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This weekend I dyed a batch of Leicester Longwool that I'd had a while... the fiber looks marvelous!

 

 

This afternoon I tried spinning this long stuff!  And I mean it is long... the shortest lengths are at least 6" long... and some are evenlonger.  It wants to be spun finely... it will not go thick at all.  It was so hard to spin that I tried making a rolag and that was a little bit better, but still difficult... So I just finished carding the whole pile... well it's only 10 oz. and fits into a gallon zip lock baggie...Here is the first part of the spinning I did today... this will be a very slow process.

 

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On the Support Spindlers group on Ravelry, someone mentioned making a plying ball by navajo plying. I did this recently. It took a long time to do the plying ball, but the plying went very quickly. I just put my bobbins on my lazy kate and chained as I made my plying ball.

I'm so glad you found it helpful - I wish I could get my dog to shoot video for me - I've got a Border Collie so she's smart enough, but no thumbs... (sigh!)

Yes, opposable thumbs are very helpful when shooting videos.

Indeed... she's a funny critter.

I did a batch of dyework this morning.  She wanted to help with that, thinking that since it was on the stove it must be food!  Now I have about 500g of fire engine red Romney!

That sounds yummy!

It is... and I think it will be neat in my next ombre which I'm planning to call "Dragon". I've got the red posted in my Etsy shop and I'll build part of the ombre today.  I've got one more color to dye for this one.

New batts I'm working on are from the Nasty Romney, this time in Plum Dandy.  Ugly and nasty when I started with the fleece, but after washing, dyeing, picking multiple times and carding even more times (3 and 5 respectively - really!) and the stuff is still full of veg.  But, as I do the pre-drafting, picking out even more veg, and then spinning some. 

I think it is time to get some combs - stuff this trashy after all this work is making me crazy!  Well, more crazy than usual...

Finally - a nice yarn from the stuff all on it's own.  I like this color enough to work with it by itself, now I'm letting it rest overnight on the bobbin.  I'll wash it later, but here is how it looks before its bath:

This is really gorgeous!  But what a royal pain.  You have much more patience than I.  I would have tossed the whole thing long ago.  

Patience, maybe.  It might be that I'm too stubborn to throw away a fleece I paid good money to get.  Fifty bucks for this ten pound monster - I think at least a pound of it is veg!  It is turning out pretty though.  I just placed an order for some sequins to add to this yarn, some tiny 3mm ones that should really make this yarn pop!

On the plus side, all this work is really teaching me a lot about getting to the beauty of a fleece, even when it doesn't look like much to start with.  This particular fleece runs about five to six inch staple and a nice wavy crimp.  It might get a bit of shine - I can see a little in the picture that I didn't see while I was working with it.  After all that carding, it is getting pretty silky.  This is a chain plied sample, and I am really pleased with the way it looks - slubs and all.

Well, you definitely got to the beauty alright!  And, yes, if I had paid that money I would probably be forcing myself to work through it too.  I'm in the "never want to process a fleece again" camp, though.

OK... I have NEVER purchased a whole fleece... when I got my wheel, I did purchase ONE pound of Corriedale fleece raw... by raw I mean, it had been skirted, there was little if any VM, but the smell and staining from the "other stuff" was significant. Dutifully, I washed it in very hot water and Dawn, rinced it until the smell was gone.  Spread it out on a piece of lattice and allowed it to dry.  Then using my hand cards, I carded the entire pound of fiber.  Then I spun it. 

Since then, I have obtained clean pieces of fleece, no raw odorous stuff anywhere to be found, and I find that that is enough of a challenge.  I am still amazed at the amount of VM, tiny seeds and other sticks, etc. that I find in these fibers.  That is enough for me.  I understand the process and can, if neccessary perform those tasks. 

Aw, come on Susan - I know you lurve processing your own filthy dirty, stinky fleece - lol!

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