Friday, May 15, 2009

Tools of the Trade
I forgot to mention the 48" Loom I subcombed to.  I discovered and the Vancouver Island Fibre Lovers Group, and, well, one thing led to another and I now have a 48" counterbalance loom.
About that fleece.  I read and read about preparing fleeces.  Some say the water has to be hot to get rid of the sinut and/or the lanolin, some say cold water to get rid of the vm (it took me days to figure out that vm meant vegtable matter) and to keep the lanolin in. Judith M-M says to soak some fllece for 7 days and hold your nose, others agree that this is like magic but unfortunatley very smelly.  Some say agitate and others say do not agitate or you will have felt.  So in a moment (hours) of panic I washed in hot, tried not to agitate and left it for a day.  And then read that I should have sorted first.  Oh well.  But it did work, most of the VM seemed to dissapear, the wool was white no longer cream and I couldn't find any of the what-could-have-been-mud-but-could-have-been-other-uky-stuff.  
Then I read about combing and making wonderful slivers of top.  Then, I found that good combs cost $100-$200!  Before I splurge on that I decided to see what else I could do and quickly realized that dog combs come in many types and I spent $30 on a couple that didn't quite do what I thought needed to be done.  Then I discovered horsecombs ($2.99) and bought three.  Two to use as combs, transferring combed fleece from one to the other and the third to be used as a hackle for creating a sliver (predrafted thin roving where all the fibers are in parrallel...think worsted...think smooth yarn) by using a diz (I used a large button).  I used my knees to hold it while I added the wool.  Mark, quickly made a comb holder which can be clamped onto a tble or held much easier between the knees.  It is a great way to blend fibres.

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