Just imagine having all these super fluffy soft rare breeds in your own back yard, ready for their coats to be combed, given cuddles and then your precious yarn spinning can begin ! A dream? well, I guess, but this is what I dream about so there I go, sourcing all those fibres sustainably and combine them all together.
Blending these fine fibres together is a very delicate business! Not only because it is very expensive to get wrong, but also because all these precious luxury fibres are fine and if you were to handle them wrong by carding them too much or abbrasively, you will get nepps. Nepps are littel annoying bits of broken off ends or the fibres. When you abuse the fine fibres by carding them too mauch, scouring them harshly, or blending them too much, nepps are what you will see appearing in the end product and believe me, nepps are okay if you you are spinning an art yarn or a tweedy looking yarn, but if you are aiming for a consistent fine or lace yarn, you do not want to spend a LOT of time picking out little bits out of you yarn WHILE you are spinning. Its annoying and time consuming and it does not make the spinning a relaxing and fun experience. Since it is relaxing fluffy fun I am after - and I hope you are too - I aim to care and blend these fibres very, very carefully. As you can imagine, this whole process takes a lot of time, but there is no point of rushing anything. Rushing things will give you the nepps...lol
The dyeing of these fibres are handled the same way: very Carefully, without harsh temperature changes, rubbing or being too impatient. Si again, I have to take my time, adding the dye pigments carefully, steaming for at least 45 minutes at a medium temperature and then letting it all cool down naturally, then rinsing the next day.
You can see all the colours available in the shop here: https://ixchel.com.au/products/precious
Here is one of the new colourways on the Precious blend tops, but there are others as well like a recent Inkheart one and Scottish Heather.
A word of warning: There is only a very low quantity of this blend available and when it is gone...it is....gone....
What else have I been doing this week? well, spinning! lots and lots of spinning ! The fact that the Tour de France/Tour de Fleece is happening at the moment makes for a LOT more spinning time, mainly because I stay up til about 3am...lol Lucky for me I can follow the Tour on my tablet, otherwise Paul and I would be competing because he wants to watch the Cricket...England - Australia, Third Test. Dont ask me anything about cricket..I tried, it kinda reminds me of baseball (which I love and grew up with) but it is wayyyyyyyy slower and if there would be a Tour de Cricket spinning version, I'd fall asleep...lol
So far, today will be stage 7, I have spun and plied 5x 50gram skeins of pure angora bunny fingering weight and spun and plied 100grams of Gothic Tops "Dark Secret" fine fingering weight. Another 100grams of Dark Secret Gothic tops in the same weight to go and then its off to more gothic tops spinning for custom orders but his time in "Rainbow" and "Pumpkin King".
Custom spinning, especially if its lace or fingering weight-a fine yarn-takes a long time. Spinning while the Tour is on makes it easier for me to realise that while the cyclists are riding about 170-200km, being on a bike for 4 hours, I can only spin 50grams of fine lace weight singles...not even a kilometer of yarn !!! and I am not a slow spinner ...lol oh well, keep treadling I say ! a in a i estimate I have spun/pied almost 9.5 kms of yarn during the first 6 days of the tour.
It is absolutely fantastic to see all the team members of Team IxCHeL sharing their photos of their spins on social media! it's like spinning yarn in a peloton of yarns spinners ! If you want to have a look : go to instagram (or facebook) and look up #TDFTeamIxchel
What else is new? Oh yes! the July Art Journey club is on its way being prepped and getting their colourful painting done this weekend. Shipping date either Friday 14th or Monday 17th of July , depending on the drying weather.
Here is a photo of the teaser label:
This month the colourway is inspired by an all time favourite artist of mine: Edward Hopper and his "Night Hawks" painting from 1942.
Sign ups for the new clubs for the last quarter of this year (where have the months gone?!?!?!) will be starting next week and I will put them on the ixchel shop. Please let me know if you have any questions okay? Always happy to help and enable.
Have a wonderful week filled with crafty fun !