more beginnings

With the first day of the week, I deemed it suitable to start a few new things: (another woolly post)

Fleeces

You may remember from this post that I talked about Bowmont and Lincoln Longwool. The washing of the raw fleeces has begun: being my first attempt and being new to the process, it will probably take ages to complete all; additionally I need to be careful to avoid felting.

The detergent used is a natural washing up liquid by Ecover. I started by rinsing the ends under running cold water, gently opening the locks up by pulling the fibres sideway – this way, most of the vegetable matter and natural dirt came off before soaking. I didn’t take many photos because my hands were too busy, but I snapped a few before sunset.

Lincoln Longwool fleece before washing

Lincoln Longwool fleece before washing

Lincoln Longwool fleece soaking

Lincoln Longwool fleece soaking

I will show more pictures once the fleece will be dry. The next, I will “only” need to figure out how to use my vintage spinning wheel!

New project: Elder Father knee caps

I started knitting some knee caps for my father, using a vintage pattern from KnitHeaven.com. The days are growing colder and something to keep joints warm can be really useful. As a tribute to Wovember (Raverly group here), I’m using a 95/5% merino-cashmere yarn.

Elder Father: knee caps from vintage pattern

Elder Father: knee caps from vintage pattern

Cashmere-merino yarn in beige-celeste

Cashmere-merino yarn in beige-celeste, used for the project

Other vintage free patterns for knee caps on Vintage Knitting Patterns and Vintage Knits, who very kindly also offers other free vintage patterns.

Fibre tutorials & TV programme

Recently, I came across some free tutorials on SpinningDaily.com:

KnitMyStash wrote a great post on knitting programmes finally making an appearance on the TV landscape:

  • Programme on the worl-record attempt (shear-to-product) by a Norwegian team, thanks to the “slow TV” format now being presented on Norwegian television. I watched the first part and found it very educational as I could see it all happen minute-by-minute. Another reason to love Norway! For the moment there is no English translation, but it’s not really needed as the images talk by themselves.

They’re a very interesting reading/watching if you want to start working with fibres, or are relatively new to it.

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River Pebbles

At the moment I don’t feel like working on complex projects. Although I still love my Thistle WIP, I casted on a new work. The air is getting cooler, Christmas is approaching, thus it’s a great idea to work on small and quick knits… don’t you agree?

I’ve already winded some of my skeins in yarn cakes, which will make it easier to start a small project on the go. The first that I put to use is a BFL yarn from Skein Queen: Tweedore in River Pebbles.

The River Pebbles project is a small-sized cowl, the pattern is Tina-ease Cowl by Tina Turner, in the 4 ply (fingering) version. I’ll probably do 3 repeats, but see how it grows – ideally, it should sit snuggly around the neck.

My River Pebbles WIP

Skein Queen Tweedore in River Pebbles River Pebbles with real pebbles from my trips

Rowan Colourscape Chunky in Frosty

Rowan Colourscape Chunky in Frosty

Rowan Colourscape Chunky in Frosty

Fur Wool & Maxi Wool by Eirka Knight, kit for Welly Toppers

Fur Wool & Maxi Wool by Eirka Knight, kit for Welly Toppers

Fur Wool & Maxi Wool by Eirka Knight, kit for Welly Toppers

The Bowmont and Lincoln Longwool I ordered has just arrived… it definitely smells sheepy!!! It’s in its raw fleece state and needs thorough cleaning – I will have to be very careful not to felt the wool in the process. Bowmont is a very rare sheep, the result of a careful breeding selection that lasted years and there are only a few flocks in the world (all in the UK). The staple is approx 14-15 micron – I’m no expert, but apparently this is an exceptional quality. You can read more about their story on Devon Fine Fibres.

Bowmont sheep, photo from Devon Fine Fibres

Bowmont fleece_Devon Fine Fibres

Bowmont sheep and fleece, photos from Devon Fine Fibres

Bowmont raw fleece

Bowmont raw fleece

Lincoln Longwool is another rare British sheep. You can visit the official site for the Lincoln Longwool sheep breeders association to read more about it and for some cute sheepy pictures 🙂

Lincoln sheep

Lincoln sheep, photo from The Pagan Homesteader website

Lincoln Longwool raw fleece

Lincoln Longwool fleece, the locks are approx 30-32 cm long unstretched (!)

Oh, my recent trend of buying vintage has continued, but more on that soon 🙂