Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Jacob Fleece

I finally got around to starting to wash a Jacob fleece that's been in my shed since the end of last summer. I have been feeling very guilty about it, so it's a relief to finally be getting into it. The fleece is a two colour fleece, so I began by separating the brown wool from the white wool. Here's a picture of the fleece after I got most of the brown out:Bear in mind that this is a fleece from a Dutch farmer, and around these parts there are no such things as "coated fleeces", or "best-in-show fleeces". The wool comes off the sheep - grass and all, and that's what you get. Check out the lovely crimp though:

And here is the lovely chocolate-coloured wool with sun-bleached tips drying (yes, I have no racks so it just gets hung up):

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Fries melkschaap socks completed

The second pair of socks are now complete, so I can get back to writing my pattern for the goat's head socks at last.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Fries melkschaap socks underway

I split the skeined yarn (pictured in my last post) in half, and dyed one half with logwood. I mordanted the yarn with alum (no tartaric acid) and I added about 6 teaspoons of soda ash to to the dyebath hoping to get a deep purple colour. The dyebath colour did indeed look a deep bluey purple, but the resultant colour on the yarn turned out a sort of lovely steel grey. Next time NO soda ash!

I started these socks with a motif from Anna Zilboorg's Magnificent Mittens book, and knit half the sock before deciding that it looked quite aweful in steel grey and white. So yesterday I frogged it and started again. In the end,I figured I'd just do motifs to match the ones in the first pair of socks, so these will be kind of "his and hers" matching socks.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Gearing up for another pair of socks

Back in January I spun and knit a pair of socks for a friend of my mother-in-law, which were these:

I had also agreed to knit a pair of handspun socks for his wife, and I finally finished spinning for them today. The yarn I spun for them is a 3-ply fingeringweight yarn from a Fries Melkschaap fleece:

I have a rough idea in my head for a pattern for a simple pair of stranded socks in two colours for this yarn, so I have to halve the yarn that I have here and dye one lot before I can get started, and that will probably be later in the week.

Meanwhile, I am still slogging along on a pattern for my goatshead socks, but I fear that the next project will have to take precedence since I am supposed to be getting 2 new fleeces in return. Most farmers are now shearing too, so I have to get a move on to keep my promise on this second pair of socks.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

The Goat's Head Socks are "finished"

The socks are finished in the sense that I now have a "protosock" and a proper sock to wear.

I just have a few videos left to edit to go with the pattern.

ETA: pattern for these is up.