Abigail is trying to adjust to her brother going to Preschool without her so she and I have been doing lots of focused one on one time during his school hours. I think it has been really nice for us to have this time together just her and me. On Thursday we did some Kool-Aid wool dying of the Romney fleece that I bought at the Spring Fair last year. First we mixed the Kool-Aid and then put in the wool.
Abby pushed it down into the water and I put it in the microwave. After it was all 'cooked' I rinsed it and drained it in the 'wool spinner' (a salad spinner dedicated to my woolly things). Then Abby helped me spread it out to dry.
We were having so much fun that rather than just the two colors I was planning we ended up with 6 or seven and had to get out the drying racks. After they were dry (That evening) I started combing out the colors one by one. I was hoping to get a heathered look but the color saturated too well for that so I may go back and comb in some undyed wool to get the effect I am looking for.
On Monday morning I took our shawl and placed it in the bathtub with some warm water and soap and set to fulling it by hand. It was hard work but I wanted to be sure and not take any chances by doing it in the washing machine. For the rest of the day I took it easy and hung out with the kids. Jake and I picked out his clothes for his first day at school and set everything aside for in the morning - he was so excited it was like Christmas Eve.
By the time the kids were napping I decided to make myself a quill attachment for my spinning wheel (I could buy one for about $50 but my homemade model was free (an extra chopstick from take out, sharpened and sanded and a rubber band that I think came off of a bunch of asparagus). It took a little fiddling to get it to stay put but it works great! I think I will add a whorl of sorts to keep the cop from getting into the orifice of the wheel. Also just a note that I always slide a protective cover over it and turn it to face a wall so no one gets all sleeping beauty on that thing.
I was in the mood to do something fiddly and intricate so I started planning a project which led me to a skein of yarn I had spun from my first fleece. I wound off skeins in small yardages (specified by the pattern I chose). I got the kids to bed and watched some TV with Brian then I got the dye baths set up:
This wool is going to be awesome for several reasons, one of those reason is that repels water like I have never seen before. This skein had been sitting on top of the water for about 6 minutes before I started to push it down and even after holding it under for some time it popped back up and the dye bath just beaded up on the surface.
Here they are all hanging to dry....I'll show you more when I have more to show:)
Tuesday was a VERY busy day. I woke up to Jake bringing me his clothes with a big smile on his face. Everyone got dressed and Brian even took the morning off of work so he could be there for his little boy on his first day of school.
After we got Jake settled at school, Abby and I went to Target and did some shopping. We spent a few extra dollars on a coffee for me, a smoothie for her and a dress up witch's hat.
After a few more stops we picked Jake up and grabbed some lunch. Then home for rests and an afternoon together. After dinner I took the kids to my neighbors house so she could watch them for that period in between my having to leave and Brian getting home. Then I headed out to my spinning guild meeting to face the music with the shawl...it did not full very nicely and I am hoping I didn't ruin it. I was given a lot of encouragement and I feel slightly better. After the meeting it was home to my sleeping children and finding that Brian had purchased the new Spartacus season and we decided to watch an episode before bed. Needless to say the day felt like a week and we are going to take it easy today with some crafting for me (knitting), crafting for the kids (stage for the puppet show) our usual learning time and with any luck, naps for everyone.
This year the sheep to shawl competition was a lot more work for me than usual. Primarily because I was a lot more involved than usual. This year I carded, spun and wove the sample, helped with the dying of the warp and I was the weaver of the shawl. I had so much fun with this and think it turned out really great. I love the colors we ended up with and really hope I end up winning the raffle for this shawl.
Above is the weaving in progress (after 4+hours of warping the loom the weaving was a breeze!). Below is the finished shawl layed out on the table so we could twist the fringe.
And here is the fringe all twisted up:
I brought the shawl home with me and this morning I tossed it into a bathtub with some soap and about an inch of water and roughed it up for about a half an hour or so until it became fulled. Then I layed it out on some bathtowels in a safe spot (to keep the kids and the cat away from it) and blocked it out and left it to dry. That process took about an hour and a half and my arms are killing me! (wool is very heavy when it's wet).
Another project I worked on a few days ago were some puppets for Jacob and Abby. I think they turned out pretty well and the kids seem to like them.