Saturday, 20 December 2008

Back to the Wensleydales

Yesterday the weather was really bad all day. Fortunately we had nipped over to Buna to see Leda Tin Shed early as the bridge closed for a while in the afternoon I believe. Leda had been to Harris Tweed Textiles mill in Carloway, Lewis and brought me back three bags of stuff......

Carloway spin yarn for a very well known company that starts with "R" and ends with "N" and has three letters in between. There was a bag of blue tweedy roving that is just wonderful and I can't wait to start it. And there are two bags of wispy bits of all sorts of different colours of carded fibre - all cleaned and ready to blend in with something else to give a bit of an accent to some of my spinning. Its also clean and soft enough to be carded up again into batts and used as stuffing for cushions etc. for those who like natural products.

When we got home from Buna I couldn't face battling up the hill to my loomshed, so I stayed in and carried on with the Wensleydale. Now its all spun up, I hanked it off on my special hank winder made for me by a very kindly gentleman who used to live near us.



The fleece spun up into ten hanks - around 3 kgs greasy weight.




Then I washed it - soak for one hour at a water temperature of 140 F at the start and 200ml of Hebridean Soap - Lemon and Eucalyptus liquid. Then spin in a cylinder spin drier. Soak for a further 15 mins in a solution of Merino Wool Wash liquid (available from Skyeskins, Waternish, Isle of Skye) and water at the same temperature as the first wash.


Then spin again, take outside and whirl each hank around to loosen up the yarn and take out the crinkles. Hang up in a warm place, and put the kettle on for tea!



By this time the lights were flickering alarmingly which they normally do prior to having a power cut, so I spent the rest of the evening creating another wonderful marine item from Calana Crafts fabby Uruguayan wool.

Today (Saturday) the broadband is not functioning here - probably something happened to the radio mast in the bad weather. Our own TV aerial broke and is hanging by a thread from the roof. Fortunately we usually use the satellite dish and that is ok though reception was pretty ropey yesterday. I guess living here you get used to having back-ups for everything, I still keep my dial-up internet going for occasions such as this - otherwise I wouldn't be posting this just now.

On a completely different subject - next year is International Year of Natural Fibres so Calana Crafts and Scalpay Linen are hoping to plan an event in celebration of the occasion. Joan has offered to dress up as an alpaca for the summer (only joking Joan!).

The sun is shining now - I have installed my webcam but can't get it going until the broadband comes back, so after that there will be views from our shed when I am online available through my web site. More info when its up and running. But hopefully it will be "lambcam" in spring and "ramcam" in the autumn. Now there's something to look forward to......

4 comments:

Calana Crafts said...

oh you are hilarious, just glad you are knitting my wool from Uruguay as I'm waiting for another 20 kilo, think you can cope with that?

Scalpay Linen said...

Hee,hee. Wait till you see what I'm making with it now. Just finished carding 750g of grey Wensleydale while JF put the aerial back on the roof. Weather just gorgeous, just wish it would stay light later than 3.30pm!

Calana Crafts said...

When did the bridge close yesterday, cars were crossing all day as far as I could see, and I was on it a few times, although it was a bit blowy at 6.30pm vehicles were still going across......

Scalpay Linen said...

I heard the council were there after 5pm and cars could only get over in convoy when the wind went down a bit. Of course, you could still go over yourself if you wanted to take the risk, so maybe lots of people were doing that.