It was perfectly lovely here in Chicago, so I took advantage of the warm temps and lack of a breeze to set up a table in the backyard so that I could skirt and pick the fleece I received from my sheep. Bridget is a Coopworth that two of my friends adopted for me for Christmas last year, and she was recently shorn and her fleece was shipped to me. The somewhat smelly box had been languishing for a couple of weeks while I decided what to do with it. After some initial research, it looked like the best course of action was for me to attempt the first steps of processing myself, and then send it out to be finished. I have never had a raw fleece before, so this is an adventure--a dirty, stinky adventure. I'm not even halfway through picking it, and I was at it for over 2 hours. (Not knowing what I am doing has a good deal to do with that.) I am fairly certain that I am either discarding too much or too little.
After I got tired of picking poo and other icky things out of greasy wool, I decided to dye some yarn for Samro's Shawl That Jazz. (Sam was a fellow Sock Camper, and her pattern just skyrocketed to fame because a certain well-known knitter from Toronto just made one and blogged about it.) I bought the BMFA Falcon's Eye Twisted from a Raveler's stash at a pretty good price with the plan that I would alter the color once it arrived. Here it is in its original form:
and here it is after I finished with it:
Anyone interested in gardening out there? My friend is going to be on Martha Stewart tomorrow! Jerry (who is married to one of my dearest friends, Amy) is a landscaper with a really great sense of aesthetics. It's no wonder that he's getting this terrific opportunity--he's incredibly talented. The segments were filmed earlier in the week (Amy says taping went really well), and they will be on tomorrow (Friday.)