Sunday, 12 July 2015

Stashes and kitchens


I have been doing a lot of spinning lately, partly inspired by the donation of new fleeces from our sheep after they were sheared in June, and partly because I am keen to move the Wool Project on to its next stage, which is the weaving of it into cloth.

I started off with a drop spindle after the first sheep shearing of 2009........


...producing the first of my stash of  spun wool.......


....... but after a few months of using the drop spindle I was ready to move on to spinning on a wheel, and the Kromski Mazurka  came into my life.....


....... which was the start of endless happy hours building up my stash. Now you might ask why I haven't done anything with the stash, but it has not been the right time to apply my head to such a task, so I have remained happily spinning away. But the time has come!  I have purchased some books on weaving, looked at vids on YouTube, and taken the first step to becoming a weaver by purchasing a wool winder to convert the hanks of  washed wool into more manageable balls while I continue the delicious research into what equipment I need to weave with.....


..... I have made a start! The white ball of wool is from our mixed race sheep, the brown and white is from our Jacobs, and the light brown is white wool dyed with onion skins. 


And these hanks of wool are waiting to be washed. Soon I shall have a double sink in the back kitchen which will make it easier to wash the wool, and possibly dye it. I am rolling forward with the Wool Project, but I am not rolling forward with much else, including the veg garden which I seem to have lost momentum with at the moment although we are still watering every evening. It is the heat I think, the hotter it gets the more my energies drizzle away, as if a plug has been pulled out of a sink full of water. Not to worry, we are on the other side of the heat now, and the days are slowly cooling down, now all I have to do is find the momentum to get back out into the veg garden. I am starting to get a twinkle of enthusiasm back already, and shall be 'on the roll' soon. 


And here is the builder hard at work getting the floor cemented in the now rat free back kitchen.....


..... and here is the much smaller middle kitchen area all junked up.....


Bye for now.....


Vx

18 comments:

Kev Alviti said...

Maybe I should send you my wool as well as the hay! Kitchen is starting to look good, imagine what it'll be like this time next year!

Kev Alviti said...

I didn't mean it would take that long but when I do a project I like to imagine it in a years time once it's been used and lived in.

Kerry said...

The wool looks amazing, can't wait to see what you make with it. Our kitchen is here, but I'm torn between starting it or enjoying the lovely weather gardening. Decisions, decisions x

rusty duck said...

Oooh, that sounds exciting. I've always fancied having a go at spinning. Weaving would be a perfect winter project!

Leon Sims said...

And I thought our renovation was daunting Vera - You have a braveness that we could not have imagined. We shall be lurking in Blog land to follow your progress.
Leon and Sue

Ohiofarmgirl said...

thrilled to see the progress. and i had no idea what a Ritter was... that is a very very very beautiful slicer. i wish i had one!
:-)

Janice said...

Can't wait to see what you end up making with your lovely yarn. You could always start knitting for the winter. When your 3!!!! kitchens do you have specific plans for each one>

Dawn McHugh said...

It will be an interesting journey watching you go forth weaving, I must not follow, Hubby is ordering me a drum carder tonight so I cant enter the world of weaving for some time, I do have a peg loom and a small weaving loom what kind were your thinking of one of those bigish ones :-)

Rhodesia said...

I am very impressed, you are making an fantastic job of the wool, so looking forward to seeing some home made items.
Our veg garden is having a tough time as well, I beginning to wonder what rain looked like. What worries me as well when it does come it may well arrive as hail and clean everything out on its way!!!! Keep cool Diane

Kirsty Udall said...

Vera, the wool stash is just fantastic, I can't wait to see what you do with it. Kitchens are coming on a pace now too.
I love that I can say kitchens, plural!

DUTA said...

How exciting! really. I love wool and everything about it. There was a period in my life when I wanted to learn weaving, but I had to give up this plan.
Good Luck with the veg garden!

Vera said...

KEV, what an excellent idea to visualize it in a year's time, which stop me fretting about what how long it is taking, and give me patience!

KERRY, there is not a day goes by when I am not torn between doing this and that and the other! I need two or three of me to get everything done that I want to get done, but I don't think my husband would cope with more than one of me!

JESSICA, a spinning wheel would fit in very well with your cottage life, and I am sure that you would enjoy spinning. It is not hard to do, and there are plenty of vids on YouTube to show you how to do it, but be warned....it is very addictive!!!

LEON, if we had known just how much work it was going to take to get our house renovated would we have started the project in the first place? Of course we would!!

OHIOFARMGIRL, the Ritter has paid for itself already. I took a long time in thinking about whether I needed one or not, but it was well worth buying. Hope you have dried up after the high rainfall you have had in your part of the world.

JANICE, I shall start using the wool during the winter, and very much looking forward to doing so. As for the three kitchens....... one is a larder/small dairy/laundry/and meat prep area, the smallest one is food prep/larder, and the third, which is the main kitchen, is where the range cookers are, and where we eat. It sounds a lot of areas, but farm life requires a lot of food prep areas!

DAWN, wow! A drum carder! I did think of getting one, but I have problems even carding our fleeces because the fibres are quite short, which is why I stopped carding and went for spinning directly from the fleece. Even our Jacobs do not give as long a fibre as they would if we were in the UK...I think this is because we don't have very long winters here so the sheep do not need the thickness of coat. I look forward to seeing your get on with your drum carder though!

I am thinking of buying a Kromski Harp, which is a rigid heddle loom. It is a table top one, although I shall buy a stand to go with it, and is portable so can be taken anywhere. It also folds up into a bag, although when I get mine it will never get put away, of that I am sure! I am going to get the largest in the range, which can weave cloth up to 32" wide, and here is the link http://spinwise.co.uk/?page_id=1485.

DIANE, I was thinking the same....that when rain comes it will come via a thunder storm which will smash all the veg down! Ah well, the joys of smallholding!

KIRSTY, I can't believe that I have all those kitchens either, especially after having spent the last seven years with no proper kitchen at all!

DUTA, ah shame that you had to give up your plan to weave. I have a fascination with wool, especially now I am spinning our own wool, and then I found table top looms on the internet which then developed my interest in weaving! As for the veg garden, well......some years things grow, other years they don't!

Dawn McHugh said...

@ I told you not to tempt me, I have now bookmarked the page :-)

Mizumatte said...

love the look of your wool. you asked before what T've weaved, rugs, tableclothes, teatowels, towels, tablerunners, curtains and the most of it I haven given away. I have never weaved fabrics to sew clothers of. take care Jaana

Vera said...

DAWN........bless you.....and looking forward to photos of your drum carder.

JAANA, wow, but you are an experienced weaver! Do you have a floor loom?

The Squirrel Family said...

The wool is looking fab vera, i have piles of fleece waiting to be processed but not enough hours in the day with the livestock, veg plot and garden etc roll on winter when there's less to do .....................i don't mean it honest.............Love that you have 3 kitchens i can see the benefits we have a pantry for food a kitchen for pots pans plates and gadgets etc and a shed for empty jam jars and spare huge pans etc we will be adding a utility room soon so all the outside mucky stuff can be cleaned outside the food prep area as i plan to do more stuff for sale and this will please environmental health :)

Weaving fascinates me but I REALLY don't need anymore hobbies.....do I , table or floor loom?

Vera said...

THE SQUIRREL FAMILY, the only way I can get to do any spinning is by keeping it in the kitchen so I can have a quick spin now and again when I neat to have a sit down!

Nice to know someone else feels the need to have oodles of space for all food prep, cooking, and storage. I have felt so much in a muddle over the last seven years with having no proper kitchen to work in, but soon I shall have places to put things!!! WahoooO!!!!

A table loom, that is what I was hoping to buy, but unforeseen expenses have appeared so I am going to have to put off buying the loom for a while. So meanwhile I think I shall have a go at making a knitted jumper, but in blocks to keep me interested because I do find knitting a bit on the slow side!
Hope you manage to find some precious moments to play with your own fleece!

The Squirrel Family said...

you could make a peg loom hubby made me one with a block of wood and some dowelling !