Tuesday, August 12, 2008

from goat to yarn.

i'm still in the learning stages of transforming lovely locks into mohair wool. it's awkward and foreign and tedious. but it's a tediousness that is strangely appealing to me. i'm not exactly sure how or why it all works, but i will and it does. here's a short sweet synopsis of the process:

first, you must obtain an angora goat....

bianka says, "pick me!"

bianka is a kid (baby goat). she had her first shear or "first clilp" back in may. first clips are more valuable because kid fleece is super fine. after we sheared her, i placed the fleece in a paper bag and stored it in the closet awaiting the next step... washing.

washing can ruin a fleece. if it is done wrong, it will turn to felt. you can't spin felt. you can maybe make christmas ornaments. being my paranoid self, i kept the bag in the closet for months. came up with all sorts of excuses why it wasn't a good time to wash. pregnant donkey. del ray training. hornworms. all were valid distractions but the truth was simple... i didn't trust me. finally got up the nerve with a little help from jason and i washed and dried fleece with success! sorry folks, no felt christmas ornaments this year.

i then proceeded to the next step.... carding. this stage is perhaps the most unatural to me. i bought books, studied articles, watched online videos. just didn't make sense. you take these cute little curly shiny locks and rake them through two metal brushes attached to big heavy wooden paddles. seems like a horrible idea. first time i tried, it looked like crap. but i practiced and got better. and formed a loose section of wool called a rolag.

final step.... spinning. i'm not going to spell it all out. cause i'm an amateur. but somehow you magically attach the rolag to the drop spindle, you hook, and twist and spin and pinch and pray that it all turns out ok. and eventually the spindle gets full and you can either make a skein (those cute little figure-eight-type packages storebought yarn comes in which seems way too complicated for me and is usally made with an instrument called a "niddy noddy" which i can barely type no less say without laughing) or you can roll it into a ball. i chose the ball.

cards, rolags, washed locks, and spindle

ball o'yarn

1 comment:

krisit said...

your such a niddy noddy..lol
i can't wait to get there!! I'm so excited.
love kristi