Friday, April 8, 2011

Bitten by the Fleece Bug

Remember this?

This is what it looks like after a few hours spinning...
 
 then after Navajo Plying...

 I may be heading down a dangerous path this weekend.  Tomorrow afternoon I'll be heading up to Reed City to a sheep shearing celebration...where they'll be selling the fleece that they sheared off the sheep in the morning.  They'll be reasonably priced and a great temptation.  Then on Sunday morning I have an appointment at a farm in Sparta to look at some Jacob fleeces.  One in particular I am very interested in because of its color.  I've never purchased a whole fleece before so it will be quite the adventure cleaning and combing and spinning and knitting the fiber...almost sheep to sweater.  It will be difficult to go backward from there I think.

Have any of you been down the same path?  If so, did you have a difficult time purchasing commercial yarn after you'd done it?  Was the item you produced something that you really loved?

I am very curious.  When I started knitting 5 years ago I really didn't understand why anyone would knit a pair of socks.  Seems like so much work when you can go to the local big box store and buy socks for $3 a pair.   Now, after having knit about 30 pair of socks, I can't imagine ever buying another pair of socks in a big box store.  Isn't it funny how things change?
4 oz Alpaca/Merino
 I'd like to thank all the wonderful peeps that participate in Fiber Arts Friday over on Andrea's blog.  They've given me so much inspiration and left so many nice comments over the past few months.  Be sure to check out their blogs, you'll see some great stuff.

Have a wonderful weekend hopefully doing something fibery.  Be sure and take pictures!

17 comments:

CraftyCripple said...

I wish I could do the whole from sheep to sweater thing, but I know I can't so I shall just admire those peeps who live the dream!

Anastacia Knits said...

What gorgeous spinning. I do very very very little on a hand spindle, I wish I could do that & I'd love to weave, but I just don't have time to do all the fiber things I'd love to do. Have a ton of fiber ready to spin, though!

Dutch Hollow said...

I work with both our raw alpaca fleeces and commercial yarn. Each has their place for projects but it's the animal to finished item projects that hold that special place in my heart.

Caryn said...

I just found out a lady who raises Romneys lives right down the road from me. Temptation at it's worst!

Kate (KnitsInClass) said...

Love your new yarn! Your spinning is fantastic. Maybe if mine were better I wouldn't find it so easy to use commercial yarn :) Although, I have to say, I have gotten really picky about the yarns I buy.
Can't wait to hear about the fleece experience - I have half a Targee sitting in a box in my basement that I haven't tackled yet.

Melissa Plank said...

Love the yarn! Well you know all about my love of processing my own fleece, it's very rewarding! I've gone a little berserk this shearing season, I may have to borrow the neighbors garage to store them pretty soon! Boy do I love fiber!!! Enjoy!

Word Lily said...

Gorgeous yarn! Any plans yet for that multi-colored yummy-ness?

I haven't fallen off the only-processed-by-me-straight-from-the-critter ledge yet, but every time I knit with handspun I wonder why I ever knit with commercial yarn ... maybe I'm part-way there?

Nerdy Knitter said...

Wow sheep to sweater that is awesome maybe the sweater i started 3 years ago will get done someday :) Have fibery fun this weekend!

Vivian said...

Coming from someone only knits (and very occasionally crochets), I never "allowed" myself to get into other fiber playing, because I know once I start it'd be a slip sliding rope ... I love fibers! but for one thing I really don't have the space for more stash of any kind, and to add equipments I might as well get an apartment for myself. On the other hand, I'd love to have my own fiber animals some day -- sheep, bunnies, alpaca, you name it, oh and a few sheep dogs to keep them company. Well, couple of pugs to keep me company around the house.

Anyway, I think if you have the resources you should go for it! It will be so much fun to turn raw fleece into wearable arts.

Nichole said...

Look at all that beautiful fiber! I really think someone needs to spin Highlander though...

Voie de Vie said...

Ally B - it's indeed a fibery Friday for you! Love the handspun/Navajo plied - that is some kinda good color going on.

I want to spin, but am still uncertain of me taking on the entire process, maybe because I'll be so hooked ... :)

Have a good weekend yourself - and definitely take some photos!

Spinster Beth said...

Ooh, I love Jacob! Happy shopping!

Kathryn Ray said...

Those yarn cakes are awesome, especially from the top.

Regarding entirely processed from the raw fleece, not yet for me. I've been slowly working my way up the value chain. So starting from raw is certainly in my future.

I am at a mix between commercial and handspun. I think it depends mostly on what I want the end product to look like.

Anxious to see what you come home with.

WonderWhyGal said...

Your spinning is just amazing. Be careful with buying the sheep fleece. I bought two fleeces last year and they ended up being an awful mess. Even the mill couldn't get the VM out. I was so disappointed. I have so much to learn about raw sheep fleece.

BTW, I absolutely LOVE Jacob! Enjoy your trip to the shearings.

Happy Fiber Arts Friday!

Tamara said...

And that was the bag you didn't like! The yarn is fantastic! Enjoy your trip tomorrow and only take cash. ha ha

Marushka C. said...

Your spinning is beautiful! I didn't intend when I started knitting again to dive into all the related crafts -- but first there was dyeing yarn, then spinning yarn, and now a sidetrip into quilting. Reading all these creative blogs just keeps encouraging me to try new things.

Twinsanity/Spinsanity said...

Oooh, you really did fall down the rabbit hole, as Kim told me today! Raw fleece was something I had absolutely NO interest in when I first picked up the spindle. But it was only a couple months before I bought some llama and then some sheep and it was all downhill from there. You're right, once you start processing from raw fleece--if you find you enjoy it (not everyone does)--it's hard to buy any commercial spun yarn at all. For me, raw fleece to finished object is just that much longer I get to spend making out with fiber. The fumes of stinky sheep fleece, oh yeah! ;-) Oh, and my favorite processing tools are my Valkyrie 2-pitch mini-combs. I'd love to bring the girls up to one of your spinning meet-ups some time!