Good news – I made it to the Estes Park Wool Market on Saturday. Even better news – I got a fleece and a half (I’m sharing one of them with my friend Julie). I am still in the market for a drum carder to process all that fleece, but I can obtain one outside of the wool market. I needed to get a fleece in person.
The fleece I kept to myself is from a Jacob ewe.
I washed just a handful of the fiber last night so I could see how it will look all finished. Note that the yellowish wool in the top picture becomes this gleaming white wool after it is washed. Some of the discoloration is lanolin, and some of it is dirt. The closeup shot gives you an idea of the crimp in this wool. It’s kind of loose, like maybe a person with curly hair.
I am splitting a CVM (California Variegated Mutant) fleece with Julie. These fleeces are stuck together, and they kind of look like the sheep they came from. No worries, there is no skin there, just wool. The sheep are still alive and happy.
I also washed some of this fiber to see what the variegation looks like. Notice the crimp is much tighter than the Jacob wool in the closeup shot of the fiber. Julie tells me this will make a springier yarn. I’m kind of excited to try this out!
I could have gotten goat, alpaca or vicuña fleece as well. There may have been even more options, but there was only so much I could see in one day. I know you’re wondering why I would even consider an alpaca fleece given my allergy, but I have some good news: if I still have the allergy, it is minimal. I had the acupuncturist try to eliminate my alpaca allergy by using some fiber I definitely had a reaction to. When I went to the wool market, I visited the alpaca tent with no problem. I pet a few prepared alpaca rovings with no problem. I even pet a live alpaca and then deliberately rubbed my hand on my nose and face with no discernible reaction! At worst, I had a mild reaction to the fibers (my throat was a little swollen by the end of the day, but that happens randomly sometimes – it wasn’t like my normal throat closing reaction). I am thrilled that this treatment actually worked for me! I will be knitting with alpaca again, but only in small amounts, just in case. I have a little squirreled away for just this sort of occasion.
I had one more adventure worth sharing. After the wool market, Julie and I went to join some other knitters, weavers and spinners for dinner. I was putting my things in the back seat of my car when I had an incident. I dropped a little bag containing my carousel sock and the 2mm double pointed needles on the back seat of my car moments before slipping on some grass. I fell forward into the car seat and managed to stab myself just above the knee with the metal needle. I stood up, and realized it had gone in about an inch. Oddly, it didn’t hurt, but I pulled the needle out (much like someone might pull a dagger out of their chest in a movie) and went in to wash the wound. After I was cleaned up and bandaged, the hole started to hurt some, but not as much as I would expect. As of this morning, it looks and feels no worse than a puncture wound I might have gotten from a cat. Still, this is my first knitting injury in 27 years.
In other news, I spent today photographing the kittens. The shelter gave us tips on how to get better pictures of kittens because they are working harder at advertising the animals they have up for adoption. I like most of these pictures, but I think I can do better on some. I still have a few days.
I’m not as thrilled with the bottom three pictures as I am the top two, so I’ll keep trying. This was just one photo session, after all. Kittens don’t exactly cooperate when you’re trying to photograph them, but these guys did a decent job. It helps to get them when they’re sleepy.
Well, that’s all I’ve got today. I’m reminding myself that this has to be enough.