Friday, August 17, 2012

Happy Friday

It's still way too warm around here. 

A couple of weeks ago, I overheard one of my coworkers telling someone on the phone that we'd only had about 4 hours of over 80 degree weather, and what was the world coming to when we don't have a proper "Summer"....  then this week, I hear the same coworker telling someone on the phone that the weather is miserable and too hot and sticky.

Dude, move to Arizona. 

Fridays are nice days.  They aren't any less busy for me.  I'm ALWAYS busy.

However, they are the day of the week that I know I can go home and if I forget to pay attention to the clock while I'm reading/spinning/knitting/working outside or whatever it is I'm doing...  it won't cause problems for me in the morning.  Generally.  :)

Tomorrow I'm heading to the fiber mill to pick up my fleeces.  I had the mill wash my beautiful Teeswater that I got a couple of months ago.  I didn't want them to do anything else to it because I really want the locks to use in some spinning projects.  Maybe I'll make the cat a wig or something.  ;)

But I did have the mill create roving for me from some of my other fleece.  Because I just can't get out from under it all. 

I now have 5 more fleeces pulled out of the stash and ready to head up tomorrow with me.

I think part of what made me really stop and THINK about this was that while I was listening to the Knitmore Girls podcasts from several years ago, Jasmin talks about how she doesn't mind processing, but if she leaves a fleece to process herself, she'll end up tossing it.  Since that's a ridiculous waste of money (and fleece) she sends all her fleeces to a mill.  She might keep out as much as 4 ounces to process by hand, but that's it.

I sat there (in traffic) and thought about that for a while, and contemplated my stash, and my spinning practices recently.  What I slowly figured out is that I have all these luscious fleeces (some more luscious than others) and I'm not spinning them.  Why?  Because I am finding that I only have an hour or two in the evenings after the bird goes to bed where I can read/knit/spin/play on a computer.  In one hour, I can spin an ounce of fiber (depending on how I'm spinning it) or I can comb maybe MAYBE one ounce of fiber.  But getting the fiber ready to spin takes more time than just 1 hour.  Depending on the fleece, I may need to run it through a picker to open up all the fibers, then card it.  Carding can take up to an hour per ounce, since my carder is small and you need to run the fiber through it several times.

While I enjoy combing and carding, to an extent, I love spinning much more.  So going forward, I think I'm adopting a similar approach to fleeces as Jasmin has.  I may pull out 4 ounces to be processed at home, but not more than that.  (As another couple of friends pointed out) I can always take what the mill processes for me and comb it or card it to blend with silk or sparkle or whatever.  And by starting from the processed fiber, it will take less time and be less frustrating.  I might even make a dent in the huge stash I have.

This batch leaves me with just 1 or 2 more fleeces to go up to be made into roving.  I'm going to leave them for the trip when I go pick up these fleeces.  And that has more to do with not wanting to dig to the bottom of the stash...  yet another reason to actually start making a dent.

What's going up tomorrow is a gorgeous chocolate brown fleece with gold tips, 2 alpaca fleeces (one caramel, one cinnamon), and 2 white fleeces.  I am going to ask about pricing for blending with some things (like silk) for at least part of one of the alpacas.  Depending on price, I might do the brown wool fleece as well.  That brown one is destined to be a sweater some day.  I'd like it to be nice.  :D

In the meantime, have a good weekend, try to stay cool!

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