The Sprained Arm Saga continues; I am still unable to do any wool combing, spinning, crocheting, knitting or anything else requiring the ability to grip with the right hand. This presents somewhat of a problem, since I am absolutely unable to do sit without something to occupy my hands, and there are very few crafts that don’t require at least some level of strength in the wrists and arms.
My main project has been washing Neo’s fleece. Washing wool isn’t exactly entertaining, but it doesn’t cause pain and it does need to be done. I was going to do the rooed wool and the sheared wool at the same time in separate mesh bags, but when I fluffed out his fleece it was bigger than I thought, so I’m just doing the rooed portion for now. Soay fleeces usually have little to no lanolin, so I usually just soak them in cold water overnight to get the worst of the dirt out instead of bothering with hot water and detergent, but Neo’s felt gunky so I went ahead and scoured it.
Since my arm’s been messed up I’ve also done surgery on some commercial cotton yarn I had laying around. I bought it a while back out of curiousity when the craft store where I work had it marked down to $0.94 a skein, but it took me less than 5 minutes of experimentation to discover I hate knitting with cotton. No elasticity whatsoever, and the fabric comes out heavy and stiff. I thought about making Zoom Loom squares from it, but it was worsted weight yarn; too thick for the loom. The other day I rediscovered the yarn in a bag, and since I was never going to use it as it was I decided to experiment with it. I can’t spin because drafting hurts like crazy, but plying doesn’t require any strength of grip, so I ran a skein of the 4-ply worsted weight yarn through my wheel clockwise to remove the plying twist, split the yarn in half, then re-plied it as two balls of 2-ply fingering weight yarn.
It made a nice project since I had the yarn on hand and didn’t have much else I could do, but I’m not going to make a habit of altering commercial yarn this way; it’s very tedious and slow. I still don’t like the thinner yarn knitted, but I’ve been playing with it on my Zoom Loom and I like it pretty well for that. My arm isn’t wildly excited about weaving, but I can usually manage 2 or 3 squares a day before it starts screaming in protest. I finally sat down and figured out how to make bias woven squares and triangles, which I’ve been meaning to do for ages. And by “figured out” I mean “looked up online tutorials.”
Weaving diagonally produces a slightly tighter weave than the regular up-and-down weave, which worked out well since the 2-ply yarn came out slightly too thin for regular squares. The diagonal squares also have a more even edge, so I’d probably use them for a project I knew wasn’t going to have an edging.
A bias woven square and a regular square made from the same skein of sport weight acrylic.
Not much news on the sheep front, except that the vet is coming to pay a social call on Liam and Bran next week. It’s been mostly rainy all day today, but yesterday I zoomed in as far as possible and got a picture of Mira napping with Duchess. It’s uncanny how much they look alike.
“Ah, nothing like a nap on a pile of sun-warmed waste hay.”
Now I feel like taking a nap myself. Watching sheep nap always makes me sleepy.