Saturday, August 20, 2005

Slow Progress

Progress rather than "finished product" seems more attainable as a goal, and in fact has been my only goal these past couple of days. After being fatigued from my "klutzy" episode on Thursday, yesterday went by in a blur. But over the last couple of days, I did manage to finish spinning and plying the white yak fiber for my exotic fiber project. That's shown on the bottom with the camel down that I had already spun. Now to work on the buffalo, and I did get some wonderful alpaca, and alpaca/angora so I'll choose which to knit in the project when everything is finished and in yarn form.

As for the fleece sample project, I'm working on it slowly but surely. Yesterday, my double Dutch Combs came, and I was able to begin the process of combing some of the fibers that are too long to card. I really enjoyed working with them, they aren't sharp but comb through the fibers so very nicely, just as nicely as the sharp Viking combs. Knowing that I'm often a klutz, I know I'm saving myself from disaster in the future by getting the Dutch ones. After hand carding the Wiltshire Horn fiber (yick), I finally got tired of the hand carding chore so I dug my way through my basement to rediscover my drum carder, managed even to plug it in, and carded around 5 or 6 samples. Boy was that easy and fast compared to hand carding!

Now understand that for me, cleaning the left over fibers from my drum carder is somewhere up there with having a root canal and driving on the Washington beltway at rush hour in terms of my likes and dislikes. The teacher of our fleece study class suggested that some wide hole nylon netting placed over the tines of the drum carder will make cleaning it a snap, just pull the netting off and all the leftover fibers just pull off with it. So off I trudged with my gimpy ankle (I know, I was supposed to stay off it, but fiber is important, you know) to the fabric store where I got a yard of said netting for $0.99. What a deal! Right?

Well, I cleaned my carder as thoroughly as I could, and after measuring and cutting, wapped it with the netting which is a beautiful bright blue. It seems that my trusty carder didn't really like being wrapped, in fact, it so hated to have the netting on it that it kind of ate the stuff, requiring me to pull small slivers of netting out of my carded fiber. Ok, maybe I need to refine my method, but the netting couldn't make it past the two small rollers without being torn apart. I can adjust the rollers to make them further from the large drum, but then the fibers don't get carded as nicely. I'm back to carding (and cleaning) the old fashioned way on the drum carder, sans netting.

There are the first 4 of my fiber study on the top picture, left to right, Navajo Churro (combed), Wiltshire Horn, Columbia, and Clun Forest. The CVM which was wonderful is drying in my kitchen.


LadyV said...

You are definitely making "great" progress! The Wiltshire Horn (this one is new to me) looks interesting...How does it feel?

I have not started spinning up the fiber for the exotic fibers headband. Liz and I have been having such a grand ole time getting up close and personal with various fleece. I guess I need to take a moment and get the project that I know I am going to do - done!

Liz said...

Vicki, you are obviously a woman of great taste. You share a love of many of my favorite fibers, among them being CVM. I simply adore CVM and can't get enough of it. In fact, knowing your love of processing fiber (wink, wink) I have a little present for you. Sounds like you perfected the left foot treadling method! :)