Saturday, May 26, 2012

I've had a little blogging holiday; in truth I think I was sulking a little bit because my internet connection is so unreliable, and it was so infuriating trying to update the blog when a photo took two hours to load. If it loaded at all.   However, things have been a little better lately, so I will give it another go.

I've been busy with the usual round of postie work and quilting and designing.  I haven't even been in my sewing room much, too distracted by piles of fleece. One was 30 years old, bought for me by my mum before I moved to Queensland in 1981.  All these years I have treasured it; I didn't have a wheel in Queensland, so I couldn't spin it there, and anyway, it was too hot and humid to even think of working with fleece.  It's been bundled up all those years, and I didn't once unpack it completely, knowing I would tangle it up.  But I finally decided the time had come to deal with it, so I dumped it all out on the floor and started to sort it.

It's terribly 'crispy'; the lanolin has hardened, and the locks feel quite dry and brittle; I wasn't even sure that it was worth spinning, but I had to give it a try.  I've been handwashing the locks a little at a time, then combing them and spinning them into a sockweight yarn. 

 Amazingly, the fibre is still so strong that almost none of it breaks in the combing process, and the resulting yarn is lovely.  All these years I thought it was just dark grey, and it turns out there was a beautiful light grey patch hiding inside.  The yarn is still a bit uneven, but I choose to see that as 'charming', rather than a fault.

I've also been spinning up some blue roving I purchased a couple of years ago.  It's so nice to be able to spin it without any preparation, and I do love the colours. 
 But somehow I love raw fleece so much more, even with the lengthy sorting, washing and combing time.  I just love taking something so basic and turning it into useable yarn.  It satisfies the peasant in me.

 I think I've been spinning ,because my sewing room is in such a state;  I just stand in the doorway, shaking my head over the piles of scraps, and a bit paralysed by the amount of them.  Yesterday I got stuck into sewing HSTs for this scrap quilt,

and today I want to sew more blocks, and then tackle this drawer full of 2.5" strips. 

I need to see the back of this lot, I can't even get it back in the cabinet it's so full.  So it will be a major cutting day today, and we'll see if there's any progress to report tomorrow.

It only took 35 minutes to load these pictures, things are improving.....


Mary Johnson 7:59 PM  

I can't even imagine spinning my own yarn!!

I bought one of your pantographs last week at MQS, I can see it becoming a favorite. Easy to quilt and looks good. I used it right when I got home on my MAY UFO ( JudyL's challenge)

sewprimitive karen 11:34 PM  

Oh, I just hate that your internet connection is so frustrating for you. The scrap quilt and the spinning, o my stars, both so gorgeous.

pdudgeon 9:19 AM  

i love that scrap quilt! Who knew that by combining two such ordinary blocks together would result in a super fabulous and very interesting design! well done.

love the tale and tranformation of the hoarded fleece. again something ordinary but special,transformed into beauty.

Sue SA 3:15 PM  

My Internet connection is reliable but only two bars even though we live in Adelaide. It still takes me ages to load photos though, l now like to load the photos at 6am on those mornings I wake early and add the words on another day! Frustrating but quicker and I guess works well for me because I ave little kids = frequent interruptions!
Loving the scrap quilt, especially the colors.

Jenni 9:22 PM  

I feel for you with that frustrating internet connection - you'd think that in a country like this you should have a better service than that. I live 30 mins drive to the centre of the capital city and am lucky to even have broadband; neighbours that arrived after me can only get Telstra wireless which is very slow and expensive. I don't suppose the NBN is coming to a street near you? Didn't think so.
I love your wool, and it's great your Mum's fleece turned out so well. Time for some knitting? A jumper for Dolly?

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