Thursday, October 15, 2015

Fiber Prep Season; for the love of the process

I just love this time of year.
The cooler weather, the leaves changing, the goldenrod still lingering, and wearing layers. 
It's also the time of year I pull out my acquired fleeces and go to town. 

Since I went full time with my yarn making business two years ago, I've also been in the process of tweaking and streamlining my entire process. 
Turns out I have a thing for lining up several projects at once and building up such a momentum it feels almost meditative. 
It may seem danuting but breaking it all up into little bits, it's quite managable and simple. 

In this age of Etsy's new guidlines of allowing outsourcing and now most recently Amazon Handmade, I continue to stick my toes further into the sand in order to stand up for what I believe in when it comes to a creator's creative integrity. 

I've also just recently (and finally) added a much needed tag line to my business title 
44 Clovers
: heritage yarns; hand spun & plant dyed :

Why "heritage" you might ask? 
To me, the word heritage stems from age old traditions and techniques and processes that I hold very dear to my heart. 
When I started spinning 15 years ago (this month!) I had been wanting to do so as a way to bond with the past when it came to textiles. 

Since then I have worked with all kinds of textiles especially fibers when it comes to spinning and I found I started to ask the questions of "where did this wool come from?" "where was it grown?" "Who worked on and took care of this animal?" The more I asked myself these questions and went seeking, the more I ended up being drawn towards raw fleece which I can easily find in my surrounding communities.

skirting a white shetland fleece
shetland before the wash

I love using my double kitchen sinks, a scoop of orvis paste, and the hottest water from the tap for gentle soaking

This shetland came out

A few weekends ago I was taking advantage of the warmer weather by skirting, drying and carding my fleeces on the front porch. 

skirting a finn fleece

carding a scottish black face fleece

spinning and plying my first skein of white new mexican churro wool

So far I've managed to get all fleeces washed and two carded.
Once all is carded I'll be ready to settle in for the winter to spin in front of the fire.
Then just like Fredrick, I can dream about the colors they will be come spring.