Butterscotch joins Damn! That’s Orange to make a total of TWO yarns in my Winter 2020 Yarn Fleet.

The prep goes so much faster when working with fairly choice mohair and not dregs left over after consignment – that’s another great benefit of me holding onto all my fair leftovers.  So many nice locks to grab, as opposed to picking up piece after piece trying mostly in vain to find something not matted or full of scurf.

I learned the word “scurf” from one of my many Pretty But Useless fiber periodicals this week.  Now I have a name for the waxy globs that some goats get at the base of their hair when they’ve been struggling with lice.  It’s a bane.


Again with the Fiber

I was going to make a multi-colored blend next…  but when I opened the box of “Butterscotch” it’s all I wanted to spin next.  Something about this color I just love!  The delicate yellow…  And, the locks are BEAUTIFUL.  Janet is a nice goat.  THIS is why I didn’t consign anything this year, so I could hold onto the good stuff!


Those blue things buried in the right-hand basket are just some of my tools, thrown in there to help weigh things down.  The fluffed-out fiber tends to fly, otherwise.

S’E2S’E Dye Job

This isn’t the S’E2S’E project I’d planned on doing today.  I had a 4-ounce bag of Clun Forest raw wool I was going to wash and dye.  I dropped it into the wash water…  noticed it seemed to have poop pellets in it.  Possibly a lot of poop pellets.  Then I noticed the locks were extremely short.  I thought of picking all that poop out of that wool, and then fussing with the little locks that I would barely be able to hold between my fingertips as I tried to flick them.  Then I thought of how I was not going to enjoy one moment of this project.  Then I double-checked the price on the bag, not that it matters, and it was four dollars.  I thought, I could just dump this out on the ground and forget about it and the lousy four dollars I spent on it.  And I did!

I took out another little satchel of S’E2S’E, also sold to me aw raw wool, but in much, much better condition.  That is what you see here; it is Lincoln Longwool – LONGwool, I emphasize.  I am going to enjoy this one.  Looks like mohair, doesn’t it?


Shave ’em to Save ’em Continues


I wasn’t going to stop at just a tote bag!  I aim to entirely fill up my S’E2S’E passport.

I was never so happy to see a project end as the above.  Short little hairs that just got EVERYWHERE the moment you breathed near the fiber.  It was all short.  And coarse as hell.

It does make everything else on my fiber plate feel like a breeze in comparison.

The project is working.  I’m learning about fiber.  Avoid karakul.


Vermont Sheep & Wool 2019

I never posted anything about the Fair.  Let’s talk about the handspun contest.  Since the Fair theme this year was rare breeds, you got extra points for spinning a Shave ’em to Save ’em breed fleece.  Well, I was already doing that!  All I had to do was make sure I conformed to one of their categories.  I chose “medium-weight plied.”


Second place!  OK, it was tied for second.  And there may well have been only four entrants.  But even so, it came in better than third place!  You gotta be in it to win it.

OK, let’s move on to the feedback.  Turns out the judge is the same guy who buys mohair for us from Green Mountain Spinnery.  The comments say, “Color – good!  Tighter ply would be more balanced.”  This is appropriate and unsurprising feedback given my experience, as I never ply, but I dye all the time.

I got 4 points out of 5 for “Aesthetics,” “Originality,” and “Complexity”.  3 points for “Mastery of Craft,” as I suck at plying.  I got 5 points for 100% heritage breed fiber.  And I get a zillion points for participating, because that’s what it’s all about.

Speaking of “it’s participating that counts,” it wasn’t a very profitable year for my booth.  Maybe it’s because the needle felting craze has come and gone.  Maybe my Greener Shades colors weren’t so much eye-candy as my Pro Chem ones used to be.  It wasn’t lack of attendance – the gate keeps increasing every year, they report.  I’ll chalk a bit of the loss up to my location, though.  I am close to but no longer on the end – they put some bunnies there!!  And my space was miniscule.  It was so narrow that once my table was in place, you could only fit one person wide in front of it.  And unfortunately, I made a bad choice of orientation on the first day, having my mohair face away from my own pen.  That meant it was facing the next pen, which was Shetland sheep being peddled by two sweet grandmas (I believe the farm name was “Two Grandmas Farm” or something thereabouts).  Two CHATTY grandmas.  I’ve never seen people so interested in Shetland sheep.  People were constantly in my space to look at the sheep and chat chat chat with the grandmas.  At one point, one of the grandmas herself was not only in my space, but leaning on my merchandise obliviously while she chatted away.

I think this cut down on impulse buys, since nobody could see my full display or comfortably come in half the time.  I remedied the orientation on Sunday, but Saturday is the big day to sell.


As If I Can Do Anything But What I Always Do

VT Sheep & Wool is featuring the Shave ’em to Save ’em program this year, and their contests are geared towards rare breeds.  I’m ready to spin for the handspun yarn contest with my #5 project, Leicester Longwool.  Problem is the categories are “bulky single” or “medium plied yarn” or “fine plied yarn” (right out).  I do singles, but not really bulky.  So I could go either trying (and failing) to spin a lot thicker than usual, sticking with singles, or a bit finer and ply.  I didn’t enjoy trying to make bulky (ugly) so I’m going with option B.