Monday, October 14, 2013

All Tangled Up

I started out with a bag of stinky sheep wool. The odor was enough to make my eyes water.

The only thing to do was to soak it in hot water and Dawn. However, it can't be scrubbed, or agitated or it will felt into a lump.

The first bucket has been washed once, the second bucket is soaking for the second time.

Not pretty at this point. However, if you change the water 3 or 4 more times, you get something a little fluffier and nowhere near a stinky.

The bottom picture is a hat and cowl I knitted from cheap yarn in order to see if I could handle knitting the pattern with real yarn.

So far, I have 3 bats of fiber from those bags of wool. I dyed some if it. Hoping to get something called 'broken black' instead, I got gray with a pink cast.

So I decided to mix that with a light color, I tried for 'sea foam' green, but that turned out a rather pale blue.

So I've started over. I'll spin the yarn before I try to dye it. If I get the right shades. I'll spin some beads and shells into it. Give it an 'ocean at dawn' type of look.

I've got a nice gray and some really lovely rose that would make a great cowl and hat set. If I'm lucky, I can even make matching fingerless gloves.

This is the yarn. It's been sitting in the basket for a month, daring me to put it on a pair of knitting needles.

I almost gave in yesterday.

But I've got to finish my mittens before I tackle this lovely stuff. I'm not used to knitting - I'm a crochet person. So I've been practicing.

A friend of mine said she'd like to have a hat and scarf made out of handspun, and asked what I would sell it for. I said I'd have to make it a gift. There's no way I could sell anything made from my homespun for a reasonable price.

We're talking hours of labor - washing, picking, carding, dying, spinning then knitting it into fabric. I can't imagine what a 'fair price' would be from my end.

The gray wool cost $7 for a 4 oz bag. I bought 3 bags of it and one bag of the pink. That's already more than most people would pay for a hat and scarf set. Then it takes a couple hours to spin and ply the yarn. (Not to mention the cost of my spinning wheel.)

This is a heck of a lot cheaper than smoking - which is the measure I use for the expense of my hobbies. If it's cheaper than smoking a couple packs a day, I'm all for it. (Yes, I used to smoke two packs a day.)

The garments I make will be works of art. Kinda hard to put a price on art. So I think that giving them as gifts would make my much happier.

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