Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Making the most of it

The glorious, glorious weather, I mean. Quite perfect - wonderful blue skies, wall to wall sunshine, and not too hot, because of an excellent breeze. Unfortunately - this being Britain - it is not set to last. Ah, well, c'est la vie.

So, for the first time in ages I have been fleece washing. This can be a huge problem hereabouts, I don't have a bath to put an entire fleece in and I have nowhere other than outdoors to dry it. So endless damp, wet, otherwise dire days, as we have often had the last few years (and I do mean years) and none get done.

But now, I have a washing machine I can wash fleece in! It is the usual front-loader, but has a great woollen wash programme. I gingerly tried it out yesterday with a mountain of yarn spun earlier in the year, and it worked a treat. So today, I worked my way through a rather ancient "Babe" - a super Jacob crossed with something I can't remember. And it has come up really nicely. So now I know what to spin on the Timbertops next. Only decision is, do I spin as is, or do I blend? If I can get a new drive band on to my drum carder, I'm tempted to do the latter. Though, I suppose I could borrow the Guild one......gads, thinks bubbles coming up all around, could I be getting my mojo (please note, lowercase "m", no insult to any cat intended) back?

Anyway, I have also been noodling around in our immediate environs, the weather being just too nice to ignore. I took my camera with me yesterday, so brace yourselves, some of the results.

poppies

foxglove

Wild flowers - lots of others, I shall have to go out again.

river 3

And the river, all dappled in the sunlight.

chicken notice

Scenes from rural life!

gate

And the gate in question.

iron bridge

Footbridge over the river.

lichened tree

With this tree beside it (amongst many others) here, just because.

In other news - a sudden and much appreciated flurry of activity from the GPO (which dates me). One parcel to collect from the Sorting Office, another to pay charges for online and to have delivered tomorrow, and as if that wasn't enough, a Parcelforce van outside with a third offering this afternoon. So, a bit of relief, methinks. Still the most important two (or hopefully, three) yet to come, but maybe now I feel that there is a chance. Please. fingers crossing again. Which dammit, does make typing difficult.

And more - we may be about to be able to offer other and equally luscious spindles. Nothing settled yet, and not in time for Woolfest. But good news. If and when they arrive safe and sound, and that will be a while, I will post photos and generally squeak about it.

5 comments:

freyalyn said...

Pretty photos!!

Babe was Jacob x Polwarth.

Wendy said...

Great idea using the wool cycle on the washing machine, I hadnt thought of doing that will have an experiment myself this morning as I have a very sticky merino fleece which I didnt fancy washing by hand. Wendy.

carol said...

I would be very cautious with merino - do try a sample first, it can felt much more easily than other fleeces!

wendy said...

Yes, I was aware and only used a smallish sample, I hit the start button before realizing that there was a cold and 30degree hand wool wash on the machine hence it got the warm wash, but it was so sticky it came out of the wash in almost the same state as it went in..........., so I then gave it a very hot soak let it down to tepid and gave several rinses and a softener in the final rinse. After all that it still felt quite sticky to me (plus smell), it went on the line outside and has now been rained on, it is now in the greenhouse where it is dry and warm so will await the result, but I feel it is still going to be sticky. I am beginning to feel that I will give up on this one. Too much time wasteing! Would like to hear what you would have done as you are obviously far more expert at this than I. Wendy.

beadlizard said...

Love the photos very much and envy you the well-behaved washing machine. The one in our new house only works on one cycle -- HUGE, heavy loads. If I don't load it all the way, it walks across the floor. All I can figure is someone before us abused the poor dear and its belt is stretched out. Will get it fixed eventually.

However, I have a big kitchen sink, a nice bath tub, and a perfect patio for drying fleece, with a fenced yard and a nearly constant breeze. First, though, my goal is to spin the stuff already prepped. Today it's lofty silvery gray Shetland sliver. Just came upstairs to get new drive band string and was distracted by your blog.