Friday, November 14, 2014

While the Show is Going On

Today is the first day of the Foothills Fine Arts Guild Craft show in Knoxville Tn.  It is  at the Chilhowee Park fairgrounds in the Jacobs Building, right next door to the Knoxville Zoo.  A group of us spent a good part of the day yesterday putting the booth together.  At the end of the day, as we were getting ready to leave, we went over the booth worker schedule one more to make sure we had all the shifts covered.  It was then that I realized that I did not have to be back in the building until Sunday after church.  It really felt strange to not have to be there every day!

Lately, I have been doing a huge reorganization of my studio area, in anticipation of company coming in the next couple of months.  Since I don't have to be in the booth today or tomorrow, I can continue with this effort.  I sent 5 big garbage bags of junk to the dump today, plus a couple of broken down boxes.  If felt really good!  Next I decided to tackle the 2 raw Corriedale fleeces I bought at SAFF a couple of weeks ago.

Here is the first Corriedale fleece, be sure you click on this photo to make it bigger.  This is truly the most beautiful fleece I have ever worked with!
 You can almost see the lanolin dripping off of this light grey group of locks.

Here is a shot to give you an idea of the "unstreched" lock.  The length and crimp on this fleece is consistant through out.

 I seperated the locks into color families and length, though there was very little that was below 4 inches.
I wrapped the locks in tulle envelopes to make it easier to not handle the fleece too much.  This is the first covered fleece I have ever handled.  A covered fleece is protected from hay and dirt by a coat that stays on the sheep as the fleece grows.  The coat is changed as the fleece grows.  Now that I have seen what a covered fleece is like, I wonder if I could cover my Nigora goats?
 This fleece was covered and well skirted, so well skirted in fact that the only bit that I did not bother to wash is the lock you see at right.  I may have found 3 pieces of vegetable matter in the whole fleece.  Unbelieveable!  Now I know what all the fuss is about!

(It is not unusual to have to discard a good portion of an uncovered fleece because of ground in dirt and vegetable matter that is truly impossible to remove.)
Here you can see the variety of color in this first batch of clean wool.
You can see how these cleaned locks have really puffed up, and they are not even completely dry.

Corriedale is famous for a high lanolin content.  To see what percentage of lanolin there was in this fleece, I weighed out a pound of raw fleece and after it was washed (it took 3 washes!) and dry it only weighted 10 oz!  That is really close to a 38% loss.  This is the first time I have done the comparison, but I think that is quite a lot of lanolin.

Remember that lock at the beginning of the post, here is it, or one like it, clean and combed.  You can see  what a difference it makes when the lanolin is gone!

Over the next few weeks, I will be continuing to  clean out the junk from the studio, and I will finish getting this fleece washed and do the other one as well.  It may be after the holidays before I actually get to comb and spin this fleece, but I am going to try to get to it a lot sooner than that!

Until next time, Happy Spinning, Knitting and Weaving, Tina

1 comment:

LA said...

Now we have to wait to see how it spins! I think it will be beautiful.