Hubby took the kids out this afternoon, so I had a rare four hours alone in the house by myself. I had intended to go to the allotment but guess what? It was raining. I could have gone to Tesco`s and done the weekly shop, but Hubby had taken my car (it has seven seats, and he was giving other folk a lift) and as the clutch in his car is on the point of death I didn`t feel like having this happen in the Tesco car park. So...very reluctantly (ho ho ho)...I spent my afternoon at home. ALONE.
So I did some laundry. Well, I started a load off in the washing machine......does that count as an afternoon`s housework? I briefly thought about going to bed with a pile of back editions of Spin Off and having a nice snooze. Then I remembered I was going along to the Edinburgh Spinner`s Guild tomorrow for the first time, and I had not a clue as to what I was going to take to spin. Or spin on. The Louet? The Other Louet? The Mazurka? Oh, the problems.....
I eventually decided on the Mazurka simply because I`m currently spinning Wensleydale on the big Louet and I needed to wash some more Wensleydale fibre. The Ouessant sock wool on the Mazurka felt like a better idea, and I had clean dry Ouessant fibre ready to card. So I got out mt beloved Louet Junior (Christmas pressie from Hubby) and spent a happy hour carding up four fat batts of Ouessant fibre to spin tomorrow.
I love my drum carder. I don`t think it saves a lot of time over using hand carders, but it gives a good consistant result and you can blend sections of several batts together to give a nicely homogenous batch of fibre. Drum carders are a shocking price though. The Louet Junior is one of the cheaper ones and though I shopped around for the lowest price I could find, it still cost £175 at Haldanes over in Fife. I even drove up to collect it to save the postage, which would have been a real saving except for the fact that Twist Fibre Craft Studio is only a few miles away from Haldanes. Oops...
I`m still having a bit of trouble with this Ouessant fleece, though. Not only was it filthy but it was also full of chaff and tiny bits of straw. Washing got a lot out, pulling the washed fibres apart by hand then fluffing them in the cold tumble drier helped a lot too. Three passes through the drum carder got rid of a lOT. But as you can see, there`s still some VM left...
The first batch of Ouessant that I processed was just as bad, but I did find that after giving it a final hand carding (I prefer to spin woolen from rolags) got rid of even more rubbish, then 99% of the rest fell off during drafting. So I`ll just have to have faith that this yarn will end up clean, won`t I?
Oh, I`ve been washing a lot of fleece this week while Hubby was away and just wanted to show you my excellent drying area for washed fleece.
It`s an old fireguard placed in front of and partially around our ancient Rayburn. The Rayburn is mostly used for running our central heating system now, not cooking, so while it doesn`t need to be accessable it does pump out a lovely warmth all day. Perfect for fleece drying.
Here`s a better pix of the Rayburn (a G33, original gas-fired model, nearly 40 years old) for Vi, who I know just loooves looking at stoves.
We keep talking about getting rid of the Rayburn and getting a modern boiler but the fact is the Rayburn is cheap to run, so it will get to stay a bit longer. And it`s a perfect home for Hubby`s ex butcher`s display cast iron Pig, which he rescued from a skip decades ago and is one of his most prized possessions. .
Finally, a little bit of knitting content! When I was taking pictures in the kitchen I noticed the knitted ...thing...I keep hanging on the door of the dresser..
Yup, it`s a knitted string of garlic. I made it over fifteen years ago as a housewarming present for my BIL, long before he became my BIL. Silly present I know, but I was really into knitting vegetables instead of growing them in these days! I`d forgotten about it long since, then it surfaced in my late SIL`s house, in a pile of things that were getting thrown out. Naturally I rescued it.
Oh, and finally I must thank everyone that`s been leaving comments and sending me emails via and about the blog. I`m really quite touched, because I only started blogging a week ago, and I didn`t expect as many (or any!) people to have read it! Really, it`s quite gratifying. Thanks all.