September 30, 2009

The Latest Acquistions

My hubby is a craigslist addict and he always finds the neatest stuff. This August, (on my birthday amazingly), he showed me a wheel he had found. I had the unique opportunity to try some Fricke wheels at the Oregon Flock & Fiber festival last fall and I completely fell in love with them. My dream wheel was a Fricke DT160 with a Woolee Winder. Lo and behold it was on Craigslist and much cheaper than a new one. They are rarely for sale so I emailed the poster figuring it was long gone and she still had it. After some creative financing I am the proud owner of a very pretty Fricke DT160 with a Woolee Winder and 4 bobbins. The owner also threw in a standing skein winder. I Love my new wheel................

This wheel is awesome to spin on and is so versatile. The woolee winder is great too as you can just spin and not have to stop to change hooks on the flyer. I have been trying to spin every chance I get and have taken this wheel to a couple of fairs to have something to do and get something done at the same time. This is what I am working on at the moment. It is some soft wool roving I want to make some socks with.

Here is some of the yarn I have spun so far.

I need to rinse them and set the twist but it will have to warm up here first as I like to hang the yarn outside to dry. The multi colored yarn is Natural Colored Romney dyed with easter egg dye and the lavender is white Romney I dyed with landscape dye. I am handcarding the lavender wool into rolags and spinning it woolen, then navajo plying it to bulky weight. I want to use it to make a lace tunic pattern that is in the book "French Girl Knits" I have a long way to go but slowly but surely it will get there.
I belong to some fiber groups on Yahoo and a few months ago there was a post about This is a great site to find stuff. Goodwill stores across the country post items and they sell auction style similar to ebay. I check it every so often just to see what they have. A couple of weeks ago they had a Ashford Traditional Wheel in Spokane, WA. There was only one bid for $5. The wheel is missing some parts but I kept an eye on it. I ended up getting the wheel for $13. I figured that even if it was warped it would still have some usable parts I could use on my other Ashford Traddy. I found a ride home for the wheel and it is a really nice wheel. It is an older traddy like my first wheel, lacquered and sturdy. I would like to replace the missing parts with a jumbo flyer and use it for plying. It will work great for my 4-H kids to learn on.

I dont have these wheels named yet so if there are any ideas please send a comment. Maybe I will have a contest for a skein of yarn for the best names........ Stay tuned.

September 29, 2009

Fair Season is Finally Over!

Finally a spare moment to post! It seems as soon as lambing starts in the early spring until school starts in the fall life turns into a whirlwind. Late spring and summer has been a series of 4-H meetings, judging practices, fairs, and more meetings. Now there will be a short time to rest up with only soccer to worry about.
Our family has had a great year going to fairs and making new and catching up with old friends. Showing livestock is a great environment for teaching kids the life skills they will need as adults. Our kids have been blessed with great friends they have made showing sheep. The sheep industry seems to be getting smaller all of the time and more young people are needed to keep it going.
We went to six fairs this year and showed sheep and fleeces. Our youngest also showed his horse and sheep at our county fair and was a very busy kid. The National Romney show was at our county fair this year. Travis won his Jr. Showmanship class and his Spring ewe lamb was top ten in a huge ewe lamb class.

Our last fair, The Puyallup fair and WA State 4-H Fair ended last weekend. The Puyallup fair is the 7th largest fair in the country and runs for 3 weeks. We had some success with top 5 placings with our fleeces and Premier Exhibitor with our Hampshire sheep. The Romneys held their own in a tough Romney show with 2nd place Young Flock and a third in the spring ewe lamb class.

Our oldest son raises and shows Hampshires. He had a good show with his sheep and fleeces. I love to watch him show in showmanship. He has so much intensity and has improved so much every year.

The huge pile of laundry is calling me so back to work I go. We are having a major cool down and the fall rain has started so hopefully there will be more time to post.