Saturday, October 14, 2006

Breed Swap: First Lesson Learned

So last night I cleaned my first raw fiber...Ever. I was very happy that I was successful and didn't create felt. I did however learn that it can be a little tough to clean, dry and card raw fiber in a one bedroom condo. So, my first lesson learned is that it is probably best to send out any raw fiber I purchase to be processed professionally. I am sending out the rest of my Icelandic on Monday to The Wooly Knob Fiber Mill. I used them in the past and they do a great job and do not require a minimum amount of fiber.

So, I am sure this will not be the last lesson I learn during this breed swap!

Friday, October 13, 2006

A New Project

I have the pleasure of taking part in a great group on Yahoo called the Spindlers. We are working on a new educational swap, which I think is going to be a long of fun a a great learning experience!

Thirty-two of us each have selected a breed of animal that is fiber producing. Each member will provide a background of the breed, one yard of two-ply spun fiber and a lock for each person participating. All that will be mailed to one wonderful person who will assemble "study notebooks" for each person and ship them to us!

This will be a true learning experience for me because I purchased all of the fiber as raw, so this will be the first time I will be scouring fiber, as well as my first attempt at plying!

I must say I was VERY nervous about scouring the fiber. I have heard so many horror stories of creating felt, that I must have read directions from more than 10 different sources.

Here is a photo of some of the fiber as I received it. Overall, it looked pretty good to me. I purchased from a lovely woman on Ebay who was very patient in helping me understand how to handle, clean and work with my selection, Icelandic wool.

So, I took a deep breath and filled my first tub of hot water and Dawn liquid. I added some fiber and let it sit. I then rinsed it, and rinsed it and rinsed it again. I then did a "final" rinse using some Euclean and...yay! I didn't felt it!

Here is my "clean" result. As I did each batch, I felt my confidence grew. I realized I didn't need to add quite so much Dawn and I didn't need to do as many rinses.

I have about two pounds of fiber and a small bag of locks. I did one pound tonight and will do the other pound tomorrow and the locks on Sunday. I will be sure to keep you all posted on my progress.