Well, I need to write even if it is just to be able to sleep tonight. I hope you will indulge me.
As I have been setting here processing the never ending piles of wool, I came upon a rather scratchy thought. Just how much wool do I need to process to get to the end of the tunnel?
My difficulty is that I do not completely understand the fabric I am recreating. I also do not understand weaving on a common floor loom let alone a Warp Weighted Loom. I have just enough knowledge of weaving to be dangerous.
Now mind you, I am recreating some of the techniques used to build the tools and fabric related to bring this project to completion. But, I am not an all knowing person. I need help…..
How do I figure the amount of wool needed to make the requisite fabric? HELP!
Is this fabric (2/2 twill) a warp faced fabric?
I guess this will not be the only two questions, but these are the most pressing ones at this point.
No Really….. Help.
Hubby says, “Good judgement comes from experience which comes from bad judgement.”
Greetings from the wool shed!
I hope this finds you all doing well. It is spring! or some semblance of it here. Planting of roses and pruning of fruit trees has commenced.
So, I am continuing the hand processing of fleece to be spun into yarn for the weaving of the first dress. This dress is being made out of the Churro Breed of sheep.
I am going to be making a trip up to Wisconsin in May and I hope to meet a breeder there for the Icelandic fleece. Yes Kids It seems that it is time for me to start thinking about the next phase of the project.
Speaking of the next phase of the project. As I have little to do but think while combing the fleece I currently have, my mind has started travelling to the world of the loom. I will be building the loom myself this summer. I am starting from the ground up. Cutting of the timber for the parts cannot happen until June most likely. We have a permit system in out forests and the permits will not be available until May.
Just a short note to let you all know that life and the work is ongoing. Nothing new on the research from as I am concentrating all of my energy and available time to getting the fleece processing done for the Navajo Churro fleeces.
This does not mean that my mind has stopped working. There is something very cathartic about doing repetitive hand work. It frees your mind to travel to other places almost effortlessly.
So, my mind is now looking towards the search for Icelandic fleeces. In order for the fleeces to work for this project, they must come directly from Iceland or from a North American supplier who’s blood lines run back to the original flock transported to Canada in the late 80’s, early 90’s.
I have been able to get wonderful support from my churro fleece supplier who has given me a low price for very good fleeces. It is my hopes that I can find an Icelandic breeder that would be willing to be a part of this project and offer to sell their fleece for a good price to help support this large experimental archaeology project.
So this and the loom construction are the two main topics of my bored brain at this time.
If there is anyone out there who would like to help with the fleece issue, could you please contact me at email@example.com
Be well, All of you, until we meet here again.
Greetings from the Project!
I hope this finds all of you well and prospering.
It has been a busy time here as I have begun full swing processing of 12 Navajo Churro Fleeces. The wool from these sheep are being washed as I go and then I am using the oiling process I had out lined in the blog post of 12/09/2013.
It has it’s good points and inconvenient points.
Firstly on the good side, It helps a less than optimal fleece due to dryness and course quality to become usable for the purpose of this project. Also, I am finding the separation to be much easier as it lubricates the wool fibers thus letting them slip easily across one another. Combing is much easier and the waste fiber is reduced. Your hands and tools become conditioned in a way that most hand lotions will not do.
On the inconvenient side of things, It is oily. working on this makes your hands and tools slippery. This is an easy problem to fix with the use of a cloth to wipe every thing down periodically. As for it spreading to other surfaces as you work, I have not had that problem as I contain the oily material and tools to one work space and stay aware of the oil.
On to other progress and such from here.
We went to the mountains to look around at the availability for timber to build the looms. We found that cutting permits will not be offered until early May. So back to gathering information on construction and also thinking about how to weave. So much to learn!
Also, we are looking forward to the potential of making a trip to the North Atlantic next year. At this time it looks like it may be a real possibility. I look forward to actually be boots on the ground in the places I have only had access to through books and emails from wonderful contacts! Also I am looking forward to the possibility of seeing the fabric that this project is based on in person. Just some of the dreams and directions I am working towards.
Well, That is about it for the time being. One more thing, As you can see is that the website is back up. Those who have not answered my call for a touch back on the email so I know you are getting posts from here, Please do so. It is important to me that after our absence that I know your email is working.
Greetings from the wool shed!
Today I am finally kicking off a major campaign to get the twelve Churro fleeces needed for the first weaving done so that Anna, the project spinner, can do her part in the early summer.
As I have been mentally getting ready. the next steps have been working their way into my head and so the loom construction will be next. Continue reading
Hi everyone! Glad to see you here!
This past week I was asked an interesting set of questions on the face book Greenland Gown Research/Recreation page. I gave a Cliff Notes version of the answer and so would like to expand on that information.
The question and request is as follows. “Tell me about oiling fleece. Why does one do it and does it need to be done on all fleeces?”
As I am getting started processing the wool for spinning, I have found in the past that I had problems controlling the static as I live in an area that has a normal lack of humidity, about 13% or less most of the year. Also, There is the problem of waste as the slightly shorter usable fibers would tangle and become difficult to pull into tops. My past solution was to use a spray bottle of water which helped with the static but did nothing to mitigate the waste.
I was talking with my fleece supplier recently and mentioned my dilemma. She said that I should look for spinning/carding oil as that is what she uses occasionally to keep these issues in check and so do the mills. As it had been awhile since she had bought any, that was all of the information she could give me .
With the little information I had, I went looking for a commercial supplier and found none that did not sell in less that large quantity and very few of those. My next endeavor was to look at a paper that I had come across in the search. In this paper I found recipes for several kinds of oil that were used along with varying methods of oil distribution. It is called “Wool Oiling” “Serial 475 Edition 1″ The publisher is “International Textbook Company”. A PDF of this section can be found through the University of Arizona and a search of the internet. (If you are unable to find it, please contact me for help) This is a
Greetings and happy holidays to all of you!
I am literally back on my feet again and the work on the project continues. I have been experimenting with a wool oil recipe that has or was used in commercial mills since the 1800’s if my information is correct.
This information will be the next blog post of substance. I hope to have the results of the first part of the work out to you in the next week. I just need to write the information up into a form that is readily understood.
After re-reading the announcements I discovered that I had made a huge mistake when I listed equipment for sale.
Below please find the correction to the listing.
- FOR SALE:
- 2 pairs of double pitch (row) 4″ full size wool combs -
Hello everyone. I know that I have been quiet these past days….Things at the house have taken priority for a bit. I have been working on the project though and will have the results of the new experiments out for all to see soon.
The topic this time will be lubricating scoured fibers and comparing various techniques from removing the dirt while leaving the lanolin (grease) in the raw fleece and how the combs react to this to scouring the fleece and adding carding/spinning oil to it and how that effects the combing.
I have found a recipe for the oil and have redacted the recipe (also will be covered in depth) to fit the smaller quantities of fleece I am doing at a time. I am liking the results so far.
The last time I tried to comb a raw fleece I found the grease clogged the combs up to the point I could not use them. Carding (which is out of culture for this project) may be different….
So, as you can see I have been working, just not able to write. Will write the results of the work I have been doing very soon.