The big fair of the year is fast approaching and I have been very busy in preparation. As I am processing all of my fiber right now, the carding machine has been working over~time as have the dye-pots.
Angora is wonderful stuff, as many of you have noticed, however, it can be very stubborn when it comes to dyeing. Angora needs to soak in warm water for quite a long time. As you can see from the above picture, it is very very resistant to water.....good for the bunnies, not so great when you want to dye it.
In both pictures you can see how angora clumps together when it is placed in water. In order to dye the angora, those clumps need to constantly be pulled apart, to make it more accepting of the water and then the dye. Even when I think that I have been as diligent as I could possibly be at breaking up those clumps, sometimes I am disappointed at the angora that didn't take the dye, due to the clumps that I missed, which of course will lighten up the final product, due to the amount of white that gets blended in with the colored angora.
After the dye~pot it is onto the carder. This is where I find out whether my color choices are going to be a hit or a bomb. What looks good to the eye separately, once blended on the carding machine can sometimes yield unpleasant surprises.
This time, however, I am pleased with what the machine is presenting to me. I like it enough, that I decided to only do one pass, leaving the colors to shine, instead of my usual tendency towards more muted color.
I will spin up a couple of ounces of Northern Lights to see if I made the right choice.......we will see. ;-)
One thing I am finding out about myself, is that I have a tendency to want to do it all. I put an enormous amount of pressure on myself to produce. I don't think of myself as a type A person, but sometimes I find myself behaving as though I am (hhmmm....). As I pile on project after project and demand after demand, I start to loose the enjoyment in my pursuits and it starts to feel like work. For this fair, I have 13 items entered into the judging competitions, 3 loom demonstrations that the looms need to be warped for and of course the rovings (which help fund Rhinebeck ;-) ) and I am dizzy.
A few years ago, I took the year off, spinning one bunch of roving at a time and then knitting something special from each at a comfortable pace.....keeping to myself and enjoying the freedom of quiet "me" time. It was a productive and stress free year. As I wind down from this self imposed pressure cooker that I have created for myself this year, I am going to take that time once again and enjoy my hobby for what I want it to be........my hobby.
If you have stuck with me this long, you will understand why this closing verse spoke to me from my little meditation book today.
Quiet whitewashed walls with slant sunshine
And a fresh breeze through the open windows.
Enjoy the day~in your corner of the world.