Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Rain, Rain, Go Away.....

Yes, the blanket is entirely finished!  Over this past weekend, I twisted all the fringes and then I (gulp) threw the blanket in the washing machine to "full" it.  Y'know when you accidentally put a good wool sweater in the washer and it comes out 3 sizes smaller and much thicker?  That is essentially fulling, though uncontrolled.  Fulling makes all those individual threads grab ahold of each other and become cohesive.  I put the blanket in the washing machine with very warm water and Dawn dish liquid and agitated it for about 6 minutes, checking it every couple of minutes.  Then I rinsed without agitation a couple of times and spun the water out.  As you may be able to tell in the photo above, the individual colors fulled at different rates.  The brown fulled the fastest and the white the slowest.  That's why the bottom edge is so uneven.  But that is what happens when different fleeces are used.  I'm OK with that.
 Here is a close up of part of the blanket before fulling           >>>>>>>>>

And here is after fulling


It is fuzzier and not as easy to  see the individual threads.  And it is gloriously soft!  I can see myself snuggled under it on the couch this coming winter.

The rain has continued, though we have had some decent weather.  Sunday was about as nice a day as we've had in a while.  So I took an opportunity and had Sam drive me to the top of the ridge on Wayne National at about 8:15 pm and I hiked the 1/2 mile down to the beaver pond with my camera and zoom lens and a camp chair at dusk.  Much to my dismay, I did not see any beaver activity.  I did see a duck and was serenaded by a fabulous chorus of frogs, but no beavers.  I sat quietly until it was too dark for photos anyway, but wanted to hike out before it got too dark to avoid the ever expanding marsh that has been created by the beavers' dams and incessant rain.    Halfway home along the road, I was able to walk up very quietly on a buck grazing just a few yards off the road.  But it was way too dark to get his photo.  I was surprised at how close I was able to get.  It is hard to be quiet on a gravel road in hiking boots.  I will try again to get some photos of the beavers. 

 Chiquita, our 16 year old alpaca, took advantage of a rare bit of sunshine to do some sunbathing.  You can see just how green everything still is.

 And a stray sunbeam shone in through a barn window and illuminated this spider's spinning skills

Otherwise, I managed to get some weed abatement done in the garden and things are looking good.  I should have beets ready for canning soon.  The corn is waist high and there are lots of little green tomatoes.  I cleared out the lettuce and need to plant some more.  Onions and garlic look like they will be ready soon and the squash and pumpkins are in bloom.  And the carrots need thinned.  
The new chickens started laying last week, or at least 2 of them did.  We are getting 2 eggs a day now and all the hens are coming into the chicken coop at night without Rowdy's chicken-herding assistance.  We still have all 8.  They are not ranging far from the coop yet.  I think they have yet to elect a leader.

In addition to my blanket, I finished a sweater I started late last winter, which I had set aside when spring arrived.  All it needed was the sleeves and a drawstring cord for the neck.  This is a commercial 100% wool yarn which is machine washable (though I have yet to wash it).  It is nice and warm and fits quite well, but it is too warm to model it for photos yet.  I also finished my purple beaded shawl, but that has to be blocked before I post any finished photos.  It is soaking today and I will block it this evening.  

Rowdy is dreaming of how nice it would be to ruck up that blanket and sleep on it. I just know it!


1 comment:

  1. Great job on the blanket! Fulling a blanket is the scariest thing, after all the work invested in spinning and weaving.