In from the rain. (long post)

The week of nice weather and sunshine is over. Me and all the woolens had to come inside. The rain started yesterday and now we’re all cooped up inside, trying to get dry.

Luckily I finished some socks to wear while cocooning:

Green socks! Yarn held double, needles 3,25 mm. 44 stitches in the round.

Just let me show you some things drying around the living room at the moment:

On the back of my sewing chair is the felted fleece, it’s still drying. The long locks with their bases hidden deep in the fleece are still wet and damp, at those bases. Haven’t sat on it yet, haven’t picked out all the vegetable matter that’s still in there.

On the horizontal part of my sewing lamp hang my happy orange socks, drying. I took them into the shower the other day. (Together with the washing cloth that’s also drying on there, inside out, that’s why so untidy. It’s from Norway.)
Efficient, I say, to take your socks with you into the shower. They need to be handwashed, you’re in there having soap on you hands anyway. I’s a genius, I say.
Other times I bring my bra.

On the wall at the right hangs some organic handspun. I washed it very hot to get rid of the grease. I want to knit some mitts for Francis, the farmer who provides us with organic eggs, butter, meat and veggies. And the occasional fleece from her Hollands Bont/ Dutch speckled organic sheep.

These fleeces are magic. They don’t felt. And this one in particular is ridiculously soft. You can see it in the white parts of the yarn in the close up.
I’m asking for another fleece next year, especially now that I’ve tried out a woolpicker. That tool makes processing a fleece so much easier! And I love spinning fleece. Especially from a sympathetic source.

Here’s the sympathetic source in this case, with her two lambs:

The good thing about organic farm De laan van Wisch, by the way, is that they do not sell meat from young animals. All animals get to live to full adulthood before slaughtering or selling is even an option.
And they chose breeds and animals that are healthy and can deliver their own babies without much risk or need for assistance, which is getting unusual in industrial farming. I love that. Healthy animals, happy animals.

Look at their cows, the have the most amazing colour variations! It seems like the farmer decided to collect them all. All kinds of greys and blues and reds. Wonderful!
And: all with horns.

None have the perpetual surprised face expression that all industrial raised cows sport:

pic by Patrick Nijhuis

(This high fore head is caused when the horn is burned at the base to stop it from growing. That somehow causes build up of bone under the skin, giving industrial raised cows high foreheads and surprised looks.
They are prevented from having horns because the farmer doesn’t want them to figure out their social rank using their horns and perhaps damaging each other. Industrial cows are kept too close together for them to be able to move out of horns’ way. Unhappy cows not allowed to be cows.)

Knitting mitts for Francis will be a lovely project for the coming week. It’s on fairly big needles, 4,0 mm, and the wool is soft and a delight to work with. The pattern doesn’t require much thinking and the sheep provides all the colour changes.
I’ll be knitting it in the city, where I’ll spend next week.

Also drying under the lamp is a small skein I made from these rolls:

27 grams, 66,5 meters. I started it years ago and picked it up and finished it at Spin Group last Tuesday. I’m finishing and gathering all kinds of little handspun skeins to combine in one project.

Maybe something like this:

Petal Cowl by Xandy Peters

Yarns with more texture, like the one drying right now, invite me to weave them.

Ahh, so many wonderful plans I have!

For example a plan for the brown orangy throw for the couch here in the cabin. And the blue green one for the couch in the city. Which I’ve actually started.
The fleece that felted so readily in the washing machine made me felt-confident. All I had to do was lay out the felt, full it a bit and let the machine do the hard work!
So I spend all Wednesday laying out the throw I want to felt for the living room in the city.

Laying out all the bits and bobs took a full day. I wasn’t expecting that but it was a lovely day, with the sunshine and birds and mice running around the undergrowth, so I thorougly enjoyed it. Truely a lovely day. Albeit not very efficient, wool wise.
I managed just about to lay everything out, sprinkle it with soapy water and roll it up in plastic before nightfall.

The rolling to and fro, to get the bits to stick to the wool base layer, would have to be done the next day.

So on Thursday I rolled it a bit. But it was a weird day, Thursday. Everything went wrong. I had been chasing sleep and mosquitos all night and first thing in the morning I broke the coffee vessel which I needed to make coffee for my parents who were about to visit. Usually this vessels holds the whipped cream I have for lunch every day (with chocolate ganache, hmmm!) so both my parents and I had a problem.
Later on I tried to bake an apple pie but had no eggs which I only discovered when all the apples, batter and oven where ready and done. And in the afternoon I burned some wool while dyeing and it smelled awfull. I lost my grip on a glass full of dye in the panic of trying to stop the burning wool from smelling so bad that the smoke detector would get involved and scream its head off. So I tie-dyed the kitchen and burned wool and missed out on pie and whipped cream and got my period 5 days early.

That’s when the blogging halted, as you probably noticed, and that’s when I also didn’t feel like rolling a 2 m sausage of wet felt around very much. But I did roll a bit because I knew that all I have to do is roll. After the rolling comes the washing machine, doing all the hard work.
And it was still a day of good weather. Excellent for working outside and enjoying nature.
So I rolled a bit, lied on the couch a bit. Ate a bit of chocolate and yearned for apple pie and whipped cream. Got up and rolled a bit more.
A weird day it was.

On Friday I didn’t feel like rolling at all.
And then the rain started…

So now I have this woolen thing in my garden. It’s been wet since Wednesday and is already starting to smell “compositional”…

Today I had a look at it… it doesn’t full so quickly. As in: not at all. There needs to be a whole lot of rolling before I can give it to the washing machine!
I might have to resort to fulling by hand, with real hot water. I rolled a bit today, in between showers. The rainy kind.

So here it is, late Saturday afternoon:

it’s draining it’s soapy water in a bucket, so I can fold it up, put it in a bag and bring it with me to the city tomorrow. Where I’m sure I have no time to full it at all … but I keep hoping. There ís a washing machine in the city. And it ís destined to go on the couch in the city.
Those are two of reasons why this throw could be ready by end of coming week. In theory.

There’s one more thing drying in the cabin today and that’s a new spinningwheel!
It’s an old one. A Louet S70 I found abandoned at the thrift store. It’s in a bad shape:

The foot connector is broken and it has been left out in the rain by its previous owner(s child): lots of water stains on the old oak.

But it was once purchased and used with much love. There’s still wool on the bobbins and it’s spun craftily. It’s greasy wool, probably dating back from when this was all the rage: in the ’70s and ’80s of last century. It was bought back then (and it was an expensive wheel then) by someone who desired it and saved up for it and loved it. And then used it a lot.
Afterwards it was taken by someone who knows nothing about wheels and probably stored in a shed somewhere. But it’s still a S70.

The S70 is a solid oak wheel and was produced by Louet as a festive commemoration between 1983 and 1985.
I have a healthy version myself and it’s my favourite wheel. I can spin anything on it, except Longdraw rollags. But lace or bulky are no problem. (Just interlace the leader for spinning lace, just like the way I hacked the Ashford Country Spinner🙂

I’m glad to have found another S70 and I’ll see wether I can nurse it back to purring.

I have no idea when I’m going to do this though. Next week I’m in the city and the week after that I’m preparing for the Annual Spinners’ Weekend.

Besides not fixing up the wheel and not fulling and felting the throw I’ll also not be able to spin the yarn for the brown orangy throw I want to knit for the living room in the cabin.

I dyed all the wool.
I woolpicked it all.
I put it into bags and boxes according to colour. It’s all so fluffy!

I did a little spinning test and it’s better if this wool is carded first. For that, I have no time….

But I need to make time because the various colours are hogging up all kinds of containers. Including my paper tape model (I bought two pieces of fabric 2 weeks ago, for skirts. I can sew a skirt in two days. I only need two days. Twice.)
And the bag I need to take with me on the Annual Spinners’ Weekend. So I’m hoping against reasonability’s advise here that somehow in the next two weeks I get to at least card the wool that’s in the bag so I can bring the bag to the Weekend. And preferable bring the wool too so I have something to spin.

The sunshine of the past two weeks gave me so much confidence and optimism. About what I can do, woolwise, in an amount of time.
But it seems Summer is now over. Autumn is here. The rain has come.

It’s raining so hard, it’s raining sideways. We all need to shape up, face probabilities and make contingency plans. You too, Lillepoes. Probability is creeping up on you:

(under the chair a box with hazelnuts. I gathered them on a parking lot in the village. They will make the squirrel here very happy, come Winter)


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