Sunday, February 14, 2010

Fiber Preparation Demonstration

This is the Huffaker School-
house which has been moved and is now part of Bartley Ranch, a County park complex with an emphasis on things Western and agricultural. Our guild has been blessed by the gift of meeting, at no charge, in this facility six months each year. They feel that our mission compliments theirs, so they just ask that we are welcoming to the public. They also advertise our meetings in the Current Events of the local newspaper. Our mission is to promote the fiber arts so we couldn't be happier. Yesterday, six new people came to see what spinners and weavers do.
After the meeting and lunch, we have something we call The Learning Tree. Linda conceived and developed it for two years, then handed it off to Mim last year. Mim and I talked about it last week when I was at her house. This month the theme was fiber preparation, so I took my drum carder and a bag full of fiber and things to blend with it. These were some clean Romney locks that I had gotten at Black Sheep Gathering from a now forgotten class. We grabbed locks, showed how to tease them and then passed them around to speed things up.

We wanted to show what can happen with natural colored fibers so blended the Romney with undyed mohair locks, which is the top fiber. We blended in some Starfire to the bottom fiber. You'll have to click for big to see it. Romney is lustrous anyway, but with the mohair is became absolutely silky and the glitz is the frosting on the cake.
This fiber is Merino blended with snips of sari silk. This silk is loom waste and came from Woodland Wool-
works. Linda grabbed someone's drop spindle and started spinning the fibers so people could see what they'd look like as yarn. She enlisted one of the new ladies to hold one end so they could fold it back into a plied yarn. You cannot imagine how excited the lady was.
These are some of the things we used. That was the first time I had used that Starfire in brown wool. I just did it for the sake of demonstration. I didn't expect to fall in love with it. I'll be doing some more of that. Oh yeah.
I also had some clean Border Leicester locks. I really like that wool and have probably three clean fleeces that I got from a now retired Shepherd. It cards up into delicious fluff.
We blended the dyed mohair locks, some sari silk and Mim brought some silk noil. I like to only use one pass through the drum carder when I'm blending. I feel like it gets over blended after the first pass. However, as you can see in the top fiber, once was not enough. The left piece is where the silk noil rested and right half is the mohair. The bottom is two passes.
I plyed up that sample this morning. I was just curious about the noil which I'm unfamiliar with. It seemed so bumpy, but I really do like the yarn. Then I got more curious.
It's not fulled, which is obvious by the diagonal fabric, but look at all the color. That's still white wool. Blending is so much fun. Oh, I bet you're wondering. I have a Patrick Greene Deb Deluxe and I've had it for probably ten years. I unfortunately didn't take Paula Simmons suggestion and also get the fur cloth which means I can't process fine wools. That's why I go to Mim's to process fine wool because her carder does.

During our guild meeting yesterday, Ranger Marie came in to welcome us and let us know that Farm Days is May 8th, also a guild meeting day. Docents will be giving tours through the school, and from 10:00-2:00, it's going to be full-steam ahead throughout the park with activities. We will probably just do a circular spin-in so onlookers can have access and chat with spinners. It's a guild's dream to have this much exposure and we they just hand it to us. Wow.


vlb5757 said...

The very first thing that came to mind is cotton candy. The pink and blue reminded me of cotton candy missing that lovely white papper cone. They look so light and airy and am I sure are fabulous! I love where your guild meets. Lucky you to have such a nice place to meet!

Jody said...

What fun!! You did a wonderful job with the blending:)
Playing with my huge stash of fibres and my drumcarder is definitely one of life's little pleasures.

Kim said...

What a great way to spend your Sunday! Not much better than playing with fiber!

Valerie said...

What fun!! Lovely stuff you shared there.

Watch out for that starfire. It gets pretty hard to contain and can end up through out your stash.

Benita said...

I have always wanted a Patrick Greene carder and I am jealous!!

That you get to have your guild meetings open to the public is wonderful! I wish ours were, but our three weeks of demonstration at the Indiana State Fair each summer is our opportunity to show the public what we do.

And what a lovely facility to work in. I applaud the far-sightedness of whoever thought of saving that building and putting it to such good use.

Life Looms Large said...

Sounds like a great program!! That's cool that you get drop-in visitors.

I owe you an email catching up on many things. Soon I promise!!!


Jodi said...

Wow, sounds like great fun!

bspinner said...

What a fun Sunday!!!! Wish I could have been there. Rovings looks so yummy!!!!