Anyway I'm getting on with planning the Ravelry meeting in September with both Chris & Dianne agreeing to do proper workshops. I will write a bit more about both of them in future, suffice it to say that both are very experienced in their fields and present very enjoyable and informative workshops. Hopefully lots of people will take up the opportunity to gain the knowledge that they can impart.
So now to my spinning.I've started on the Texel with a vengeance, I've done a sampler and one bobbin spun & another one on the way, but if I'm to get as far as making an Aran sweater for HD then I'd better get a move on. Why an Aran sweater? Well I showed him a sample of the yarn that I'd spun & knitted & his reaction was 'that would make a lovely Aran jumper' when I said that I'd probably dye it. It's true, I'd spun to about 8-9 WPI so it's Aran weight yarn & it's not really soft enough for next to the skin, it's a bit scratchy, not too much, but would make a good hard wearing jumper, so I frogged back & did this cable sample & it certainly does look good. I'm pleased that I didn't hot wash the fleece with detergent & just soaked overnight in warm water & scouring solution as I prefer the way that it's spun with some of the lanolin left in, it's meant that I could get a thicker spin into the yarn. Since I've learnt to spin lace weight I've found it very hard to go back to spinning heavier yarn, but have managed with this possibly because of the fact that the lanolin in the wool gives a lot more 'drag' to it as I spin. I then washed the sample in very hot water with dishwashing liquid in & the lanolin has come out. Now lots of people say that you can't get the lanolin out once fleece is spun, but when I started spinning some 30 years ago most people spun in the grease i.e. straight from the fleece, then washed later. I know that this is impossible with some high grease fleeces like merino, but with lower grease fleece it works perfectly well. I'd say experiment with what you've got as this is the only way to go, there's no rule book, no law on how to do it, just go with what you feel comfortable doing & see if it works. Lots of people wouldn't dream of putting fleece into boiling water thinking that it would just felt & shrink, but so long as it's not very fine & you don't agitate it or shock it by then putting into cold water it should be quite OK. After all have you ever tried to actually make felt? It takes lots of hot soapy water & lots of effort, that's what I've found anyway.