Nov 3

That’s a rather long title, but that is the class I taught at Starstruck Cat Studio on Saturday.  There were five students and we had a lot of fun.

I went over a list of items to look for when looking for a fleece – Canary stains, soundness, scurf, veg matter, coated versus uncoated, etc.  Then we took out a lovely Shetland fleece that I had brought (from a sweet ewe named Amy).  This fleece was unskirted (the belly and britch had been removed at the time of shearing, but nothing else had been done).

dirty Amy

This is Amy’s fleece dirty.  It had poopy tags, second cuts and hay in it, so we thoroughly skirted it and cleaned it before starting the washing process.  The students were amazed at how dirty the water got just seconds after dropping the laundry bags of fleece into the hot, soapy water (I use Dawn to wash my fleeces).  I wish I had gotten a picture of the clean fleece (And I might take one tonight and edit this post to show you how clean Amy’s fleece got).

While the fleece was washing, we discussed different ways of preparing a fleece for spinning.  We used combs, cards, flicking the tips, the drum carder (both dizzing it off and as a batt) and blending board.  Guess what almost everyone liked the best.

blending board

The blending boards were hugely popular.  I can see several of the students buying one in the near future.  The fact that they could blend their own rolags while traveling in a car was interesting to them.


And then there was Susan, the owner of Starstruck Cat Studio.  She fell in love with the drum carder.  I think I have created a fiber monster. 🙂


The idea of making her own blended batts to sell in the shop really intrigues her.  I hope she gives it a try.  It’s a great way to play with color, and dizzing the batts from the carder will give her lovely roving to sell, too.


Both of these were made on the blending board.  I really like the one on the left, but everyone else liked the right-hand one.


While playing with the drum carder, the students put colors onto the carder and kept adding them until it was full.  We dizzed off half and took the rest off as a batt and reblended it onto the carder.  The yarn on the right is from the dizzed, one-time through fiber and the yarn on the left is the twice-blended batt.  Again, I was a minority of one as I love the left one and everyone else loved the right one.  And that’s the fun of experimenting like this.

One of my students, Tina, brought the shawl she is knitting from her handspun Lincoln roving she got from Dyed in the Wool.


Learning to spin her own lace-weight yarn was her reason for taking my spinning classes, and look at what she is doing with it.


Here it is stretched out showing the pattern.  Lovely!

Now that winter is approaching, and it is getting colder, I pulled out my Hip to be Square blanket that I knitted last winter.  I don’t think I ever showed a picture of the completed blanket.

hip to be square blanket

Isn’t that fun?  And it’s toasty, too!

I hope everyone had a great weekend.  Can you believe it’s November already???