Saturday, July 15, 2006

Experimenting with fleece - special guest star Zoboomafoo

I am fortunate enough to work in a place where pets are welcome at work. Well, at least well behaved pets (I would never bring Bagel). My officemate, Marco, is a trainer for a very special, famous mammal. His name is Zoboomafoo, and he is a lemur.

Zoboo spends a lot of time in our office. He does not like to stay home alone. In fact, the only time he stayed at home alone was when the World Cup was on, and Marco left the tv on all day for Zoboo to watch.

Now yesterday when I came into the office, Zoboo was distraught. Marco was going to be late getting in to work, and Zoboo was lonely. Fortunately, I had brought some mail with me from a very special friend, and I asked Zoboo if he would like to help me open it. This proved a great distraction, as Zoboo turns into a charm in front of the camera.

Zoboo with llama card

Inside the envelope was an adorable llama card and some corriedale fiber processed in 2 different ways. One was hand combed with a dog brush, and the other professionally processed.

One piece is a gorgeous gray, which ZB is holding, and the other a pretty grayish brown. I wonder if these are from the same fleece?
Look at this gorgeous gray cloud:

I can see why people get addicted to processing their own fleece. Who needs yarn, when you can have a little piece of heaven to work with?
Here are the two samples of fleece side-by-side, with a rubber rainbow colored egg for size reference (don't ask).

I couldn't wait to start working with these samples, so right after dinner, I dug through the stash until I found my abandoned drop spindle and spun up the brown sample.

It was easy to spin, but I do have to say that Kerry was right when she said the fiber is hairy.
The little one (who is back) helped me wind a center-pull ball on my ball winder. From that, I plied the single back onto itself, using both ends of the ball. A perfectly balanced hank will hang straight. You can see that this hank is a little overspun, since when hung without tension, the skein is twisting back on itself. This will probably even out with washing.

The next experiment will be to spin the gray fleece, ply using the same method, and compare the two.
Special thanks to Kerry for supplying the fleece samples, Zoboo and Maggie for modeling, and Alex for being the Official Ball Winder. No animals or children were harmed during the processing of this experiment.


Barb said...

Great looking fiber, and lots of fun photos! Um, can I get Zoboo's autograph?

Kerry said...

Wow, sheep #4168 would be so proud to know that her fleece was modeled by a famous star! (where is it we would know Zoboo from again?)

Anonymous said...

Oh my god..for a few moments there I actually thought you worked with a live Lemur!!
How cool would that be!!

Angela said...