Monday, August 23, 2010

Local Fibre


We're not ready to create the 100 Mile Wardrobe just yet, but a group of dedicated spinners and weavers will be demonstrating the process of creating cloth in a Sheep to Shawl event at the Lasqueti Fall Fair.

Since I was the one who innocently suggested such a wacky idea (do we really need to create more work for ourselves?) I get to make up the rules. It won't really be a traditional S2S competition, since there is just one team, but we will have to card, spin and weave a length of cloth in three hours or less, in front of crowds of cheering onlookers. At least we hope they will be cheering - they could be shaking their heads in dismay at such lunacy. At the end of the day the finished shawl will be auctioned off, a rare treasure: 100% Lasquetian Made.

The fleece comes from a genuine Lasqueti sheep from Lisa Johnson's farm. We were lucky to get a beautiful, soft, CLEAN, gray fleece that is a pleasure to work with. That's Gwen above, preparing locks for carding.

As Empress of the S2S, I decreed that it was okay to prepare some of the fleece in advance. (In some jurisdictions the sheep has to be sheared as part of the competition.) Gwen graciously offered the use of her outdoor bathtub to wash the wool. She has a wire rack that supports the fleece and allows it to lifted out of the tub without messing up the locks, letting the dirt drain away. Brilliant!

The clean fleece get to sedately dry in the shade of the garden swing. How civilized!

The washed and carded wool was divvied up amongst five spinners to create the warp yarn. We aren't spinning to any standard other than a sportweight 2-ply, as I am hoping each person's individual style will be evident, resulting in a lively textured cloth. The loom will be pre-threaded, leaving us plenty of time (hah!) on the day to leisurely tease, card, spin, wind into bobbins, weave, and finish the rest of the shawl.

Not crazy at all!

3 comments:

  1. This sounds like a fun event. I'm a spinner (only beginner) and own a spinning wheel. I can do all that carding, dyeing and plying and very interest to see how this goes. I was offered a loom by one of my student, but yet to received it. I hope one day I can call myself a weaver too - Hugs
    Nat

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  2. oh i can just smell that fleece. and what a great outdoor sink.

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  3. This is very inspiring and no, you are not crazy at all. Just doing the demonstration of all the work makes us 'modern' people appreciate the labour and love that went into the simplest things. Congratulations on your vision.

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