Saturday, April 23, 2011

Going cold sheep: No More Fleece-Extreme DeStash pledge

This little "Holstein" lamb growing up at Elihu Farm in Valley Falls, NY will probably produce a gorgeous fleece next spring.  Will I be able to resist?

Taking the "No More Fleece: Extreme De-Stash Pledge" is not going to be easy.  I love fleece! There is nothing more beautiful than a farm-fresh fleece, glowing in the sun streaming into the fiber fair shed or barn or wherever I have been stopped in my tracks by the sight of its loveliness.  I've been drawn to a particular fleece from across a fiber-packed fleece sale shed, such as the one at Rhinebeck, as if the fiber cried out to me to be spun.  I've even remembered fleeces I've passed up because I have so much, wondering over the years how they spun up for whoever the lucky purchaser was.

Which could explain the two closets packed with fleece and the work table in my workshop taking the "overflow" with buckets lined up underneath.  I may be in denial, but since I actively use these fleeces, I don't think I can be classified as a hoarder.  I've also thrown out or given away "mistake" fleeces: those I've discovered later to have breaks or serious flaws that I missed due to a case of delirium that sometimes overcomes me when I am surrounded by too many gorgeous, crimpy, glistening, yummy fleece.  Thirty years from now people won't be having to pick their way through tiny passages made in my house by plastic buckets crammed with stash.  I also never leave a fleece unwashed. so there won't be stinky, tacky, greasy plastic bags of raw fiber either. 

Which is why I am taking the  "No More Fleece: Extreme De-Stash Pledge."  Ravelers are welcome to peruse my stash page if they think I am overstating the situation.  I still have three or four things to add to it too my stash page as part of my "come clean" 2010 pledge.

I will go Cold Sheep and avoid the source of my most serious temptation:  Fiber Fairs.  I plan to not go to them until next spring.  Sorry sheep farmers and braid dyers.  But I did stock up at Tallgrass Farm and during my visit to Elihu (where I also buy lamb--her freezers are strategically placed near her bagged-for- sale freshly-sheared fleece stacks), so I think I can do it. I hope.

Below is a re-ply of the braid I purchased from Ambrosia and Bliss at the only Fiber Festival I've attended this year.  A lovely Rambouillet roving dyed in her Planet Earth colorway. I ran it through the wheel one more time to firm up the ply.  You can compare it to my first showing a blog or two down to see what it looked like the first time through.  I think it is much improved.
A second run through the wheel improved the ply on this Rambouillet two-ply.

If you are interested in joining me in this "No More Fleece: Extreme De-Stash." Please let me know by contacting me or posting a comment below. We can form a support group of sorts and of course, you will have your own strategy for resisting temptation. Remember, this is for people with extreme stashes. The plan is to not buy any fleece until the next vernal equinox.  Can it be done?  Can we resist?  Can we make a dent in that time? Time will tell...

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Great Spring Destash

Ambrosia and Bliss's Planet Earth done in two ply.
Record time from stash to finished object above you can see the Ambrosia and Bliss Planet Earth colorway. You are seeing it pre-wash as I wanted to show it off right away. I love the colors. They remind me of the hot pools at Yellowstone National Park.  My only regret is I wish I had planned a three ply.  I think Rambouillet looks better in a three-ply.

I'm taking the "No More Fleece--At Least For Now" pledge.  I hope this commitment to destashing lasts and lasts.  I'm missing fiber festivals this year after being a bit too jubilant at the Spring Fiber Jubilee.  I stayed home from Stephenstown and  Greencastle and I will probably sit out a few more in vain hope that I can finally make a dent in my stash.  Can I actually dip into my stash archives and make a difference?

Brown rug yarn is being spun on my Ladybug.
Maybe.  I carded all the teased brown rug yarn fleece I have and you can see it being turned into yarn on my Ladybug.  I plan to have it all spun by the end of the month! Honest!

Spring is really bouncing along and we have a backyard filling with daffodils.  Here, you can see some bloodroot blossoms.  They are a native wildflower and a potential dye plant.  I don't have enough to really dye with, as I don't want to dig them up and I'm not about to go dig up the woodlands either. I hope these will spread all over my yard someday.  We have a shady area I'm turning into a spring woodland garden.

Bloodroot growing in the backyard.
Oh, I probably should be gardening too.  Maybe next weekend.  It was sneeting* on Saturday and today was the only good day for a bike ride, so the garden gets to wait.

 *Sneeting is what I call snow, sleet and rain combinations.  It's kind of like nature sneering at us.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Purchase to wheel

008 by whorlwindweaver
I'm about a quarter way through one of the Ambrosia & Bliss braids I purchased on Saturday. I plan to make a fingering weight two ply. In terms of time from purchase to finished yarn--this may set a de-stashing record for me!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Slipped and fell flat

Ambrosia & Bliss had a booth at Tallgrass Farm's Spring Fiber Jubilee, Opening Day for the Midwest Fiber Festival Season.

Spin Your Stash is a Ravelry group I belong to and one of the threads is called "Slipped A Little."  Since the aim of the group is to spin down stashed fiber before buying more, there is a thread for those little slip ups while visiting fiber fairs.  I have to admit, today at Tallgrass Farm's Spring Fiber Jubilee, I didn't merely slip, I fell flat. Ouch!

This is the first fleece from Sweetie, a lamb living on White Dove Farm.
Though I got there kind of late morning, my friend Mary Wallace of White Dove Farms still had two of the most gorgeous lambswool fleeces I've ever seen.  I was looking at one fleece when this little Sweetie caught my eye. Lovely, lustrous deep natural colored fleece shinning in the sunlight.  Soft, crimpy, absolutely scrumptious, this Sweetie's' first fleece is a beauty to behold.  Naturally, I couldn't let that one go.

While chatting with Mary, and helping a customer figure out yardage of a skein, yet another fleece caught my eye, the white Lilly's lamb's fleece.  This is also a delightful fleece, crimpy and soft and so card and spinnable looking.  Yep, you know what happened next.

Lilly's Lamb's first fleece also came home with me.

I wonder when I'll ever get to all this wool. I know I'll have to live until I'm 105.  I love spinning, but knitting the fingering weight wool I adore can take a long time.  But now I think I have a secret weapon.  A dear raveling relative who loves to crochet has agreed to take some stash off my hands.  Mooowahahahaha! Where can I find a nice big shipping crate?

My next stop was Raveler Minoux's Ambrosia & Bliss display in the store.  Realizing some of my stash was being mailed to a new home, I figured I could use a few replacements.  I bought two braids and what she calls a "Scooby Snack" which is a tiny batt.  I bought the snack after telling her there is no way I would ever buy carded batts because, well I have a Pat Greene and plenty of dyed fiber and glitz and could always card my own. Famous last words indeed...

I never miss the barn and there was Linus's second clip.  Linus is an Angora Goat born and being raised on Tallgrass Farm and I bought his kid fleece last fall which is this fabulous tri-colored fleece.  His second clip was gorgeous too.  Fortunately, I lost the arm wrestle with the other shopper as I have yet to spin Linus's first clip.  But yes, I will spin it soon.  I'm saving him for the Tour de Fleece he's that pretty.

So, yes, I've got two fleeces and two braids and it is only Opening Day of the Midwest fiber festival season.  This isn't looking good for my destashing plans.