Friday, January 30, 2009

We sell only the very best.

The hardest thing about dyeing angora is getting it wet. (Also, getting it dry is time consuming, as well.*) Here is how I've been doing it lately: warm the water in the dyepot until it is comfortable and then cut off the heat. I grab a handful of angora and plunge it into the water and gently squeeze out the air bubbles. Then, with both hands underwater, I slowly pull the fibers apart. Repeat as needed. Today I used maybe eight handfuls and it will be a lovely lime color (spring is coming!) when it grows up.

If one doesn't get all the fibers separated, then there will be undyed bits of wool stuck together and sometimes that is okay. If the color is supposed to be a dark purple, it isn't okay. If one is too rough with the squeezing and shredding, it might felt. Not okay at all when one is using one's best fiber, like today.

Now, if I am dyeing mats for lumpy bumpies, then the rougher the better. (I'm thinking of calling a blend with dyed mat bits either Bad Bunny or Lumpy Bunny.) The mats help create a fun, textured yarn that some people really like. Me, for one.

So anyway. I'm dyeing angora and drumcarding today.

*Drying angora is easier but can take one, two or three days depending on the humidity and how much I mess around with it. I spin out much moisture in the washer and then spread the fiber on a plastic- covered wire screen with is set on a bowl or something to allow air to circulate all around. If I set this on the dryer, I can fluff and pull apart fibers every time I walk by, greatly speeding up the process. Bonus: It is fun and satisfying to handle such soft stuff.

The ice and snow are still here. Here's the front yard as of half an hour ago.

Our temperature, due to cloud cover, has hovered at thirty degrees for two days. Today, the sun came out and warmed things up enough that the icicles started to melt and fall, but the forecasters say it will be fifteen tonight. Black ice.

We lost our power for only ten minutes Tuesday night. Or was it Wednesday morning? Tens of thousands are still without power in southern Indiana and Kentucky, which got way more ice than we did, is really hurting. I always attribute our good luck, power-wise, to the fact that the president of our local REMC lives close by. It could be true.

All the barn bunnies are fine but the outside bunnies are having a hard time finding forage, what with several inches of ice and snow. We are being extra generous with their pellets and even throwing in carrots, apples and so on. Even the normally shy ones are venturing to the porch.

Also feeding the birds on the porch, much to the kitties frustration. They sit at the window, swishing their tails and making strange throat noises.

Reese's tries to WILL the door to open kinetically and doesn't understand why it won't work.

The house bunnies are doing well. Here's the baby born back near the first of December. Now look at little Whiffleball! It's easy having only one baby angora to tend and it gets lots of attention. I'm wondering if I want to keep her as a house bunny because I do miss Sheila, as annoying as she could be.

Oh, and the anti-robotics? I did what one is not supposed to do; I quit in mid-course. I was sick for four days with nausea from hell and now I am not. Still have the sinus clog, but even that is preferable to the other. The only good thing about being so freakin' sick was that I haven't had a drink in almost a week. Those of you who have seen me lately would be surprised at how much better I am feeling. And looking.