Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Mo' Hair

Spent a good bit of time working on fiber yesterday.  I started with the stash that is in the house, buried in the "guest" room, which is now a fiber/fabric cave.  There was an avalanche and I couldn't open the door.  I had to push all my weight against it and stick one hand in to pull things out and away from the door to make room to open it.  If someone locked me in the house, fed me food and water, took the dogs out for me, and left me alone with a spinning wheel, sewing machine, computer and TV, I would be just fine for a couple of years.   I got a big bag of silky black mohair, lots of angora rabbit from Kimmie Cornerstone,  and some kid mohair on the verge of being buggy,  picked and sorted.  Picking simply means picking out the bits of hay, dried manure ("tags" in the sheep world) and whatever the animal has picked up in the field.  My animals enjoy a varied environment that runs from grassy field to little shrubby trees to forrest.  All that ground gives them valuable minerals and stimulates their rumens.  It also makes dealing with their fiber more challenging.  Fiber is why I have them - other than the ultimate bucolic beauty they provide every time I look out the window.  I don't raise them for meat.  I like knowing that my yarn comes from sheep that enjoy such a good life, with a big barn to keep them safe and warm at night and in bad weather, and good dogs that protect them from coyotes.  Excuse me while I get a little verklempt at all this.  I love spinning my fiber blends, and have such little time for it that when I do sit down and pull my wheel over to me it's such a treat.   I adore mohair blended with wool, and nobody does it like Greta Dise and Leslie Orndorf of Tintagel Farm.  They were the inspiration for my blends.  Greta is now having all her fiber machine spun but Leslie is still selling roving.  I bought some for Hannah at Maryland last May.  Yes, with all this roving available to her from her grandmother's stash, Hannah still wanted some fiber with sparkly bits blended in.  Yuck.  No sparkly bits in my yarn.  But I love my granddaughter and set out to find her what she wanted.  Leslie was almost sold out but had some sparkly mohair left.  Hannah was thrilled.  On deck for today - more picking, which the inside dogs enjoy.  Cooper kept trying to "help" me, by sneaking little bits of hair away when I'm not looking.  After retrieving handfuls of fiber from him several times I finally threw him a big, matted clump that I couldn't pull apart.  I watched in amazement while he put his big paws on it and pulled with his mouth.  The clump seperated and I threw it back in the bag.  Good dog!  I don't have to tell you what a mess this makes in the house.  I should be picking outside but I like to watch the news or a movie while I'm doing it.  I make sure I sweep before spouse gets home.  He feels he is making a major sacrifice by suffering through this lifestyle.  I think he is extremely lucky and should thank me every day for providing him with all this healthy and artsy agricultural enrichment.  Therein lies the problem.   I always get a fabulous meal together before chores.    Good thing I have those chores or I might pick, spin and sew into the night.  

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