Wednesday, February 28, 2007

A February jewel almost missed

First, the explanation. This time of year we don't use the front door and walkway much. Most of the time we go in and out of the house through the garage, where we park our vehicles. But late this afternoon we were almost out of firewood, so I took the wheelbarrow out to the woodshed to get a load. And there, tucked beside a small boulder in a flower bed bordering the front walk, were these petite iris.
You can see a trace of snow in the photo; it snowed off and on all day without accumulating anything to speak of. Sure was pretty to watch, though!
Inside, I was dealing with white stuff of a different kind. I've been carding and spinning Dinah's fleece as I've had time, and am getting down to the wool with the most vegetable matter (VM, as the fibery folk call it). Someone on the Yahoo spinning list said she puts her fleece in the dryer on the air fluff setting to get a lot of the VM out, so I decided to give it a try.
It didn't look much different to me before and after -- still lots of junk, but the lint trap looked like this each of the three times I emptied it during the air fluffing. Obviously it did SOME good!
That's it for now at . . .


Kathy L. said...

Won't it be nice when we have COVERED fleece next year? :)

Your "jewel" is a nice surprise. Sometimes we just have to slow down a bit to enjoy the things around us. It's amazing to me when I actually take time to slow down and look at what's around me.

(And I'll try the dryer "fluff" myself when I have fleece to try it on!) :)

Tina T-P said...

Good golly you've been busy - I LOVE the sheep cookie cutter & I have a great Sour Cream Sugar Cookie recipe that is an heirloom recipe - probably 70 or 80 years old! I'll type it up and email it to you. Thanks for checking in on how John is doing - Yes, I'm nervous about the surgery, but I think I trust this doc - he has a LOT of experience & was pretty informative - Did you ever get the dried tart cherries to make those choco chip cookies? T.

sheperdchik said...

Wow, the fleece doesn't felt or anything when you put it in the dryer like that? I wonder if you can use this method for llama fleeces? Those are the most dirt filled fleeces ever! The fool things roll in the dirt like dogs. Once I put some llama fleece in a rabbit cage and hung it from the clothes line, thinking the dirt would blow out. But actually, the wind blew just as much (or more) dirt IN as OUT. I will definitely have to try this dryer thing on my llama fleeces.

Lauren said...

Do you wash and air dry the fleece first or put it in greasy? I'm thinking all that lanolin would be a bit cloggy.

Are you really going to cover your sheep next year? You're controversial along with being cheeky and high-handed apparently!

How did you come to this decision?

Kathy L. said...

I think you're supposed to put in a scoured, dry fleece aren't you? Then just put it on "Air Dry"? I will definitely try this out on Mr. Colin's (aka "Pig-Pen") fleece!

Michelle at Boulderneigh said...

Thank you ALL for your comments. Like Lauren, my desire for blog visitors probably indicates something sociopathic. :-)

I would never have dared try the dryer trick without reading about one spinner's long, successful track record doing it. Yes, my fleece was washed and air-dried months ago, so it was very dry. Still smells strongly of lanolin, but that isn't a problem in the dryer because you don't use ANY heat, just the "cold" air fluff setting.

As far as coating, blame it on Shepherd Chik! (Follow her link in the post above to view her blog.) When I saw the photos of her covered fleeces, I HAD to try it -- especially since I had to throw away Rechel's fleece last summer because it was so full of junk. Yesterday I mailed off a painfully-large check to Rocky Sheep Co. to order two coats each for the four girls. Gulp. Hopefully the coated fleeces will pay for the coats. And hopefully none of my girls have the kind of fleece that will felt when coated, or will have problems because of the amount of moisture we get here. And hopefully the coats arrive by shearing -- March 22!