And another one's gone
and another one's down...
Weeks just keep flowing by and I barely notice.
Work continues on the Shetland project: I have finished all the washing and am carding and spinning. I've done two skeins of grey (showed you that before) and two skeins of white.
The white fleece, which I have the most of, was the dirtiest one of all. In the words of my shepherd boy, "She's a real pig." This ewe rolls in anything she finds, and the day before she was shorn, got into the woodchip pile and wriggled down deep. Have a gander at her fleece, soaking in the tub:
and this is what the water looked like afterwards (three washes like this, then two rinses, gets most of it out):
The dirt isn't the problem though - the woodchips and grass seed are the problem. There's only one way to remove that: card, card, and then card again. When you're done carding, card it a few more times. Couple more times through the carders for good measure, keeping your tweezers handy to pick out more grass seed, and then give up and roll it into a rolag. What you didn't get out in the washing and carding, you have to pick out as you spin the singles.
I borrowed this little sweetie from the guild the other day: it's not as helpful as I thought it would be though. Turns out wool is like bread: if you want it done right, you have to finish by hand.
Spinning outside is lovely nowadays, but I have to get out there early - by 10:30 the shade is mostly gone from the back garden, and I need shade: it is hot. 42 today (109.4). Hot enough, as Auntie Bina says, to make the tongue of a crow hang out.
and gone to seed
These pictures will get bigger if you click on them.
As hot as it is, though, these little dudes don't seem bothered by it. They're the only ones hard at it, in the scorching sun. Talk about a work ethic.
Notice that the children have stripped my lavandula angustifolia Hidcote - they were making potions last week and had to use the better part of six lavender plants' worth of blooms, to create an effective curse. I didn't ask what they were cursing - it sounded like the answer might be "The neighbour's house" and I wanted to be sure of plausible deniability, later. In the event that they turn out to be unexpectedly good at hexes, though, with that much lavender I imagine the effect won't be anything more ominous than a sudden lassitude followed by fits of remarkably soothing narcolepsy.
And maybe softer skin.
The shade garden is doing fairly well - thanks Rona for the Lady's Mantle. The best part about alchemilla vulgaris is the way it looks after you've watered. Not that you can tell - in this weather the water is mostly gone within minutes.
Lastly, here's my beautiful, chilled dinner - isn't it lovely?
I have no idea what the other people who live here will be eating: I suspect I'll have to turn a burner on at some point, but only when I'm forced to.
In response to Elizabeth's question on the Easter Dress post:
I suspect the pattern piece you're trying to lay out is supposed to be cut on a single layer. Double-check that, and if it still doesn't fit, cut two and seam them together. The skirt is just a huge square (rectangle?) anyway, so it won't affect the fit. Just try to make sure the seam lands on a side, and matches with the side seam of the bodice when sewn. It IS possible that the dress is designed for 60" fabric only, and that your one particular piece won't fit on a 44" fabric, if that's what you have. Sometimes that happens - it just means you seam the piece and have to buy a little extra. Good luck! If you have any questions, ask me again. Maybe email me at the address in the sidebar, so I know how to get in touch.