Saturday, 22 May 2010

Bloomin cold!

No it's not cold here, in fact it's really hot, well by British standards it is anyway, around 26 degrees C, so really lovely, but I've been unwell all week with a cold & cough. Bad enough to get one in the winter, but I've gone right through until this week without one.

It's HD's Birthday today as well & we were supposed to have been out on our narrow boat this weekend, but with me feeling so rotten we decided not to go, hopefully next weekend which is a Bank Holiday will be good weather & we'll go then instead. It's actually a bit uncomfortable if the weather's really hot & sunny when we're boating, as you've got no shade when steering & it's difficult to keep the dogs cool, they hate being confined inside & although they're in & out of the garden here, at least they can go into the house or find shade if they want it. But I do feel a little bit guilty H is having a bit of a boring Birthday. I did offer to take him somewhere 'exciting' but he couldn't come up with any suggestions, so we're going out to the pub for a meal tonight & as it's so nice we'll hopefully be able to sit in the garden & have a Pimm's numnum.

I've spent the morning spinning some more the Black Hebridean fleece that I bought last year. It looks really quite brown in this picture that I took when I first got it, but in fact it's only the tips that are brown from the sun. I think it must have been a late clipping as not only are the tips bleached but there's a bit of scurf in some places. Most of this comes out when I comb it, some when I spin & hopefully the final bit will come out when I give it a final washing. I hope to get enough yarn out to be able to knit something like a waistcoat for me, will just have to see how it goes. I'm using my handmade woolcombs that I bought from P&M Woolcraft. Martin makes them himself & because the staple on this wool is nice & long, around 4 inches, it's combing really well, even better now it's sat out in the sun as I didn't take all the lanolin out. I prefer if I can to leave a bit in when I spin as I find that I get a better 'slide' with a bit of lanolin, so long as the wool is reasonably warm it's not a problem. If the wool is very sticky with lanolin though it's best to take more out otherwise the fleece will just stick & won't spin at all well. Something like Merino or Cormo tends to be much higher in lanolin & in fact some that I've seen is more like wax & literally has to be melted off with very hot water & lots of detergent. I intend to try some of the Texel fleece with some of the Synthrapol that I got from Jenny last Saturday, rather than detergent. She suggested that it's best used in warm water & soaked overnight so I might do that before we go out this evening.

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