Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Of cats and wool (and rain)... Picture heavy

Before going on a tour of the Creekside Fiber Mill, I’d like to introduce you to the rodenators-in-training:

Chaos and Mayhem


I went through many possibilities of names for Chaos and Mayhem, and ended up coming back to the original idea after all. It’s hard to tell them apart, though possible if you get close, but the end result by either one is still the same – chaos and mayhem!! Ted is the anti-social one – you can tell, since the picture was taken of him hiding under a desk behind a box!

Unfortunately, after I picked up the fiber from Creekside, I attempted to organize my stash.  I have a garden bathtub under which the floor is rotten, so the bathtub can't be used.  Perfect, non-floor covering stash location!  However, the kittens did very naughty things and ruined a significant amount of the wool that was stored there.  I have two contractor's size trashbags full of stinky wool in the back of my truck to go to the dump.  The good news is that I got it all organized, labled, and stored in a kitten-proof manner.  I borrowed the idea of hanging bags from Mim - I call them the pod people.

On to the mill. It’s nice to have a fiber processor within driving distance that can do everything. They wash, blend, card (bats or roving), spin into your choice of yarn and make needle felt. Check out the website (Here). I have no affiliation, just a satisfied customer, yadda, yadda…
The front Door

Drying lovelyness

The Picker/Blender

After going through the Picker once

Through the carder once

After going through the carder twice - into roving

The pin-drafter

The spinner

The plyer

The needle felter with some alpaca felt

And here are some of the results of their efforts:

Yarn porn

This is 47.2% wool, 37.3% alpaca, 10% Mohair and 7.5% silk, sport weight, 2-ply. It knits up at 6.5 sts/in on size 3, and 6 sts/in on size 5 needles. The wool is from a crossbred sheep – Rambouillet, Romeldale, Montadale (known as a Rommanot), and was a nice variegated gray with really nice crimp. The alpaca was white, as was the silk, and the mohair was brillo pad gray (though not texture!). You can see the sheen of this yarn in the photo – it’s really luscious to work with, and I’m sure will dye really well. I have calculated the info for a couple of scarves – one on my loom (4 shaft) and one on my Mom’s (8 shaft). Should be as fun weaving with this as it is to knit.

Merino Alpaca Roving

The picture doesn’t accurately show the color of this fiber (it's much darker). It’s 50% moorit merino, and 50% Rose gray (though it was really chocolate brown) alpaca. It’s also really wonderful to handle, and I need to work a little on my slow skills for this – otherwise it becomes very thin rope… I’m hoping to make something for myself out of my half – Correy contributed the wool, I furnished the alpaca, so we’re sharing the result!

I've been knitting a baby sweater for a co-worker - pictures next time.

Current rainfall since November 1, 2010: 21 inches.  I'm trying not to float away...


Jody said...

Lovely yarn...yum. I wish I lived near a processing mill. Shipping 80 lbs of fibre or more is pretty expensive!
My Pierogie recipe is one I have adapted over the years from my son's Babcia...she never used a recipe so I had to watch her make them and write it down as she did so. I would be happy to share the recipe if you wouldlike it :-)

Leigh said...

You have black kitties! Our Rascal was black and I sure do miss him. Great tour of the mill. Gorgeous fibers! No wonder you're a satisfied customer.

Michelle said...

Hmm. Seems if a fiber mill can render a ram fleece clean and useable, they could destink what the kitties messed up! Have you thought about having Creekside process (or re-process) it?

Sharon said...

Yes please, I'll have some of that.