Today is the official start of the Olympic spinning challenge, there will be a post following this for more details on that. It's only relevant here, because my fleece is soaking in hot soapy water and I need something to do to keep from poking at it. I am trying a new formula of Dawn for washing this fleece (this is the Rave, I love Dawn dishwashing liquid for washing fleeces, that greasy lanolin pops right off with Dawn). It's a concentrated formula and it's called Simple Pleasures. The scent is lemon and tangerine, which I am loving. The verdict is still out if this will wash a fleece as well as the traditional formula, I will know that later. And it may be hard to find, I know my local Kroger is discontinuing the product, I do not know if that means the company is discontinuing it or not. But for now, it's got my thumbs up (almost a guarentee that it will go away).
No pictures with this post, just some details on what has been keeping me busy the last two weeks.
Items for our state fair are due to be submitted this weekend, so I've had the usual last minute finish up rush. I am entering three hand spun skeins this year and they are spun and washed. I need to skein them into two yard skeins, because that is the required skein length. It's a clumsy operation to get them into the skeins that size. I can set my skein winder to that size easy and wind the yarn onto it. However the yarn is currently already in a skein, that's how it's washed. And winding onto a skein winder, from a skein without a second skein winder is hard. Usually I have to try and put the small skein back onto the PCV pipe skeiner I have, and wind it that way. The alternative is to put the small skein into a ball and wind from that. I have done that in the past too. The best solution is to put the yarn from the bobbin straight to the skein winder set for two yards. I have tried that too in the past and have been unhappy with how the skein looks after washing that large size skein. And if I am unhappy with it, I am sure the judge will be too. So I fiddle, to get a nice looking two yard skein, and because it is so fiddly, I procrastinate doing it. It's a good TV watching project and I have a movie I want hubby and I to watch tonight, so I expect I will be doing it then. Maybe I can talk him into holding the small skein, while I wind the large. Ahhh togetherness.
The other two fair items are in final finishing stages too. The first is my Alaskan memory shawl, knit from sock yarn. It's in the towel after a nice Orvis bath and then I have to pin it out to block in a little bit. I am procrastinating on that too, so many pins. And now here's my rant. I used a well known, high priced specialty sock yarn, you know the type, hand dyed in amazing colors. And when I washed the shawl, that yarn bled, an ugly orange brown color. Now the colors on the shawl did not seem to be affected by this bleeding, and I didn't leave the shawl in the murky water. Even the next two rinse waters were still bleeding a terrible amount of color. It really upsets me. I can rant because I am a dyer. I know about bleeding yarns, and what to do about them. It doesn't have to be that way, and to have yarn sold at high prices that bleeds like that is just laziness or ignorance on the manufacturers part. I do not think it has harmed the shawl, and I did not want to dunk the shawl in vinegar and then submit it to the fair smelling like a pickle. They'd think I'd entered it in the wrong department and that it belonged in Culinary. No I am just going to have to put down an old sheet and pin the shawl to that in case it bleeds while blocking. And then I will consider what to do about it after the fair. What to do may involved never washing it again. I can not imagine how bad this would be if I had knit a pair of socks with the yarn.
Back from switching the fleece from soapy water to rinse water.
The last fair project has been an interesting challenge and it is the one that it the least finished. It may or may not go but it's been fun to make. I have learned how to weave on the 12 inch square loom and it's partner triangle loom and have made squares of handspun to sew into a table cloth. Technically it will be a tea table cloth. I needed 25 squares, and have eight more to go. And then I should wash and block those, and sew them together. Ideally I would knit them together with a lacy design. So I am at the decision point soon, do I finish it fast, and get it in the fair, or finish it pretty and enter it next year. Stay tuned....