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Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Yarn Along - Iknitarod Dreams

As the first flakes started drifting down that afternoon, the upcoming Iknitarod immediately dinged into my head. I think because we get so little snow and for some awesome coincidence I have been able to thoroughly enjoy knitting in the snow (sometimes actually IN the snow) during both of my Iknitarod races, I now associate any snow with sled dogs and exciting knitting :-).

I hadn't planned on starting Maisie's yarn until February, after I'd finished spinning Hershey.  I couldn't help myself.  

"Yeah, I know that feeling!"

I knew Maisie was a little messy when I dropped her off at Ohio Valley Natural Fibers, but I didn't think she was that messy.  They usually do did* such a good job cleaning up after my messy sheep. Leave it to Maisie ;-).  "I have no idea how this stuff keeps happening to me!" (her mantra).

Some is not too bad...

Some is appalling (DON'T click to biggify :-o).  Oh Maisie... (my mantra)

But...she probably comes by her messiness naturally ;-).  There couldn't be a better mother/daughter picture.

Actually I'm not too upset by this.  First of all, much of that will fly out when I two-ply.  Some more will come out when I wash it.  I can pick out the rest if I want to...but I don't think I will.  That's part of Maisie, part of her story.  

The best gift is probably going to be that if the sweater is already messy, I won't be nervous about wearing a white sweater to the barn.  I'd stewed about trying to dye it a non-dirt showing color, but really wanted it to look like Maisie.  This sure will, and who says a barn sweater can't be pretty! Besides, wool washes quite well.

Just a hint of snow left along the shade of the fence yesterday.  For now her buddy Hank is watching over her and I'm able to stay inside and spin. Hopefully she stays that "simple" for awhile ever. Please keep your hysterical laughter to yourself!

22 ounces of singles to go.

Reading/listening to another Mrs. Murphy mystery while I spin and I'm joining in with Ginny...

* So, about Ohio Valley...  I'm sure everyone's heard by now that they are closing.  Retiring and moving to Florida (away from snow???).  I've had quite a few concerned emails about what are we going to do now? 

There are other mills in the US, but none really "in our area".  Another concern is how back logged they already are and now having to absorb OVNF's clients.  One good option for handspinners is to process our fleeces ourselves. 

While a pretty intimidating option for 35 fleeces, it can be really enjoyable for a special fleece or two. There's really not much better to spin than beautiful freshly washed, hand combed top.  Which brings me to my second group of emails.  How do we do that?

Washing and processing a fleece at home is completely do-able with just a little patience and practice. There are plenty of on-line tutorials and even whole books written on the subject.  I have a pretty good set up here.  Would there be any interest in coming to the farm for a fleece processing workshop?

It would need to be a two day workshop so we could enjoyably cover skirting, washing, picking, hand carding, drum carding and combing.  We could probably do it in one really long day, but that doesn't seem too fun or allow for sheep hugging, cookie feeding or bathroom breaks.

We have an excellent Bed and Breakfast nearby where several farm visitors have stayed and thoroughly enjoyed.  She can accommodate several guests at the end of February, which suits my schedule as well.  A Friday Saturday combo would work best.

Let me know what you think.  I'd be happy to set this up :-).

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