Sunday, September 21, 2008

Fiber Goodness (Is it Fall yet?)























Now we have finished re-roofing, finished taking down plastic tarp, finished vacuuming etc. I have had time to take a few pictures of what I have been up to. I have tried out my lovely little mini combs that my sister got me from The Wheel Thing and I LOVE them. For those who already know how to use these, just move on to other pictures. My combs come with a stand/carrying case that can hold my combs in place while I work. I use C-clamps to fix the stand to a table and then position a comb with the tines facing UP (a pin holds the comb in place through a hole in the handle). I take washed locks and "lash" them onto the tines. The idea is to pierce the lock towards the base onto the tines so that they sit about an inch above the base of the tines. You continue to put locks on until you have a row of locks that span the width of the comb. I don't put a lot of locks on because once you begin to comb them, they expand taking up a lot of the space on the mini combs. Since I only knit/spin lace weight, I felt these combs would be big enough but anyone who needs to process a lot of fiber might want larger ones. Once you have the locks on what is referred to as the "stationary" comb, you un-pin the handle of the comb, turn it sideways and re-pin it so it stays in place. This comb now stays there while you comb the locks.You take the remaining comb and, swinging downwards, you comb through the very tips of the locks to catch some fiber and pull them loose from the mass. You continue to to comb in the same manner until as much fiber from the stationary comb is on the moving comb as possible. After this is done, you take the comb with all the fiber on it and put the fiber back onto the stationary comb. Take the full comb, tines facing down and catch the fibers tips onto the stationary comb moving from right to left. The stationary comb has not moved. You continue to replace those fibers until as many of the fibers can transfer back onto that comb as possible. If you are satisfied with the effect, you can now form roving by using your hands to pull off the fiber or by using a diz. If you get a lot of static, you can try a little water/oil combination on the fiber or just water, on the tines. My tines are stainless steel so this works out OK as long as you are not soaking the wood. Very pretty smooth fiber :-) I loved it so much I bought more fleece! I picked up some natural colored Rambouillet from Wind River Woolens . The staple length is pretty short compared to the Cormo but it is very soft. I also picked up some CVM in a light morrit from MaiMaiBB which is slightly longer. I washed both these fleeces in the washing machine in nylon bags to see how that would work out. You fill the EMPTY tub of your washing machine with hot water, add Dawn diswashing detergent and then soak the bags of fleece WITHOUT agitation. I let them sit 20 minutes then pulled the bags out of the washing machine, drained the dirty water and repeated the process. Total of 3 washes and 2 rinses with a spin-dry at the end. Worked really well though I would still do the Cormo in the bathtub using the kitty litter trays and boiling hot water due to the huge amount of lanolin in Cormo. As you can see, I got more silk from Habu and had them wind it onto cones for me. Considering the aggravation it saved me, it was worth the price. I've been to Lacis and bought more lace patterns and some small carved objects. I also went to the A Verb For Keeping Warm 1 year anniversary party on Saturday. I don't need more fiber but with Winter coming on, I tend to do less knitting and more spinning. At least, that's what I told myself when I got 8 ounces BFL in "Chance of Rain" colorway as well as 4 ounces of 50/50 Yak/Tussah Silk in "Magnet" and 4 ounces in BFL (to ply). Last but not least, I got an orifice hook at Chiwawa which is small enough to go through the holes for the Majacraft Rose Lace Flyer. Sure beats using a bent paper clip :-) That's it for now. I'm on row 93 of Goldregen. Not enough to bother to take a picture of that.


Until Next time. Happy knitting/spinning/whatever :-)

20 comments:

fleegle said...

Well, I want to see a picture of Goldregen! That silk makes my mouth water. Any ideas what you'll knit with it?

Laritza said...

Now that you mention it, I bought an orifice hook the other day and I have no idea where I put it. I am still stuck with the paper clip. Lovely colors. Is the first book a Niebling? did you get it at Lacis? I don't recall seeing that particular one.

Jane said...

Dear fleegle,

I need to get Goldregen onto longer circular needles for a picture but I will work on that this week :-) I'm not sure what I'm going to use the other silk for, I just enjoy working with this silk so much that I decided to "stock-pile" a little. I'm always afraid something I like to work with will stop being available. I know it sounds paranoid but they stopped making Flora 50 which I like and now you can't get the ColourMart 3/45 any more so.... Better safe than sorry!

Jane said...

Dear Laritza,

This is a new portfolio offering with re-prints of the Kunststrick Mussser patterns. I do belive that many of them are Nieblings. Some of the patterns included in this set were sold earlier in the year by Lacis as individual patterns. Many of them have no name, just generic discription ie round or square "Decken", but both Alpenrose and Farnkraut (missing from Kunststricken Grobe und kleine Decken)are here along with Herbst, Kristsall,Blatterkranz and Seerose. Mary Francis at lacis is talking with Buch Verlag fur die Frau about either re-printing the Nieblings they have or letting Lacis re-print. Apparantly, they had no idea there was a big market for the patterns and they don't even really know how many of his patterns they actually have as they are stored away! I hope they allow a re-printing. I have my fingers crossed.

LittleBerry said...

The fibre from A Verb looks lovely but today I am drawn to 'Magnet' aptly enough ;o) those colours are beautiful.... I look forward to seeing what they become....

Kate said...

I've nominated you for the "I love your blog" award, so get on over to my blog and pick up your ribbon.

Please don't blog about spinning - I bought a spindle and I can hear it calling to me - there is just not enough time.

BadCat said...

I want to come over to your house and play...

Denise said...

I want to get a set of combs someday.

Looking forward to seeing more Neibling patterns at Lacis.

Kristine said...

Jane and May --

Thank you so much for coming by the studio party. It is always so great to see the both of you and to learn about what you have been up to! Jane, it is one thing to see your pieces online, and another thing to see them in real life !!!! Also, thank you for all of the goodies you brought -- and and oh my the niebling!! This will be the 1st piece of framed artwork that will go up in the new store.

Jean said...

The intricacy of your work, whether it is knitting or spinning is striking. Perhaps I'll be brave enough to try it someday. (Meanwhile your detailed blog will satisfy my curiousity). I am enjoying learning from your blog.

mydogpetey said...

I love that sweet little bird ruler of yours. Where ever did you find that?

Jane said...

Dear littleberry,

I think the "Magnet"colorway was a big hit in general and I figure I'll be doing a lot of spinning this winter as my knitting tends to wind down. It's nice to get away from my usual blues and greens :-)

Jane said...

Dear Kate,

Thank you so much for the award! I appreciate that you enjoy looking in on my blog even though I'm tempting you with spinning! I've always preferred a wheel myself, but my sister loves her spindles. It appears to be very addicting :-)

Jane said...

Dear badcatdesigns,

I do love my "toys" and have lots of fun! Your place looks like loads of fun too :-)

Jane said...

Dear Denise,

Hope you get the chance to try some combs out. There are quite a few of those mini-combs out there and I must say they work really well for me. I just needed ones that had a "holder" for the stationary comb since my hands are just not that strong. However, lots of people just use the combs without a stand or clamp. I think that the folks at Lacis are trying really hard to get more of those Niebling's published. I have high hopes. After all, they got "Lyra" printed didn't they? I've got my fingers crossed.

Jane said...

Dear Kristine,

We had great fun at the party and making for a year in this economy is something to celebrate! It was nice to see so many other people interested in spinning/knitting and it really is very different than just reading a blog! I'm happy you liked the doily. I got pleasure from knitting it and now I have pleasure from being able to give it away :-) You really can't beat that!

Jane said...

Dear Jean,

Thank you for looking in on the blog! I know I have a great time looking at other peoples blogs and their projects and I get great inspiration from them.Good Luck with any future projects :-)

Jane said...

Dear mydogpetey,

I was at a local crafts fair in Castro Valley and bought it from a gentleman who does not even have a web site. Van Ornum Wood Working.
Phillip Van Ornum (408) 910-9690 makes them along with other types of wood work. I suggested he make inch gages but he had no idea what the heck I was talking about I'm afraid.

missalicefaye said...

I love the combing photos! It looks so fun! :)

Jane said...

Dear missalicefaye,

It really is lots of fun and very addicting! I've picked up more fleece to play with but I really need to stop and do some knitting in order to justify all this stashing :-)