I have been ill, an angry winter flu knocked me down for two weeks. I’m slowly recovering, so soon I will have something to show. A good thing is that we finally have a little snow after a snowless autumn. Kasper too likes snow, but he doesn’t want to be outdoors for long when it’s as cold as today, -20 C (-4 F). He suffers from cold cramp in his legs and paws now when he’s old.
Here he tries to warm his paw by licking it, but the only result was cramp in his hind leg. Poor little friend.
He was also a bit upset by not being able to find his loo immediately the first morning with snow. Putting his head under the snow and finding his way by sniffing solved the problem! I have to tell him about the red rag the forest company has tied to his favourite tree.
This was a nice new wool: Campanica from Portugal. The two wool samples I got were from the same sheep, and quite different in character. That is not unusual, in fact it’s what most sheep produce: different wools from different parts of the body. The site I linked to doesn’t mention other colours than white, but there are black/brown Campanicas also.
I prepared and spun a few samples, and then spun two different yarns:
The smaller skein: coarser wool with kemp. Carded and spun woollen.
The bigger skein: softer wool with a small amount of kemp. Hand combed and spun worsted.
This was interesting wool to work with. It reminded me a bit of some crossbred wools I’ve spun, like Finn/Texel. Soft with a bounce, and not so little of the bounce either! There was yellow stain in the softer wool, which can be seen in the slightly yellow tone in the yarn. It would be a perfect wool for many kinds of sweaters, from rough outdoor to in-between sweaters for winter use, and thinner for summer. Socks, hats, mittens. In Portugal it’s used for blankets and rugs, mixed with other wools. The coarser yarn I would use just like that, in a blanket, bag, or carpet.
I just learned that there is a number of people trying to preserve the traditional Portuguese ways to prepare and spin wool. They have a group on fb called Cooperativa Oficina de Tecelagem de Mértola. Use the fb translator to see what they’re doing.
Blue is my colour. I like all colours, but I love blue. So last autumn I bought blue paint for the distaff holder where you put your distaff when you spin flax. The lower part of the holder is new, turned by a kind man at the outdoor museum where I use to spin in the summers. He wanted me to paint it, so I did that a couple of days ago. I painted my spinning chair blue as well, because I really like to paint. And because I love blue 🙂
And then another kind person from that same museum called me and asked if I would like to take care of a spinning wheel, an heirloom that had belonged to a friend of her family. I said I’d have a look at it. And it was blue. And the wheel was straight, it had all the necessary parts, and I said, yes, I want to take care of it. I call it Elsa after the last owner. Here she is, with the blue chair, the blue arms, and my other Saxony wheel Eevi, and little Peerie Louet Victoria.
I have spun a few meters on her. Eevi is a wonderful wheel, but I have a feeling Elsa might be even better. Let’s see after a few months, when she has got used to her new home and the conditions here. She was made in the municipality where my husband and I have livet the last 24 years. I don’t know who made her. There used to be a wheel maker in almost every village, but what the wheels have in common is the blue colour with sparse red details. And, a relief for spinners with floors you don’t have to be afraid to damage: the legs have metal tips that keep Elsa stay where you’ve put her. No sliding across the floor here!
I will add red details to the distaff holder later.
A Swedish Finull and silk yarn, woollen spun. First I’ll knit a pair of long wrist warmers for my husband, then, well, we’ll see! It’s been a good year for me. I’ve spun a lot, I achieved my master spinner title, I bought a new old Saxony wheel, and a loom. I’ve gotten several new friends in the spinning world, and also met some of those amazing people in real life. I’ve got many good books for my textile library.
There was also sorrow: my lovely mother in law passed away a few weeks ago. She had a long and productive life, and she was the same sunny person until the end. We miss her, and we remember her with love and gratefulness.
I hope your year has been good, and wish you all a Happy New Year!