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Archive for May, 2011

This spring I have been learning how to prepare silk cocoons that have been damaged and aren’t any good for reeling.  I don’t have a frame for pulling the cocoons into hankies, so I made a wire frame and pulled the cocoons into caps.  I’m in the process of spinning these caps up on an antique Norwegian slant wheel.

Simmering the cocoons in a pot of backing soda water, used approximately a half of a tablespoon of baking soda and simmered about 35-40 minutes and then rinsed in a bowl warm water, dumped out the water and added new water and then stretched the cocoons onto the wire frame. Started the stretching under the water and finished over the frame.

Predrafted the caps before starting to spin.

Eventually I will have enough silk thread/yarn to make something with.

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I’m finally getting around to posting a picture of the yarn spun from the romeldale and  wensleydale cross that I got from Heathered Ridge Farm.  I spun up singles from each breed and plyed them, softness with strength.  Then dyed it with Jaquard chartruese with a touch of extra yellow. The singles were spun on an antique Norwegian table wheel and plyed on a 24″ Reeves.  Hope to make a shawllette from it.

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This weekend has been great, the weather has been perfect. Beautiful blue sky and warm enough to be outside without any coats or jackets, but cool enough to be comfortable.  We have been waiting months for a weekend like this.  Yesterday we spent the day with my mother,  we had a nice dinner and a good visit with my sister and her husband.  I had a chance to dig some horseradish, boy it’s potent this year, my eyes were burning just digging it up.

Today I got up and out early, dug up and preparred a couple of my flower gardens, planted some horseradish crowns that I brought back from Mom’s place.  I hope it grows.  The best part of the day was being able to get out my Louett junior carder and sit in the backyard and card up some wool.  It was gorgeous, light wind with the smell of the lilacs wofting through the air and the wool carding without problems, just couldn’t get any better.

Shetland wool

 Shetland fleece from Wassila, Alaska.  My sister that is in Eagle River was kind enough to get me three shetland fleeces a couple of years ago and I’m still working on getting them carded.  These fleeces are very soft but so full of hay shatter and a pain to try and get it all out.

Iowa Suffolk/Hampshire cross

My son has a friend that gave me a ton of their suffolk  fleeces, but I was only able to salvage about 10 pounds,  I won’t even attempt to process fleeces that are less than an inch long and so dirty and smelling of fly spray.  They just weren’t worth the time and effort and cost in water to try and process.

The guys were busy working on son’s pick-up, I just stayed out of their way. 

Father and Son project.

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This wheel was found at a garage sale in Bemidji,MN a few years ago.  It was not in very good condition, but with some minor fixes and use it came around and spins great.  At the moment I’m spinning up some silk caps that I had preparred from cocoons.

Initials APS

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