Monday, January 25, 2016

Spinning Progress and a sneak peak for the next Maine Fiber Issue

It's such a beautiful thing. 
Especially with a little one at my feet.

I've some how managed to finished my white Navajo Churro fleece in the space of 2 weeks. 
I will have 7 skeins of single, woolen spun, aran weight, and 2 double plied, bulky, extra large skeins available dyed in various plants- some of which will be with New Mexican foraged plants I dried and brought home. Like Cota, or Navajo Tea which will yield light to medium earthy orange. I cannot wait!!

I promptly started in on the grey Navajo Churro fleece I bought from Tierra Wools in Los Ojos, New Mexico. 

I L O V E spinning this fleece sooooooooooooooo much. 

It's a larger size, the guard hairs are slightly softer and slightly less then the white fleece. 
And there is tons of long ultra soft wool, still with a bit of lanolin. 
I was hoping I could finish up this fleece by the end of this month, that's 7 days left. However, as of right now I have 11, 4 oz batts to spin. If I spin one a day and add a few extras on a few days, I can do it. We'll see. When I spin my single aran weight yarns though, I can fill a bobbin in about 40 minutes. 

In addition to all this spinning and staying home with my 7 month old love, I've been working on the issue of Northern Journeys Magazine for my Your Maine Fiber Connection column. Which will be out on April 1st. If you do not live in Maine, you can follow my link above to read the online edition. 
Northern Journeys Magazine is a free quarterly all arts publication. 

For this next issue I've interviewed the Cumberland County 4H Wool Breeders Group AND Nancy and Al of New Aim Farm and Mill in Waldoboro. 
In this section there will also be a seasonal plant dye recipe and a calendar of fiber events coming up. 

The flock at New Aim Farm and Mill, California Variegated Mutant Sheep

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Finally! Spinning Season Is Here; a white Navajo Churro Fleece

I fall more and more in love with this fleece every time I work with it. 
As I really should, as I did spent a number of obsessive hours de-hairing it. 
By hand. 
Purchased from a farmer named Pat, I met him at the Albuquerque State Fair last year in September. 
I was determined to find a white Navajo Churro fleece to bring home. 
Pat was standing outside the sheep tent with three sheep in a small demonstration pen and a fleece on the ground. 
My husband and I inquired about the fleece, we chatted for a while and we discovered that we both knew Peter Haggerty of Peace Fleece and I knew that this was the right place to buy my fleece. 
And it turned out it was the only place to buy a churro fleece at the state fair. 

I brought it back to our vacation rental, skirted, washed it in small batches then we shipped it home. This is the first time I've worked with a churro fleece. I worried a little bit that it would be too wiry or coarse but I'm quite pleased as it has a soft springy sometimes downy spongy texture. I just can't wait to dye it with the cota that I both collected and purchased, which gives a beautiful orange. 

This summer as my newborn was still in his super sleepy stage and sleeping through everything, he'd nap next to me in his Moses Basket on the porch in 70 degree weather as I worked on this first skeins, which I ended up plying.

I'll be spending the next 6 months or so spinning every chance I get.
I do have about 7-8 fleeces I'd like to get through. 
3 huge ones, and I think 4 very small ones, like 1 pounders. 
Despite what someone said to me when she saw me piling up fleeces at the Fiber Frolic when I was about 5 days from giving birth; 
Yes, I do have a baby now to care for and he will always come first. 
Also, I have myself to care for and if I don't make time to spin, I simply can't be.

So, watch me lady. 

If your a new parent or a seasoned parent, just remember, it's ok to do things for yourself too, and often. When we give our selves joy by creating moments and asking for help, or simply folding our children into the mix of what we are wanting to do, it can feed everyone emotionally. 

So, despite my having "no time" I'm also committing to sharing a post here once a week of my spinning progress and any other adventures and projects that might happen. 

Sharing makes me happy.  

p.s. Oh! I forgot to mention my new (old) loom!! More on that next time.