Thursday, April 23, 2009

Unless you wanna help.

Everyone who's anyone has only one question to ask Shannon these days. Phrasing includes the following direct quotes:

"How is Fern coming along?"
"Did you finish that sweater you were working on at my house the other day?"
" what's the news on Fern??"
"Are you done that sweater you were knitting for Ruby?"

In answer I give you Blocking Day:

And the sleeves, blocking together to ensure they match:

After it's dry, I'll knit on the collar, sew on the buttons, seam up, and then embroider the fiddleheads all around the bottom of the coat.

And this would only take me a couple of days, if it weren't for the rest of my life, which threatens to overwhelm at the moment.

Tomorrow is our troupe's hafla - a belly dance party for dancers only. It's a fantastic time, but of course Yours Truly is responsible for what will amount to six hours of work tomorrow (plus cleanup afterwards) and making several pairs of sparkly gauntlets I'll be selling to try to make back the cost of the party itself. If I sell ten pairs, I can also pay for the $125 Exotic Fibers spinning class I'm hoping to take in September.

And speaking of spinning, now we come to the most truly urgent of all my present obligations. My friend's son, eleven years of age, (reads the blog when the post is appropriate - Hi Aidan!) has a flock of about eight Shetland sheep. He is a knitter, but wants to learn how to spin. His sheep were shorn on Monday morning, and guess who got


Raw fleece needs to be washed within a few days of shearing, before the lanolin hardens on the wool. I have about six raw fleeces here, each weighing 2-4 pounds. Each fleece needs to be sorted into grades before it's washed.

Once it's washed (by hand and at 140 degrees Fahrenheit), it gets spread between sheets outside on the grass, where the diffuse sunlight and spring wind will hopefully (Oh Please) dry it fairly quickly.

So please - no more questions about how my world is revolving these days. Unless - well, y'know.



Um. I don't think it has to be washed right a way.

I wash (soak) my fleeces in the washing machine, which saves time. Do not agitate, or you will have a nice felted wool donut. If needed, add in hot water boiled on the stove top.

bethro said...

Sweater looks good! Let's race to see who can finish the sleeves first (hint, you will win).

kate said...

I was about to jump up and down and say I'll help, but then I realized if you need it done in the next three days that between work, school and family I'm already well-committed (in more ways than one) for the next few days.
So I'll shout support out as I go about the days :-)

Dave Hingsburger said...

Um (blushing) I did ask nicely ...

Gwen said...

Lovely work on Fern, as always! It's going to be beautiful.

Don't make the gauntlets unless you have spare time. Decorate the hall, then go home and have a bubble bath and a few glasses of wine. Worry about the wool Saturday morning, don't even consider it today. The hafla is supposed to be fun, so push away other obligations and enjoy yourself! There will always be more time to work, but you have to seize the moment to relax.

mwah!mwah! Thinking of you.

Cynthia said...

Oh, that's a beautiful brown! I wish I lived close enough to help. But you can wait to wash it. Have fun at the party!

Kristine said...

I promise that I'm being funny and not snarky when I say:

I'll trade you my semi-flooded kitchen for your wool that needs washing.

Tabatha said...


Go you!

Orlando Joe said...

Shorn? Do I really know and respect someone who says shorn? Did you mean to say horns? Mmm, mayhaps this FLORIDA sunshine is getting to my HOLIDAYING mind. Or just being near the Mouse House...

swoon said...

I too am under the impression that we can delay washing. how does the lanolin know it's not on the sheep any more?

Shan, sweaty I'm like you. I get annoyed when I detect skepticism.

"Have you finished that knitting yet"

maybe I even get more because I'm a boy I teased one guy nicely about it yesterday in fact

OK here's the reason I drifted over to you today. How much time do you spend writing and preparing your blog? And of that time how much is spent doing chores like prepping photos or learning new tech-ee stuff?
I am slow to learn computer stuff and my dear old mac is "old"
so my goal is to post once a month for now.

Cheers, peace and love