Wednesday, January 26, 2011

From sheep to shins

This evening on the drive home (with Adam driving, not me) I finished the leg warmers I made from the yarn I made from the carded wool I made from the pound of the fleece from the sheep known as Little Debbie, owned by a member of our spinning guild, Essex Spinners. (Yeah, I know that's a run-on sentence; it was a run-on experience, too, so that grammar fits.)

A bunch of the guild members bought the fleece together divided the fleece amongst ourselves; I got a pound. After washing it was about 14.5 oz. (Yes, that means about 1.5 oz of lanolin/sheep grease and dirt! And it wasn't very dirty.) Then I carded it by hand over many evenings while watching TV. Then I spun the carded fiber into singles over many additional evenings. Then I plied two singles together, and plied those together again for a 4-ply, this construction also being known as a cable-plied yarn.

Even though I washed the fleece a couple times, I could still feel a lot of lanolin left on the fiber; it's probably the first yarn I've used where my hands have felt softer after working with it! I had about 450 yards of it, I guess. I have it written down, but unfortunately my notes are scattered around.

Here are the finished leg warmers:

I used a free pattern from Classic Elite Yarns, "Waterlily Leg Warmers," by Andi Clark. For once I didn't do any (intentional) modifications, although I found a couple mistakes in my cabling, which is pretty rare for me. Actually, it's not that it's so rare that I make a mistake, but I tend to be a perfectionist and I usually will rip back to the mistake, one way (several whole rows, if it was pretty recent) or another (a few columns of stitches if it's far enough back), and redo it. But this time I just thought, do I really need to rip back SEVEN repeats of the cable pattern in order to be all perfect about it? Nope!!

For fun I wanted to see how they looked with rain boots:

and with cowboy boots:


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