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Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Wooly Wednesday October 2011

Welcome to the October Woolly Wednesday!  So what have you been up to this month? What plans do yo have soon? Come join us ...

Woolly Wednesday falls on the first Wednesday of every month. Think of it as a creative gathering, or a virtual guild meeting. Bring along any fibre-related project, whatever it may be. If you are starting out in fibre arts, share what you are interested in pursuing. Let's show each other our projects, share any tips, tutorials, ask questions, seek advice. Add your post to the Linky below and we can visit one another and share, support, encourage, be inspired!.

Please feel free to add the button to your blog's sidebar with a link to Spinspiration, a lovely way for us all to link together. Just copy the image to your desktop and then in your blog design - add a gadget, add picture - upload the picture and then add the url (http://spinwheelspin.blogspot.com/) and the image will link to here.

Join us with the linky below, link to a recent blog post of your woolly adventures in the last month or to a post in the near future, we look forward to seeing you ...

Dawns adventures for Woolly Wednesday October!

Spinning on the wheel
Another month already, how did that happen? I wan to do some serious spinning next month, or at least over the Autumn and Winter months as I'm feeling it is getting neglected at the moment.

September was a busy month for me with my daughter Imogen returning to school and it being her 6th birthday later in the month so my hands were busy on other projects, at least some of them were woolly so I will share those those month.

I love bunting and have various bits of bunting to hang for celebrations. These include knitted bunting for Imogen for her birthday so I recently knitted a new bunting triangle for her age.

I also have a tradition of making her a felt crown and badge so have used some bought wool felt mix, and used a combination of wet felting and needle felting and sewing to create these for her this year which she loved and showed them to her teachers and friends at school.

 felting a rainbow for a badge - bit of wet then needle felting
Birthday crown and badge ready for the birthday girl

I've also started doing some other felting and planning some gifts for Christmas, but maybe I'll share those next month. Imogen is also desperate to do some felting so we are hoping to do that soon too - she's had her eye on the fibre I was spinning in this post - the bright rainbow mix. So watch this space.

Spinning at the show

So onto spinning. I have done a little spinning when I attended the Romsey Show - an agricultural show locally which the Guild has had a presence at for some time. That's me above in the photo, struggling at that time as we had just been for a walk and I still had my walking shoes on and I cannot treadle well with them! I was soon barefoot again, my preferred footwear when spinning. I took the Louet wheel and some Icelandic grey roving so I didn't need to do too much preparation before spinning.

 Icelandic - long staple as shown above
 Icelandic single - so lovely and easy to spin
 2 ply bobbins of Portland (more socks?) and the Icelandic

It's a lovely long staple fibre and a lovely colour. I have some other colours of Icelandic too as they range from white to brown to greys. No idea what I shall be doing with this wool although it's not next to skin softness so maybe something like a bag which I may felt too.

Other projects still on the go are the socks and the weaving squares that I blogged about last month, the weaving squares cushion should be finished by next month so I can share more pictures of that then. Actually maybe that's what I can use the Icelandic wool for - using it in weaving as a single.

So what has everyone else been up to with their wool and fibres this month?

Kelly's October Woolly Wednesday - Storing fleece

This past month I finished spinning up some fawn alpaca that I had had on the wheel on and off for a few months.  I found it was one of those projects I kept putting aside and moving on to something else so I was determined to get it all finished up.  I now have a couple of balls of alpaca all ready for knitting up.  Done!

I have now moved on to spinning up some Swiss Waliser Schwarznase wool.  It is a little coarse with quite a long staple and spins up really easily.  Follow the link - aren't they such gorgeous sheep with their black noses and bells around their necks!  This is one of the European wools I bought from that lovely little craft shop I often mention.

Yesterday, I had a big sort out of my fleece collection.  Since moving house, I had stuffed it all here and there and it was time to pay it some attention.

My procedure for storing fleece is this.  Once I have washed a fleece and it is completely dry, I store it in a cotton pillow case.  Yesterday, I went through all of those pillowcases and added a couple of horse-chestnuts (conkers) and a sachet of lavender to each bag.  These are to deter moths and other insects that might want to invade my wool.

Horse chestnuts (conkers)
Little sachets of dried lavender I make up.
I then make a label noting down the type of fleece and any other details I might want to remember about that fleece such as colour, whether it is a shearling, colour, month sheared, washed.  I even laminate the label!  I then tie the bag up with cotton tape and make sure the label is attached securely.
A cotton pillowcase containing a washed Cotswold fleece, a sachet of lavender and horse chestnut.
 After that, I store the bags.  I keep the fleeces I plan to work on soon in our playroom/work room/craft room which is where I tend to do my spinning, my next bunch of fleeces in my clothes cupboard(yes, my fleeces have preference over clothes with me!), and the rest in the garage which is clean, dry and well ventilated.  The car isn't parked in there so no car fumes.
Stored fleeces in well ventilated, dry area.

I also keep a list of what fleeces I have.  This may sound rather particular but I need to because I have a lot of fleeces.  I won't tell you how many I have - it is a bit embarrassing just how many fleeces I have, not to mention bags of prepared fibres!
So that is what I do to store fleece.  Please do share any other tips that you may have on storing fleece.

Also, this month, I finally managed to get a used ball winder off Ebay.  My children and I have had great fun winding wool.  What a fun gadget!

Here is some of my handspun stash that we have wound into lovely, neat balls.  Now I need to add labels to this lot so I don't forget what is what!

Hope you have all enjoyed a great month and looking forward to sitting around this virtual circle with you all over autumn enjoying wool-related crafting.