sock porn for knitting voyeurs.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

color fiber festival and california red

I had a blast at the Color Fiber Festival this weekend, see?


That's the only photo I managed to take :) Karrie has set up a color fiber festival flickr group so you can check out the grounds, people, classes and fiber if this one doesn't do it for you ;)

It really was a fun time though, placing faces to (rav)names, spinning with a bunch of people instead of by myself, grinning cos I'm too shy to actually say hello, trying lots of new fibers thru Kristine and Maia's fiber tasting classes, buying lots of fiber... actually, I didn't buy anything (collective gasp)-- not because Pigeonroof Studios' booth was literally picked clean (no names ;)) but cos I blew my fiber budget this month out of the water with some 70/30 baby camel-tussah silk by A Verb for Keeping Warm already...

70/30 baby camel - silk, Succulent colorway (by way of Article Pract)

I'm glad for it though, and am half hoping Article Pract has more in stock next time I'm by cos I had a *blast* playing with the exotic fibers in Kristine's class and am dreaming of a three-ply of this one.

In the exotic fiber tasting, I tried splitting the fibers in half lengthwise and spinning 2 bobbins' worth of each. I then took them home and plied them together, and remembered how much I liked my Joy :) Worked well, and I even found a use for (some of) them...


ipod touch handknit sock

Who says I don't knit socks anymore? :)

My campbell's soup ipod sleeve has been looking worse for wear lately (totally my fault with hard use in a back pocket), and I just hate having handspun I can't use-- so a little sock was born. The fibers are from the top-- baby camel/silk, baby alpaca/silk, baby llama and baby alpaca, all available from A Verb for Keeping Warm. I didn't use the *cashmere* since the sleeve was long enough already, and worried it would be too soft for the choking I'll undoubtedly give it. I *so* did not want to like spinning cashmere, thought I needed a supported spindle to do so-- oy.

Maia's class on rare breeds was also interesting; I was thrilled to try some fibers I'd only read about as well as spin from several different fiber preps (top to roving to locks) all in one sitting... really neat and has me wanting to spin more from the lock more often. She did bring some California Red, which I have been meaning to share pics of myself since I bought a lamb's fleece awhile back.

The California Red is really neat-- a white to oatmeal colored fleece shot thru with red kemp fibers that give it a definite hint of red (though, isn't really red-red like I'd hoped). You can see the red hairs here on the underside/shorn end of a handful of unwashed fleece...


I bagged up the fleece in bunches using mesh lingerie bags and set them to scour in hot (but not running!) washing machines with Dawn, buoyed by the things I learned from my fleece day class at Deep Color Studio.



Now, the sheep was supposed to have been jacketed but had lots of burrs, filth, manure tags (poo!), and tips that had felted around VM... admittedly I was and am a bit bummed about that. I didn't know to try and open the tips up and get the vm out of them before washing, so now I've got a scoured fleece with tips that are matted with vm hiding inside. I've been a bit down about prep past scouring because of it; carding has to happen outside since so much junk is being picked out by hand and falling out of the carder that I don't want on my floors inside.

Just for fun, raw and scoured pics:

raw california red

scoured california red

Reminds me of the story in Alden Amos' Big Book of Handspinning where a customer refuses to pay for prepping a fleece she had brought in because they had washed all of that beautiful tomato soup color out :) It still has a nice overall color though.

I did a little handcarding and spinning with some of the washed fleece...

clockwise from top right: fiber on handcards, scoured fleece, california red rolags

woolen spun california red

...but most of it is sitting in a closet where I'm still mad at it :)

A lot was my fault I'm sure, but I'm taking more care now in knowing what I'm buying as well as in taking almost too much time pre-washing to get as much junk out and tips unstuck as possible. I've been on a fleece bender and have two more to share, but too long already :)

Til then!


Rhonda the Stitchingnut said...

Bummer. I would hate poo on the floor too.

karrie said...

I heard a rumor that you were there, and I was going to introduce myself, but I think our paths may have never crossed.... I never saw you! I kinda like that to me you may be a figment of the internet....

Christa said...

I was there and I saw you, but was too lame to go and introduce myself as one of your blog readers. Thanks for sending me all the info on getting started spinning. The drop spindle class on Saturday was definitely a great start.

Janis said...

It looks lovely when spun up though. I guess it is a learning experience...

lexa said...

Guess a person doesn't really think about all the stuff in raw fleece. Interesting. It does look great spun up.

Knit - R - Done said...

I love the sock.

The woolen spinning is really lovely. I can't spin woolen that evenly.

Chris said...

Cute Touch sock!

cathy said...

I had a similar experience with a fleece I just prepped (my first). It had a lot of stuff in it, and I didn't know enough to try to get out as much I could before scouring. I'll know better next time. All is forgiven, though; I love the roving.

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