What I’ve been doing

I love my three ply yarns, even if they are a bit more work to create and I just managed to fit this last one on the spindle(please, ignore the webs…I do dust; those are just for halloween):

On the spindlet
a very full spindle

This is two singles of mohair and one single of merino x that I hand dyed to match. I was very worried that I was going to run out of spindle when I was plying it. I sometimes tend to forget how much more space you need per ply. I am very glad that it all fit. And, now, for  my Etsy shop, I have 160 yards of this:

cool colourst
Cool Colours

I still need to set the twist. So, it won’t be available til after it dries.

The Promised SAFF Report

This was my first time at SAFF (Southeastern Animal Fiber Fair) in North Carolina and the drive was just gorgeous. We came up from South Carolina and the leaves in the Blue Ridge Mountains still had plenty of colour left to share.

Here is a picture that I took going down the road:

still have a bit of color in the blue ridget

Parking was crowded:

in search of parkingt

When I first went in the doors I was awestruck with my first view:

as you come in on the upper tiertthe arenat                                     

And so many Fiber-y Goodies:

people shoppingt

And, I saw these:

Lots of Needlefelted Animals

Which inspired me to get some needlefelting needles of my own and I made…Ta-da:

Needlefelted Beaded Face

For a Beaded Face Swap on a Yahoo group that I am in.

I got the most yummy angora rabbit from some super nice people from PA,USA  at The RoseField that came to SAFF:

We named her Pom Pom Blessings

Who was not happy over being moved from Pa to Sc in one weekend. She is nice and settled in now.

My kids saw new ways to travel and inspected sheep:

The only way to travel bestt
Llama Travel
jade and emma petting the sheept
Jade and Emma petting sheep
my daughter checking the woolt
My daughter inspecting the fleece on the hoof

But, over all where are our craftspeople? There were needlefelters, rug hookers, loom makers, dyers,spindle and trindle makers, but it looked like ebay or etsy laid out. EVERY single drum carder, spinning wheel, hand cards, combs, and the list goes on…that I saw was stamped and manufactured by the big manufacturers. It was a trade show and it was magnificent; I know, that an unconceivable amount of hard work went into putting it together and keeping it going, but I found it had too commercial a feel for my simple farmgirl heart. I was looking for more craftmen and women to be there and I had hoped for acres and acres of raw fleece. But, in my humble opinion, the shopping was better outdoors:

jacob sheept
Lookat the horns on this Jacob sheep!

Dyeing with Pecan Hulls

I thought that it would be fun to follow through on an experiment that some of my online friends were discussing and trying and give it a go myself. I have dyed many times, as so many of you have, with different natural elements and plants. They, however, were discussing nuts. Walnuts in particular, but here, I have pecans.

Raw Pecans
Raw Pecans

 

The Harvest
The Harvest

Pecan hulls to be exact. And, we tried eating the nuts. They were not ripe and we were all very sorry, as they tasted absolutely horrid. So, without any further ado, here is how it is done:

Materials Used:

Stringssupplies

Pecan Hulls(will stain fingers and nails), Cast Iron Pot, Cream of Tartar (optional), fiber(mohair in this case), something to pour the dye into (I used a mason jar), colander, hand knit pot holders, wooden spoon and a bowl.

Step 1:

Making the Dye
Making the Dye

Put hulls without the nuts in the pot and bring to a boil. Simmer 1-2 hours. Stir with wooden spoon as needed. 

Step 2:

Strain the hulls
Strain the hulls

Strain the hulls using a colander and bowl. Pour dye into jar to cool. It will keep for quite a while in the refrigerator, if you are not dyeing right away. (Please, use the pot holders!) The key to keeping your fiber from felting is not to shock it with extreme temperature changes, so you want you dye and fiber the same temperature during dyeing.

Dye Achieved!
Dye Achieved!

Step 3:

Stringscooking in dye

Wet your fiber and wring them out and put them in your pot with the dye (make sure they start off at approx the same temp or you could end up with felt). Mash your fibers into the mix until they are completely covered. Then heat them all up to a simmer. Simmer for, at least, 20 minutes. Take a lock out to cool and then rinse it to ‘test’ the color. The longer that it is in the darker it will get until it reaches its saturation point.

Step 4(optional, but I prefer):

Overnight Soak
Overnight Soak

Step 5:

Strain. Let dry.

Enjoy!!!

Started off White and now Golden Pecan
Started off White and now Golden Pecan

Georgian Mohair

Yesterday, I had the honor of visiting with one of my favorite local herds. Forty five minutes from my home is Hartwell, Ga. The home of  Frank and Joyce Woodrum and their marvelous, pure bred angora goats bred for their soft, lusterious curly locks.

Here are a few pictures of Hartwell Lake and the dam that is on the way to their house:

Lake Hartwell
Lake Hartwell
Going by Hartwell Dam
Going by Hartwell Dam

I made a few new friends when I got there:

A New Friend
A New Friend
A Very Friendly Friend
A Very Friendly Friend

Then, we went out to view her beautiful herd in her scenic pasture (just look at that grass!!!):

Mohair On The Hoof
Mohair On The Hoof
Come A Runnin'
Come A Runnin'

Now, of course, these lovely does and wethers are, as spoiled as grandkids, and even have their own clubhouse:

Where the Goats Like to Play
Where the Goats Like to Play

After inspecting the herd, (I have GOT to get me a couple of those does! And, there is one young wether there…), we went to where their lovely fresh shorn fleeces lay stored carefully in the barn. And, there is where not a moment passed that I wasn’t in sheer delight of sensation as I got to pet each and every one of those majestic coats. Now, of course, I could not leave with out some and much more than I should, but through the wonders of my funds, a bartered spindle and Joyces’ generosity, I have not just a fleece or two. I got one incredible wethers fleece and a fleece from a darling little doe the color of silver turned autumn leaves, a nice little kids fleece with the finest of fur..a..ah, shucks, roll the pictures……….

The Haul!!!
The Haul!!!

Sorry about the lighting on the last one, but it was getting on towards evening (horrid for pictures). Here is a close up, though:

So Soft!!
So Soft!!