I was in the fiber doldrums for some time. Just couldn’t get motivated. There were a couple of our raw Icelandic fleeces (from Asta and Birta) sitting in the entryway, which taunted me daily. I finally decided that, after two years, it was time to unpack the picker and carder that had been sitting in boxes while several house nightmares were endured.
Not having a decent fiber washing area has proven to be problematic, but I made do with many buckets in the kitchen over a period of days (Jeff was not allowed to make fragrant Indian food during my scouring!) The laundry room here doesn’t have a heat source, and though there is a tub on the first floor, it was never installed properly and doesn’t drain, so Jeff kindly carried all the dirty water outside for me.
I was really fearful to try the picker and carder but I needn’t have been – they both worked wonderfully and I was soon blessed with my first home-grown, home-scoured, home-picked and home-carded Icelandic lamb roving!
Because I wanted to spin a fine but soft yarn, it was time to re-acquaint myself with an old friend who has the necessary double drive talents:
We hadn’t been on speaking terms for several years due to a previous failure to communicate.
It turned out that this wasn’t due to my unfamiliarity with my friend, but rather an inherent problem in my friend’s physical makeup.
Once this was corrected (requiring minor surgery on my part and a trip to Montana and back for an amputated piece of my friend), my buddy wanted to “make nice” – but I wasn’t having any of it, due to the insults my friend had given me the last time we got together.
I am now willing to forgive and forget, and so is my friend, and we have been getting on famously in this new relationship.
As any fiberartist can tell you, once the floodgates have opened, creativity comes on like a tidal wave. Not only have I been spinning the Icelandic lamb, but also this lovely fiber (click for big to see the sparkly stuff!):
… as well as some home-grown Jacob wool (from Gruyere):
I even made significant progress on my “Dixie shawl“:
Like all lace, it looks like a damp mop and will until it is blocked. But believe me, it’s really pretty:
My good relationship with the Dundas wheel gave me the confidence to have a chat with the Ashford Table Loom as well, and it has been released from its undignified penance in the long barn.
I am not a big fan of anything other than rigid heddle (i.e., simple! Easy!) weaving, but it seems a shame not to give this gal a warm (comparatively-speaking), indoor home. We will try to get along better now, and hopefully she will not confuse me with mathematical equations this time around. I guess it’s not really her fault… she has always been a peach to use.
It’s freezing in here (perhaps not to looms but to us humans), and some woven wool blankets would come in handy, so I had better be polite to her.
Max is just meditating, and staying clear of all the fiber activity.
Two photos from our farm are in the current issue of Hobby Farms magazine – yay!
There was a quote in this issue that I loved: “Hobby farming is like hobby coal mining.” Truer words have never been spoken… it’s still work! (But definitely worth it to have delicious organic eggs!!!)
And to reward myself for a consistent yoga practice, I asked this Etsy artisan to embroider some clips to keep my hair out of my face during downward dog – she put pink lotuses on them to match my Prana yoga outfit:
In upcoming excitement… what do you think of this handsome fellow, hmmm?
Hope your day is full of health and creativity!