Friday, March 2, 2018

There are Batts and there are Batts

Last fall, before the fall shows, I was in a big rush to make batts from some of the Jacob fleeces that I had.  I was not looking for smooth uniform batts, because I was going to pull them into strips and use them as weft just as they were.  I wove 6 rugs in that manner,  3 were given away as  appreciation presents to my shepherds and 1 rug sold at the show.  When the shows were over, I took a deep breath and then I began to wash all of the fleeces that were in the upstairs studio.  As I was working I was thinking about what else I could do with all of these colorful fleeces, (close to 50)  and I got it in my head to try to weave some blankets.  I didn't have any idea how I was going to approach it, but with so many to wash I knew that the ideas had time to flow before I would be to the planning stage.

Last Wednesday, I washed the final fleece, and the last batch of 6 fleeces is still in the drying racks drying, but I finally came up with a good idea for storing them all.  I had tried vacuum packing them but the sight of them in plastic made me feel like I was suffocating!  I did some research and came across heavy duty paper lawn bags from one of the big box stores, and they were really inexpensive.

Each of these bags has 3 full sized fleeces in them with a separating paper between them.  I put "like fleeces" together ( white w/ black, Black w/white, white and black, Lilac, and lamb) and labeled everything so that I would be able to find the fleece I was looking for.

I can get 5 lamb fleeces in one bag, I am keeping the lamb fleeces separate from the mature fleeces, they are really very soft, but they are also full of vegetable matter, and the tips of the locks are still quite stuck together.  ( silly lambs)

Anyway back to the batts, the batts I was making before are not really ready for spinning, so once again, I asked LouAnn if I could borrow her electric drum carder to re-card these batts into a smoother more uniform, spinnable batt.

I don't think that the electric drum carder is faster than a manual one is, but it sure is easier on my shoulders and it leaves my hands free to work with the fiber.

The batt on top needs to be carded again, but the batt on the bottom is ready to spin.

Here is some more of the gray fleece from "Olga #21"  I should hopefully get enough for 2 bobbins full from what I have on hand of this fleece.

Here is the first one.

Here is the bobbin from last week, full to the brim, this one is from #10 heart (white), I have enough for another full bobbin of this same fleece.

Here are some batts from "#13" and from "Big Boy"  all leftovers from the rug making adventure.  These are in line to be re-carded as well, I will go through all of this before I start on the fresh fleeces.

When I have several skeins of yarn in several colors, I can begin to plan some small blanket projects,  I have some ideas, but nothing concrete yet.

There is a lot of work ahead of me, and a lot of time to plan.  I can't wait to get these batts as smooth as silk so that I can really get spinning in fast mode.

Until next time, Happy Crafting, Tina


Sharon said...

I am overwhelmed by your enthusiasm for all those fleeces and impressed that you washed 50 fleeces before storing them! When do you sleep?! :-)

LA said...

Let the spinning begin!!!!!!