Look Ma! No Toes!

I’m a huge fan of toenail polish.  I’m an admitted sandal addict, and I just can’t get past my toes when they are without polish.  Which is funny.  I don’t think I have bad toenails, I just don’t like them nekkid.  In the winter, I will go without, due to pure laziness and the fact that fun socks make up for no polish.  I’m so happy to add this pair to my over grown stash of patterned socks.

It was 80 degrees here in ‘Da Ville today, and I’ve only taken them off for an hour.

The heel is indeed my favorite part.  I absolutely love that it’s in the same pattern as the socks, and it’s not adding bulk to my heel like some slip stitch heels do.  The pattern is called Aquaphobia and was designed to break up the pooling problem that some yarns create.  Although you can still pick out where the pooling would have been, I definitely prefer it broken up in such a nifty fashion.  Yarn credit goes to Three Irish Girls.  It’s the Petit Four Colorway from their ’08/’09 club mailing.  The yarn itself is merino tencil, and it was a test base yarn, so you won’t find it on their website.  (Neener neener neeeener)

There’s been lots of fiber play around here lately!

The fabulous Daniele sent me a box of love when I first got my spinning wheel, and I’m just now breaking into the beautiful goodies.  I have a huge soft spot for rustic looking yarns.  They are fun to spin, the end result can be unpredictable and there is nothing better than spinning fiber when you know it’s origins and the owner.  I can just imagine Dani giving her sheepies lots of love when they get their haircuts.  😀

166 yards of aran to bulky weight goodness.  I love it.  It’s got a definite scritch factor to it, so I’m going to give it a bath in some conditioner and see what happens.  And yes, I’m going to let it use the good conditioner, because if you don’t condition properly, why condition at all?

This beautiful brown fluff is also from Dani.  I love the color.  And it’s soooo soft.  When I first tried to spin this, it was a total flop.  It was a greasy nasty mess that looked like something we shall not discuss on my blog.  You can certainly spin wool ‘in the grease’ and I think it’s something I would try using locks, but not roving.  It was s too hard for me to control and looked yick.    After much consult, I decided to wash the roving.  I’ve always been afraid of this process.  Some part of me has been afraid that roving will either fall apart or felt into a nasty mess.  I’ve also been running circles about what to wash it with.

Lanolin is greasy.  And while it makes a nice additive to lotions, it’s not something that wants to come off with just any old soap.  You need a degreaser.  Now, they make wool scours – such as kookaburra, but it’s pricey and not locally available to me.  You can also use plain ‘ole Dawn dish soap.  Remember the commercial where they dropped some in a dirty lasagna pan and all the grease immediately cleared out?  Uh huh, same thing going on here with wool.  I used really hot tap water to fill up a disposable turkey roaster and about a tablespoon of Dawn.  I gently submerged the wool while muttering “Oh, hot” or “Hooooot” and then I put it in the oven at 300 for around 20 minutes – just until steam came off of the water.

I took it out of the stove and put the roaster in the sink.  Off to the side I had set another roasting pan filled with wicked hot tap water.  I gently gathered the wet wool with a pair of tongs and oh so carefully plunked it into the clean water.  This was the scariest part.  The combination of heat and friction encourage felting, which I did not want.  You could leave it in the original water, but see the nasty stuff in the pan?

It’s the grease that was emulsified by the dish soap.  As the water cools, you run the risk of the grease re-attaching itself to the wool rendering the entire process worthless and frustrating.  Every so often, as the water cooled down,  I would move the fluff to a pan of clean water (trying hard to match the temperatures of the water) until I was satisfied it was rinsed well.

I learned a lot from this process!  Let’s review, shall we?

1.  Yes, it’s weird to put wool in the oven.

2.  While the oven is being used for wool, you can’t use it to bake brownies that you don’t really need to eat.

3.  The process was fun and easy.

4.  Money in the PayPal account can be used to by raw fleece that you have coveted for quite a while, and now that you aren’t chicken sh*t when it comes to getting rid ‘o the grease, there is little excuse to not make it yours.

5.  You can wash raw fleece well and it will still get greasy after a while.  It happens, and it’s nothing to fret about.

Ok.  Enough rambling.  I have to go knit.

On a new sock.



2 responses to “Look Ma! No Toes!

  • Zonda

    Love those socks! Giggle…I’ll be good and not say what I’m thinking about that roving 😉 I had no idea you could scour/wash it that way.

  • Daniele

    Goodness, girl, you should probably go into the fiber processing field as well!! You have done justice to the sheepy fiber!! I’m thinking that brown is from Ebony (the crazy eye girl) of my Border Leicesters. 😀 The lighter? Definitely Jacob.

    Kisses!! XOXO

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