10 June 2009
One step closer to living in a cave
I'm the type of person who, when it comes to a new hobby or interest, can't leave well enough alone. A friend of mine starts me drinking coffee, so now I roast, grind and brew my own beans. If I thought I could supply my habit with a backyard coffee tree, I'd be doing that too. So when I decided I wanted to learn to crochet, I knew I was in for trouble. I could imagine stacks of yarn in corners, drawers full of the newest and latest in hook design, and possibly some sort of homemade, Mcguyver-ed up sort of automatic crocheting machine. What I did not envision was this:
That's right, kids. Home spinning. Turns out my boss is into it, I expressed an interest, and all of a sudden I'm going home with brushes, a spindle,a whole lot of instructions, and wool from 7 or so different animals. So I washed, carefully sudsing the raw wool in extremely hot water to remove any vegetable matter and all of the lanolin, being sure not to overagitate (I wasn't making felt after all)
I carded after the wool had dried, straightening out the fibers, removing snarls and any sticks that had made it through the wash.
I spun (after making a drop spindle of my own), lining up the fibers and twisting them together to form a cohesive thread.
I washed again, this time agitating a bit more to "lock" the fibers together
I dried, blocked and set the spin, using a rack to stretch the fibers and take out any extra twist the yarn had picked up during the spinning process.
And finally, after 2 or so days of work, I had 3.5 ounces of prime handspun yarn:
Ladies and Gentlemen, meet Keith's alpaca/shetland/merino (maybe a few more) hat.