our furnace had gone out a couple of times. Remember it was out for a while last November a year ago? So it had died. This is again a 1920s furnace they had to cut it up to get it out of the basement because it was so big. So we get a new one and it has a thermostat on it with a programmer, right? Prrogrammed thermostat and Roberts like okay, we have to do this because programming your thermostat is really really more efficient because you know you you have a timer, blah, blah... I said it's not more efficient because if you have it on a timer it's going to come on whether or not I'm cold. If I'm cold I turn it on and when I'm not cold anymore I turn it off and that's more efficient. He's like, no no it's much better... Guess what! Even though our furnace is much more efficient then the old one was, because we had it on the timer for the winter our heating bill was more!
I'm turning that off so now I'm only going to turn it on when I'm cold and turn it down and not turn it on in the morning you know before you get up. It just...
Yeah. well I say that's an interesting point because I know that they...The reason they say that you should have a program is that then you're not like, oh I'm cold turn it up and then it's putting all this energy into heating it up. You know it's just like it keeps it at this constant temperature but to keep it the constant temperature you're using energy, right. So I can see there are these things we accept as the truth that are not necessarily the truth.
Well... furnaces. I go back to furnaces. My friend Susanna she has a house built in like 1900, I think. Here in Seattle, and she has the original furnace. Yeah, and it works. Yeah. So think how old that furnaces like over 120 years old.
Yeah, very cool.
And it works fine. So and I've spent evenings in her house and it's a lovely temperature. So there you go. Okay, and enough ranting Where are we I think because we got sent we went down this rabbit hole of ranting I believe I'm talking about my projects.
Oh my gosh, yes, you are. Quickly. [laughing] Sorry.
I have to get through these fast. Okay, so my socks. I frogged my socks because, remember the socks I'm making. I forgot to turn the heel. So I rip that out and I turn the heel and I'm now working on the gusset.
I'm working intermittently on my Simple Shawl that I started years ago but I work on that periodically. I'm still spinning the green brown Merino. Nothing new to report on that. So I will.. don't need to talk about that. Since we talked too much on our rants, I won't go into all of that. But I did cast on the pullover Atlas by Jared Flood for... And I'm making this for my brother. And the last episode I had swatched. I talked all about swatches. And so I'm not getting gauge. I'm getting 20 stitches in four inches as opposed to 24 stitches in four inches. Okay, so based on his size and my gauge, I'm making the smallest size. And that's... and so he brought back the the other Jared flood sweater I made for him and which we talked about. Is it Cobblestone? Yeah, he brought that back and I measured that and it's the same, it's gonna be a little bit bigger, maybe about an inch bigger, which I think is good because he doesn't want... he wants it more slim. As I talked about in the last episode, he wants it a bit more slim fitting, I don't think it should be super slim fitting based on the weight of this wool. So I think it's gonna be the perfect size.
Well, that's good.
So that's good. I do have... But now I want to talk about the color work. I do have some concerns about the color work, but I have to let it go. Because... well I shouldn't even say this, it's perfect. I know I'm just kind of concerned. So the body of the sweater is this very bright grass, Kelly green kind of. And then the color work is in a navy blue and kind of a light like a sky blue robin's egg blue. My concern is, you know, when you...when you talk about, like you take a picture of your color work and put it in black and white, and you see how the colors work then and what stands out? My concern is that the, the...when you look at them together, the light blue and the green, sort of blend together a little bit. There's not as much distinction between the Navy and the green or the Navy in the light blue. I'm, I'm committed to using these colors. So I don't I mean, I'd have to buy a different color. And looking at the colors. I... there's like there's not, there's not a huge range of colors in this yarn. So my options are like red, brown, white, gray. And that's... I'm kind of wondering if maybe, like the white would be, I don't know. I think I'm just gonna start knitting it and see how... because just looking... because I didn't complete the whole color work pattern. And maybe it will all be fine. In the end. I don't know.
Well, and Mark chose those colors, right?
Yeah, well, Yes, he did.
Yeah, yeah. I mean, that's what he wanted.
Yes. But I think there's one thing picking the colors. And then picking colors for color work.
Right. Because I don't know that much about it. And he knows nothing. Well, he knows a lot about color. Don't get me wrong. He knows a lot about putting colors together because of his background in design. But a knitted fabric? Yeah, yeah. Yeah. Anyway, I don't know.
He was looking at the pattern. I remember him looking at the pattern and right, and looking at the colors that he selected. So I don't know, anyway. Yeah.
So yeah. I'm not gonna worry about it. It's just something that's just is flickering through my brain. I wonder, huh? Wondering. And but again, when you complete the pattern, it might be fine. Just doing... I think I did 10 rows of the pattern. And the whole colorwork thing is well over that. So anyway, but the other thing I want to say is, do you remember in the last episode, we were talking about that in the pattern, it's a very well written pattern. But when you get to the color chart, it actually tells you on each row, which is your dominant color, and I had no idea what they were talking about. And so I said, I'm assuming the dominant color is going to be you knit..., you hold it in your dominant hand, in my case, that's my right hand. That's completely wrong. [laughing] So anybody who listened and knows anything about color work will know that that's wrong. This is what happens when you have no information, but you act like you're an authority. So I anyway, I... Kelly, you had pointed out that Jared Flood actually has a good video on explaining dominance. And so I put a link in the show notes about that, you actually are supposed to hold the the dominant color in your left hand. And I would I recommend the video, there's other videos out there too, but explains why you want to pick a color as a dominant color. And then also how you use it. Typically, people hold the dominant color in their left hand, he is not as fast that way. He actually holds both colors in his right hand. But he has this very interesting technique, which he demonstrates in the video of twisting your hand, so that you have the two different different yarns available. And he also talks about, there's another video he does about stranding and how you capture the floats in the back, which is very good. And this is all common knowledge for people who do a lot of color work. Not having done any color work, this is really informative. So I'll put, I put a link in the show notes on the video about dominant color. And then also in their patterns, they tell you which is the dominant color. But he said most color work patterns, they don't tell you. So also techniques for deciding which would be the dominant color.
Oh, that's good. Because Yeah, I have noticed that that's not something that's usually in the in the description. Yeah, at least in the description. Like, when you read the pattern, the pattern page, you know the description in the pattern page, you don't see it. Maybe in the written pattern, it will tell you but but yeah, that's good.
And then he and then even to the point to where the dominant color may change throughout the pattern. So you know, like in so like...
Yeah, so yeah, so that was just very interesting, something I knew nothing about and I made that offhand remark and I realized like I was wrong! So I just want people to know and I, I did there were some comments in the show notes and people had posted. One listener posted a video, a link to a video in there. So all that was really helpful. So I just wanted to share that That's so... That is it for me with projects.
Oh, and I should say too about this sweater, and I talked about this before--that you're supposed to do a tubular cast on. And then knit two and a half inches of ribbing, and then start the body. And as I talked about in the past, and in the last episode, I'm doing a provisional cast on and just starting with the stockinette. And then I'm going to go back and do the ribbing. So I have done about seven inches of the stockinette. If I had included the ribbing, I'm supposed to knit it from the cast on with the ribbing, I'm supposed to about 10 and a half inches of the body where I then start doing shaping though,
So you're close to shaping.
Yeah. This, if I subtract the two and a half inches, I need to knit eight inches, and I'm about at seven inches now. So another inch and I'm going to start the shaping. When you do this technique, it's very curly. It's like I'm going around and around and around and it never seems like I'm getting anywhere. Yes, it looks like it looks like a holiday wreath because it's bright green. And it's just basically a big log, I mean and a big umm... Yeah, it's like, it's like a wreath, kind of. Around and around. It never seems to grow. So and I think I may have done this with his other sweater too, is that when I finished the whole sweater, I will probably wash and block it before I go back and do the ribbing. Because it is so curly. I think it's gonna be very difficult to measure how it should be.
So, but I'll report in on this. So as I say that's it for... that's it for projects for me.
Good. Sounds like you're making good progress.
on some projects, yeah, not so much on others.
Well, the summer spin is moving along. And it's also Tour de Fleece. I forget what day we're on now, I was doing pretty well at the beginning of it. Accounting for what I was doing each day that had to do with spinning. I had a couple of days that I didn't card or spin or anything so I got kind of off. But anyway Tour de Fleece is going on. The summer spin in is going on. And in this episode, we're going to talk a little bit about fiber preparation.
So and Kelly, you mentioned this last time, but we'll mention again. Don't forget your tetanus shot.
Oh, yeah. And then we had some feedback, too.
Yeah. So Natalie, Superkip. She added don't prep fleece when you're pregnant. And because toxoplasmosis is a danger and I'm not sure what that is. I honestly did not Google it. All I know is, it's a danger. So okay. And I did watch a video to where she said she always wears gloves. Just latex gloves on. So that's probably smart to do too. And then
I have to say I wouldn't do that. Yeah. I like the feel of it. I know. But if you're squeamish about about touching, yeah, I guess.
Yeah. Yeah. So anyway, so I wanted to mention that.
And then she also mentioned about when we talked a little bit about the rescue fleeces that might have more stuff in that, you know, bargain fleeces that might have stuff in them, more so than something that you'd buy at a fiber festival. And she mentioned a flick carder being really helpful. And I had forgotten to mention that but yeah, that is a good example. Its a good use for flick carder, if you can somewhat keep the locks of your fleece intact. When you wash it, if it's the type of fleece where that happens. Then you can kind of just brush them out with a flick carder, brush out the ends and you can get out a lot of the waste that way.
The first thing I was just going to mention is if you if you get a raw fleece and you know we've talked about washing it, but what we did not talk about was skirting. And so I was just gonna mention, we won't go into great detail but the concept of skirting as you lay the fleece out with the cut side down, and the so called dirty part up and then you just go around and you pull out areas that are matted, or areas where the fibers look like they're broken. If there are manure tags on it, or bad stuff that you just don't want in there. Probably as we talked about in the last episode if you've bought a fleece at you know like from a show it probably will be pretty well skirted, but it's a good idea just to go through it again. The other comment too on the video Well, I'll just say I put a link in to a video by Rain Fiber Arts. That was very good. And she is talking about how to skirt a fleece. And she also talks too, if you see if there's any signs of eggs, or moths or something, and just don't even let that into your house. Kelly, you can add something to this too, about, what are your thoughts about things to look for, when you're skirting that you'd want to pull out?
Usually the parts that you don't want are around the edges, you know, so like the, if the fleece has been rolled up, and you can unroll it and see kind of, you know, depending on how it's been rolled, and how well you're able to unroll it, you might not exactly be able to see the shape of the sheep. But you know, like the manure tags would be in the back edge, the britch wool, which is the wool on the backs and kind of toward the backs of their legs, is more coarse, usually and that's towards the edge of the fleece. If they have, you know, the fleece around their legs might have been, well, like the fleece that I was carding the Oxford, there were some sections of that fleece, some pieces of that fleece that had dark hairs in it from the leg. Dark leg hairs in it, which really, if I had been doing a better job, I would have, I would have skirted a little bit better and taken taken that out. And that would have been around the edge, as well. Yeah, sometimes, sometimes around their neck, you'll find a lot of hay from, you know, from eating. And so you can take some of that out, if you want to, you know, be real harsh with your skirting and get out the most of the veg manner. So a lot of it is around the edges. The other thing that I wish I had done more of with this fleece that I have, is... and I did a little bit of it when I was picking and carding. But a lot of times you can shake the fleece, if you can shake the fleece. Especially if you have... I would love to have a table that was like mesh. Because the second cuts, any second cuts, well, you know, a lot of that will fall away, a lot of the veg matter will fall away, some of the things that you don't want will fall away and, and you can see it a little bit better if you shake it, you can see, you know, where are those areas where you have second cuts and those little short bits. So I need to do a better job of that. My habit is, you know, to look at the fleece when I first get it home, and then roll it back up and put it away and then I get on a tear about washing and I just grab some of it, you know. What I really should do is lay it back out, sort it. Look for places where the fleece is really nice and put all that together. And wash just that section and be really intentional about what parts of it you wash, as opposed to just, you know, grab a piece of it that's going to fit in the washer and wash it. So you can be intentional about your fleece, if especially if you get a nice one, right? Where you want to keep the nicest bits together. If it's a fleece like a lot of the... And maybe this is why I do it. A lot of the bargain fleeces that I've gotten, you know, they're just jumbled in a bag. And there's no knowing what what part of the fleece is what. So that's how I got my start and maybe that's why I have some bad habits when it comes to grabbing out bits to wash.
Yeah. The first fleece I bought was actually a Shetland fleece. And I just took it out of the bag and I put it i... like tore it in half or smaller batches and just washed the whole thing. Yeah. And that was a mistake because what... and now this is specific to Shetland, but I took a class by Judith McKenzie about taking a Shetland fleece and because the fiber so different depending on where it is on the sheep, you really don't want to take the... You can do anything you want to do, but it's better to separate out the different fiber, different textures and fibers because-- and I didn't know that about a Shetland. So I just, you know... but I think in any fleece there are going to be different textures depending on where it is on the sheep. So I did that. I just washed all of it and carded it and started spinning it. Is it bad? No, not necessarily but it could have been better.
Yeah, it's just different. You know, if you if you want a really super... if you want to get like, every type of yarn you can get from a fleece, then you have to be more intentional about it, right? You'll find the finest part and you'll make a nice yarn that's fine and soft. With the more coarse part, you'll make something that's a more workhorse yarn. But, but if you want to just make a sweater, you just mix it all together and make a sweater. I mean, there's nothing wrong with doing that. Yeah, right.
Well, and I was... the other thing I was gonna say about skirting is sort of, for me, you know how I am. It's like, I want to use every bit of it. Because this precious thing I bought, I want to use every bit of it. Yeah. And it's okay to be aggressive, you know? Yeah. Well, you don't need to save all of it. It's okay.
I think I've told this story before about the, I think it was like 40 pounds of fleece that I got from... I was at a spinning day and somebody said, Oh, you know, my brother in law has fleece in his barn. Would you be interested? I'm like, of course! So I went and got this 40 pounds of fleece. And I'm pretty sure that's what it came out to be. And anyway, I opened it all up on my lawn and made piles. And I found myself at the end, even though I had so much of it, I found myself going back to the trash pile and taking taking bits that I had skirted out and putting them back. So yeah, you know, it's hard. It's greed. Fleece Greed is a real thing. Right? So, but but some people are better at that than than others. And then there are some people who keep their carding waste. You know, when I'm carding, and I clean off the carder, the waste that's on the small drum of the carder, I toss it. But there are people who save that and use it for something else, you know, and you can do that. But I, that's not something I do. I think about it. [laughing] And then I tell myself how much fleece I have in the garage. And I toss it in the bin.
So about carding, let's talk a little bit about carding, then, oh, as I say, it's a huge subject. So and we can't go into the minutiae of it. But let's just talk sort of, in general about carding. The different tools and whatnot.
Well, I put a couple of links in the show notes about it, I have a drum carder, and I, one of the things that I can say for sure, whether using hand cards or a drum carder, is that you really want to not overload, you know. Less is more. You really can go faster if you don't try to put too much in. And I have also learned that it's faster for me, even though it doesn't seem like it, if I do some picking first, which is like separating all the fibers. And so I'll just, you know, stand at the table and pick a whole bunch of, you know, like a whole box of fiber, one of those, you know, reams of paper boxes. I'll take a bunch of fiber, and I'll do the picking until I've got a good amount in one of those boxes, and then I'll start carding. And that really helps because it's already-- the fibers already separated and doesn't get clumped and stuck in the drum carder, and then I usually do two passes. With this fleece that I have, I did the first pass and got a bunch of batts. And then I pulled off strips from each one of those bats and blended them you know, blended them together and did a second pass. I've done with some fleeces depending on how, how much what kind of fleece it is and how it looks, I might do a third, a third pass. Or if I'm blending two colors together. I'll do, you know, I'll do each color that I'm blending, each part that I'm blending separately. And then I'll pull strips off and weigh them and run them through the carder together and then probably have to do a third pass to get them better blended. The first pass usually isn't very well blended and then the second one is much better. So I do a first one to just kind of get everything organized separately. And then a second one to blend and then a third one to finish the blending if I want the blending to be more even. So you can do the same thing with the hand cards, the blending. I've done that before. It's not so... I don't do so much weighing when I use the hand cards, I just kind of eyeball how much I'm putting on. I might weigh it ahead of time to say like, I want 70% of this and 30% of that. And so I have my two piles. But then when I put it onto the cards, I'm not weighing each time I use the hand cards, I'm not weighing these. So yeah, that Carding is... I enjoy it, it seems like it will be a slow process. But actually, that 400 grams that I carded, you know, went through the carder, I picked it, and then it went through the carder twice. And it was a, you know, a couple of hours, maybe two or three times during the week. So I mean, that's not that much time. It didn't seem like it was that much time.
No, it's not bad. You just listen to podcasts or watch TV or something. Yeah,
yeah. Or listen to a zoom meeting. [laughing]
So that's um, that's how I card. Now, the flick carder, we talked a little bit about that already. That kind of requires that you have the lock structure still intact in your fleece. And then I just put it on my lap on top of like a magazine on top of my lap and just brush out the end of the of the, the tip end of the fleece and then turn it around and brush out the the back end of that lock and then set it aside and start another one. And that works really well. I don't have mini combs. And I kind of would like to have mini combs. I have the big combs that you clamp onto a table and I took a class on using those, which was really good. But I haven't really used my combs much since then. They're I mean, they're really a nice piece of equipment. But for some reason I'm not... I'm just not in the habit of getting them out and using them. And I think mini combs might be something that I might like to have. Because, just because they're something you can just sit and do.
So I'd be interested to hear what people think about mini combs. And then the other thing I have not used is a blending board. And I know most of the time people are using a blending board with fiber that's already processed to to you know, mix colors together and make interesting rolags or punis. So, but that's not something that I've ever done. So I'd be interested to know how many of our listeners have used either a blending board or mini combs and whether they think either one of those things is kind of an essential, an essential tool.
How big are mini combs?
About, probably about, I would say the ones I've seen, maybe about two and a half to three inches across. They're smaller than hand cards.
But they they have the same kind of, you know, like, the same kind of tines as like the bigger combs. I think two rows of tines. And you use them the same way where you put them perpendicular to one another. Like you put the fiber on the one comb and then you...
Oh here I'm looking online at them right now as we speak.
So I've been thinking about maybe getting a set of mini combs, because that is one type of preparation that I haven't ever done. And I know there are a lot of people who really like it and you can get a lot of the garbage out of your fleece that way. Moreso than with carding. More waste, you know, there's more waste, but you get more of the best part of the fiber.
Right. Yeah. Okay.
So, anyway, so that's my, my experience of of carding and combing fiber preparation. So and I have a couple--Like I said, I have a couple of links in the show notes for that.
Okay, good. The other thing that we I just I thought that we decided we should talk just touch on, too, is also mill processing. You don't necessarily have to process this yourself. And so we have some links in the show notes. Fibershed did a mill inventory of mills across the... Well Fiber shed is a California based group. So they show one mill in California, they show mills across the country, but they don't have them listed by name, so. But the link is in there, it's interesting to look at. There's also a link to the producer directory. And that Kelly too, we were talking about that before we recorded. That has not just mills, but people who are producing fiber. And also on Ravelry there's a Fiber Prep Ravelry group. And they don't have mills listed in like a central location to go to see all the mills that are listed. But in the discussion thread, people are talking about the different mills. Yeah, I think my sense is, what you have to do is you just have to Google mills for processing, wool, alpaca, whatever and search for the mills. I know some of the mills popped up. But I know the three that I know, fairly locally to me. They're processing their fiber for their own yarn. They're not processing fiber anymore for people who just want to have a fleece processed. So yeah, there are mills out there. I think though, you have to just Google and start searching. As we said, there, it's difficult to find one location that just has a list of all of the mills doing small batches of in the United States, right?
Yeah, Valley Oak Wool Mill is the one that that I've used in California. And then there's also Mendocino Wool and Fiber Company. Again, this is just California. I think the eastern part of the United States has a couple of really well used mills and there are a lot. There are more of them in that area. But yeah, Mendocino Wool and Fiber is the other one. I haven't used them but their website, I can put their link in the show notes as well. mendowool.com is their website
When we... what we talked about in the last episode is you know if they can't... most not all, but mills can either just wash it and and prep it for spinning or you can just have it processed into roving or you can have it processed into yarn if you want to do that. But that's another resource.
And it is true there are a lot more of them that process your wooll into fiber preparations. Morro Fleeceworks is another one in California that I was forgetting. A lot more of them process into roving than process all the way to yarn. There's a real lack of mills, small mills, that process your wool all the way to yarn, and a lot more of them just the process or fiber.
Yeah. So I just wanted to mention that. All right. Um, so let's just briefly talk about carding. I, you know, I have a drum Carter, I have the carding the combs that I use. I don't have a blending board, which would be kind of nice because I do remember I bought... I think it was up on Whidbey Island at the Whidbey Island spinners... little packets of mohair locks that were dyed. And those are great to blend in. So I was thinking I should probably get it. It'd be nice to get a blending board but all in good time. Right.
Mm hmm. Well, you can do that blending with your with your drum carder too.
Yeah, that's how I've done it in the past, because I did some at your house with your drum carder. So I should, I should try it here. Anyway, so anything else we need to add to this topic?
Um, I think if you are going to go look at the fleece processor list in the Ravelry group that we've posted, if you are going to go look at that list, I would suggest starting at the most recent posts. Because the thread has been going for like six years or something. So you know, something you get out on page one is maybe not even...Maybe not even there anymore.
Yeah. So Well, I'd be interested in hearing what other people do and also you know, if you have a mill that you've used to process fleece that we haven't mentioned. Maybe we could start a list.
Yeah, there you go. Maybe. Yeah, we should! I know like some people have used Shepherds Wool that does Crazy that we like so much. People have had yarn prop don't
Stone Hedge. That's the one! That's the name of it I want to say because they make shepherds wool their worsted weight. Yeah. So I know that they've had them. So maybe we should start a list Kelly. if nobody's done it, maybe we need to.
Yes. Well, we can start by-- we can start by asking our listeners to provide us feedback. With mills that they've used or that they know of in their area. We've got three California ones listed on our show notes for today. But yeah, we need to put in some other states. Yeah. All right. Project. Project. Yes. Just what I need. [laughing]
So anyway, but the summer spin-in goes through Labor Day, which is September 6.
So and we have two finished object threads. One is for finished spinning. And the other one is for finished projects. So if you're making something out of hand spun, you can join us. You don't have to be spinning this summer to join in.
Kelly breaking in while editing 1:06:18
Oh, coming in from the future, to say that we forgot to tell you that we will have prizes from Three Green Sisters again this year! We'll talk more about that next episode.
Okay, Kelly. So and then do we have any more housekeeping?
I don't think so.
All right. Well, then, I guess we'll say goodbye.
All right, Marsha.
We'll talk we'll talk to weeks.
Okay. Bye bye.
Alrighty. Bye bye.
Thank you so much for listening. To subscribe to the podcast visit to Two Ewes Fiber Adventures dot com
Join us on our adventures on Ravelry and Instagram. I am betterinmotion and Kelly is 1hundredprojects.
Until next time, we're the Two Ewes doing our part for world fleece!
Transcribed by https://otter.ai