I'm glad so many enjoyed NH Sheep & Wool. Me, not so much. I don't know if it was the weather, the cold, the lake-like puddles, or the fact that I had already seen many of the vendors and that I wasn't going to buy anything because, well, because of the obvious. Maybe it was because I was already feeling out of sorts, between work, Gram, and sundry odds and ends. I'm glad I went, though. I saw Pam at her booth and Barbara with the fleeces, and enjoyed looking at the show and sale fleeces, seeing some new breeds (CVM for one), and being able to talk to Scott about fleece characteristics as if I knew something. (He was not so interested, though possibly somewhat impressed.) I also enjoyed seeing Erin and Cheryl, Carole and Stitchy, and meeting Kathy and Laurie. Sadly, I wasn't in a very social mood. I was happy wearing my yellow rain boots for the second time, and I was happy eating lobster rolls. Yup, plural. One for lunch, and one for the road. I even sang a lobster roll happy song on the way to the car. I was also happy to hang out with Scott on a mini road trip. Or is that Mini road trip? Driving conditions were suboptimal, but we did end up having a good time together.
Over the weekend I tried my hand at washing some corriedale fleece. It was very clean and actually much nicer than I expected, once I opened it up. I tried a couple of methods, and overall, I'd have to say it was a sad exercise in repetition and inefficiency. In all I washed less than a pound, maybe 2/3 pound, at least twice. My methods were based on my own ingenuity as well as various instructions on the Internet, including Fiber Fool Kristi and Divergent Threads. What went wrong?
Well, the first method (my so-called ingenuity) involved sandwiching fiber in those plastic mesh sheets you use for making tissue box covers. Interesting idea, not so useful in practice. I could only wash small amounts, and the sheets didn't fit well into my hot water containers. On the plus side, the locks and fiber orientation were maintained and the fleece came out very clean.
The second method involved a mesh laundry bag. The problem: I overstuffed and soaked it in containers that were too small. Hence, when I thought I was done, I found I was very wrong and had to go through a second washing with half again as much. It was a long night.
crappy rainy New England weather makes for crappy photos; the washed fleece is whiter than it looks above
Despite the multiple washings and rinsings, I don't think the fiber felted. I tried combing some tonight but it didn't go as expected. I think I need to read up on combing some more.
I've also been doing a bit of spinning, more on that tomorrow.
Some good news: Scott started his new job today! We're very excited and relieved. His commute is TWICE as long as mine (ie, 12 minutes), but he does get to wear jeans to work. It's been a stressful many months since we were laid off so this is a good change.