Friday, July 10, 2015

Birds and Fleece


Whew!  the hot weather has broken here in the Pacific Northwest, at least for the weekend.  We have been setting record after record for heat and no rain, and it has been horrible.  Today was overcast, though it didn't rain, but it was nicely cool.  I was even able to wear a sweatshirt for a bit of the day.

And what a nice day.  I started off late because Beena has decided to sleep during the hot days and run in and out of our bedroom door to our deck all night.  So last night I think I opened the door for her about 10 times.  Needless to say I did not get a lot of sleep.

I didn't get up until 7 am, and since I wanted to go to Fiber Friday at Crossroads, I wasn't able to get my whole walk in.  This means that I only walked about 7000 steps instead of the 10,000 steps that I usually walk first thing every day.  So, at 9 am I was tired, had a headache, and was behind in my steps.

But the day was great. 

I headed out to Allifer's house to feed and pet her cats.
Only Navi is showing up for pets and scratches as Zeks is way too shy.  Then it was off to Crossroads for Fiber Friday.

We had a wonderful group, and I was able to get quite a bit of knitting done on the newest pair of socks I am making for my brother.  

Then I had to go tutor.  I'm working with an adult who is taking Algebra II, and although he is very unsure of himself, he is really doing well with the class.  I love how hard my adult students work.  They really see the value of Math, and I don't have to motivate them at all.  I just get to break down the concepts into understandable pieces, and let them see how elegant Algebra is.

After tutoring, I went to Wajio's house.  She had picked up 2 free Jacob fleeces on Wednesday. She saw a notice on facebook that a local house that had a few sheep had some fleeces to give away, and that they would just be out in front of the garage for anyone to take.  By the time I got to the house, they were all gone, but Wajio was there earlier, and was able to get 2.  She nicely gave one to me, and I went to her house to pick it up and begin processing.

I have never worked with raw fleece before.  The fleece is so fun looking because the sheep was obviously spotted.  We skirted the fleece first, pulling off all of the unusable bits and really dirty bits around the edges.  We flipped it over, and then pulled off any short second cuts.  Then we put it in a bag for me to bring home.

But first, we cleaned just a bit of it so I could get the idea of how that works.  We soaked it in 160 - 180 F water with a little detergent to melt the lanolin and get the dirt off. Discarded that water, and repeated.  Then we began the rinses.  With the water gradually getting cooler, we rinsed the fleece by soaking it about 3 times.  I don't have any flicking combs, but I think a dog brush will work ok, so I will pick one up tomorrow so I can flick the clean bit of fleece.

It will be amazing to spin fiber that I have processed myself.

When I got home, I had to go for another walk since my walk this morning was too short.  First, there was a hummingbird in our yard!
Can you see it?  I drew a red circle around the bird.  The temperature was so nice and cool that walking was a pleasure.  When I got back, the juncos were at our feeder.

They didn't seem at all concerned that I was standing pretty close.

shaping the planet with a spotted fleece.

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