Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Pickin' & Grinnin'

As I mentioned, I am going in about six directions this week and I just couldn't find time to spin last night until about 11:30 at which point I thought I was too tired to spin properly, so I just picked two more ounces of fleece - Clun Forest and Coopworth. I figure anything that keeps my fleece study project moving forward can count as progress.

This morning I was in my wee studio, packing for MAFA and pulling various class notebooks - there is an Open Studio night at MAFA where instructors hang out in their studios and students come by to visit and see what the class is doing but also to meet & talk to the instructor. They said this was a good opportunity to network with guilds about teaching classes, so I will bring my teaching brochures, some John C Campbell Folk School catalogs and I thought I should bring my tartan notebooks, my Acadian weaving samples, etc. to show off some of the classes I offer.

Anyway - long story short - I found a notebook for the Fleece Study! A page for me to fill in details about each fleece sample and at least one page about the breed, lots of information including the source of each fleece sample. I had completely forgotten that this came with the Fleece Study - oh, the age of mental pause! So I have another resource for my study.

This morning I weighed all the washed samples. I don't have grease weight but I felt that the raw fleece was so old that I wanted it to go straight from the baggie to the scour pot! It will be interesting to see how much weight some lose in picking - a few have hunks of second cuts, not many, but at least two. And the tips on the Coopworth were damaged - I broke off every tip as I picked. That sheep must have had a bad patch health-wise that year. But there is still enough left to spin.

I will have to figure out tomorrow how much fleece to bring with me to MAFA - I have a loom to thread up while I'm there, so I won't have much down time during the class even though the students will spend a lot of time weaving.

I wanted to bring a bonus warp for the class and I was quite pleased to settle on a 4 color modern adaptation of a goose-eye twill - Linked Goose Eye from Handwoven magazine's Winning Towels e-book.. I warped it up in 8/2 cotton/linen for kitchen towels on my new Wolf Pup. I had planned to have it ready to weave on but time ran short and then I realized that it would make a great warping demo for my students.

So, here's a question - I'm trying to decide what I should do with all this yarn I'm going to spin from the Fleece Study. I could, of course, make a ring of labeled skeins and use it as a reference and a class resource. But wouldn't it be cool to make something out of all this and have that as the reference? I could knit a scarf with the softer yarns and use purl stitches to mark a number or roman numeral for each breed... I could weave something with the coarse yarns, a kind of check so that there would be an area of the same breed interwoven, like a color gamp.

What do you think would be a good way to use these yarns?