Tag Archives: fulled

$15 mistake; Middle-aged dreadlocks

I’ve gone to the last couple of fiber festivals with only $30 to spend on wool. This has actually been a blast rather than depressing because I take a penny candy approach to fiber and only buy an ounce or two of something here and there, and come home with a riot of color and new breeds to try out. If I’ve got a little extra cash after seeing all of the booths, I’ll go back for something in 4 ounces or so that caught my eye and spend my last $10-$15.

What caught my eye at the last NJ sheep festival was some Gotland – I had “gotten” some the previous year in a pale grey and loved spinning it. This was a darker chocolately grey – not too light, not too dark. I fondled some roving that was loose in a basket and asked if the breeder had more for sale.

gotland wad

I got it wound flat and sealed in a bag – it looked a bit odd to me, but I’m still a bit of a sheepy noob and figured it was just processed a bit differently…

But when I got home, it was what I feared – a felted mass.

It could have nearly been a sheepy collar as-is.

gotland collar

I’m not going to call out the breeder (who I spotted at Rhinebeck as well) because it was my fault for not inspecting  it before I bought it, and frankly, not exactly knowing what I was buying to begin with – perhaps this wasn’t really roving but woolen rope? Instant dreadlocks? A chair pad? When I asked for roving, the breeder thought I said, do you have a spiral of felted mess for sale?

So I ripped it apart and tugged it a bit to see if it could be salvageable into yarn.

(I didn’t want to leave it as felt – the point was to spin some more Gotland, and I wanted to get what I thought I got.)

gotland pile

The resulting “roving” was a limp yet stiff, lifeless mess.

So I tugged, and tugged, and tugged some more and managed to free a lock:

gotland staple

But I nearly freed some tendons and joints from their connective bits in the process, so it was not going to be worth it to try to completely free the fiber back into a softly spinnable state.

So I ran the whole shebang through the wheel to add a slight bit of twist to help round things out.

It was the fastest spinning I’ve ever done.

glotland yarn

After a nice long soak, it looked even more like dreadlocks.

gotland dreads

I had to try them on – playing with them took up more time than spinning them…

gotland ball

But now I’ve got a tad over 20 yards of mega bulky Gotland…

gotland spiral

And I might end up needle felting it into a chair pad after all…

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Filed under home decor, knitting, spinning

Even quicker and more practical…

I can’t even really call this a project (unlike my previous one) – take a slightly fulled* sweater (preferably cashmere) chop off the arms and pull them up over your knees and thighs under your pants – done.  For the thin-thighed, you might consider attaching them to a garter, sewing in some elastic at the top, or keep shopping at your favorite thrift store until you find the absolute perfect size.

kneewarmer

I love the outdoors and I love wool, but I don’t quite love winter yet, though I’m slowing warming to it, all puns aside. I could bring myself to near financial ruin over the fabulous items of clothing made from whisper-thin and oh-so soft-merino wool from brands that rhyme with dicebreaker, fartwool, and especially the one named after a lithe four-legged mammal.  Who knew wool underwear, yes, the underpants kind of underwear, are the awesomest things ever in cold or hot weather and dry fast too making them perfect for minimal travel?  But alas, I have only purchased a few items here and there and have yet to obtain the perfect woollen base-layer bottoms.  I have an older pair that is a little too small in the waist, just enough to cause discomfort and make me grumpy – in ye olden days of corsets and girdles, good god, I would have been grumpy… But I also don’t quite like the pants under pants feeling – part of it is the doubled up waist feeling, and part of is two pieces of fabric occasionally in opposition.  This solution is to treat the underparts in segments like an insect.  Previously I was just relying on knee-high ski socks and some floppy old woolen men’s trousers, but my knees would get chilled and achy, but these sleeves-turned knee-warmers were the perfect hack.

kneewarmer detail

I am not an exceptional one-legged snowshoer even  though it appears that way in these pictures…  The gaiters were a recent acquisition too – forget the big-bucks gearhead brands and look at Swiss army surplus – wool and cheap!

*The improper use of fulled vs. felted is driving me bats, but felted is a more often heard term so I’ve got it down here for the sake of keyword searching, but shrunken knitting is fulling dammit!

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Filed under recycling