The Real Time Canine II

After spending 2 years writing the Real Time Canine, the adventure continues with The Real Time Canine II. Read along as I look for just the right puppy to continue the experience. After false starts with Tim and Jed, I am currently training young Tam, and Spot, which are both off to a strong start. Please visit the RTC II to read about training sessions as they occur.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Scoured, Flicked and Teased

Nope, I am not describing my latest internet dating experience. Firstly, because if it went that badly, I would nevah admit it, and secondly, because I've never had one. No, I am describing the processes by which I am preparing wool for spinning. Recently I made the executive decision to learn to spin. It calls to me, even though I am not in the least bit "crafty," or artistic, or patient. There is just something there that intrigues me.

The idea of sitting quietly, mindlessly running home-grown, fiber through my fingers while rhythmically treadling a spinning wheel seems like an altogether pleasant experience to me, even though my first encounter with a wheel was far south of satisfying. In fact, it was altogether frustrating, but I could sense a peace about it that I look forward to acheiving.

My circumstance of raising sheep for dog training results in loads and loads of raw wool laying about, and is something others can only dream of. In the meantime those same others are spending big PayPal dollars buying up fiber from the 4 corners of the earth while I have big plastic bags of it, open, of course, to let the fiber breathe instead of mildew. Eventually, I'm hoping to attract some of those PayPal dollars myself. I even bought a used book on how to start a cottage wool business. Don't you just love Amazon?

There is a vibrant culture that exists around spinning, weaving, knitting, crochet and felting that includes swapping, buying, selling, processing, creating and communicating all things fiber. I have just stuck my big toe in by joining a few online forums, visiting a local group, and meeting some incredibly talented fiber artists who fortunately live nearby. Lucky me! On my way to fiber fulfillment, here's what I've accomplished so far.

I've bought a must-have-hat from an incredibly talented fiber artist named Janice Rosema

The Hand-Knitted Rasta Hat
I've bought Blue-faced Leicester & Wensleydale ewe lambs from Namaste Farms. Wait till you see next year's wool clip!

BFL & BFLxWensleydale ewe lambs
I've scoured (read washed) 3 fleeces given to me by Jennifer Ewer's at Canine's N' Ewe Stockdogs

Scoured Rambouillet wool
I've flicked, (read brushed) to separate and further clean my wool

Flicked Cheviot fleece from my flock
I've teased, (read combed) the cleanest locks

The good stuff. Cheviot on the left, Rambouillet on the right
And I've bought a used set of Hand Cards, for the next step, creating roving.

Ready-to-Spin,dyed wool Roving

My hand cards have not arrived yet, so no picture, and I haven't summoned the courage for dying, but I honestly can't wait to get my hands in a dye pot. Of course, I've shopped and lusted over every imaginable fiber tool, all of which are completely out of my current financial reach. These handy inventions include a spinning wheel, a wool picker, (danger! danger!) and a drum carder. Someday...

In the mean time, you can find me in the gargage picking away with a dog brush and comb, edging ever closer to my holy fiber grail, a finished skein of art yarn. Everybody's gotta have a goat, I mean goal.

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