Monthly Archives: June 2016

More Milling in the Fibrehood

Another fleece donated by Happy Chick Farm hit the tub in Merrily’s backyard.

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Merrily and Lynda separated out the darker coloured fleece and washed it separately.

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All hanging to dry now.

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A few days later, the fibrehoodies gathered at Dorothy’s to pick and card, pick and card.  Andrew and Lynda are putting the recently washed Happy Chick Farm fleece through the Patrick Green picker which opens up the fleece in preparation for carding and also removes some vegetable matter.

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You can see why it’s important to wear heavy leather gloves when using the picker.

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Dorothy and Heather work on putting a grey fleece through the electric carder.

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Dorothy holds a soft brush over the rotating drum to smooth the fleece and improve the resulting batt.  Our next mill addition will be a burnishing tool which will do this more efficiently.

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After the wool goes through once, the batt is put through a second time which removes more vegetable matter and results in a softer batt with better aligned fibres.  Merrily is wearing the batt around her neck while Heather feeds it into the carder for a second carding.

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After everything has been processed, Dorothy and Merrily weigh the batts to make 4 ounce bags.

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Then there was clean up with happy fleece flying everywhere in Dorothy’s yard, happy batts ready for spinning and happy hoodies, satisfied after a fibre fun day.

And finally, here are the bags, labelled and ready to be handed out to spinners to spin for the Sunshine Coast Spinners and Weavers Guild’s ANWG 2017 Blanket Project.

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The next day at the Guild’s southern spin-in, it was on to the next step for our blanket project.  Here Lynda gives the first bag all ready to spin to Deanna Pilling, founder of our Sunshine Coast Fibreshed.

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Heather Apple, Merrily Corder, Lynda Daniells

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Milling in the Fibrehood

Recently I visited Happy Chick Farm on Highland Road in Gibsons.  Johanna had sheared the sheep the previous week and the fleeces were hanging on the fence. I came home with three bags full of the fleeces which Heidi and Lee generously donated to the Fibreshed.  They were delighted that the wool from their sheep would be used in our Sunshine Coast Spinners and Weavers Guild’s Blanket Project for the ANWG (Association of Northwest Weavers Guilds) Conference in 2017.

Here is LaBraun, the ram, after shearing.

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Stella is cozying up in LaBraun’s fleece which had fallen off the fence and was no longer intact.  The two ewe fleeces, intact and unskirted, are in the background.

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Merrily and I washed most of the fleece in an outdoor bathtub in her backyard and dried it on racks.

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Here are the buckets filled with the wash water ready for the garden.

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Next we gathered at Dorothy’s with the Patrick Green picker and the electric carder. Here we’re getting ready to use the picker. You need to protect your chest and hands by wearing a leather bib apron and leather gloves.

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Merrily has the picker in motion, fluffy fleece flying everywhere.

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After opening the locks and flicking out dirt, the fleece is fluffy and ready to card.

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The electric carder flicked out more seeds, straw and bits from the picked fleece. We put the fibre through twice and produced a 3-4 ounce batt ready to spin.

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Here is the debris from the picker which was less than the amount the electric carder was spitting out. The advantage of using the picker before carding is that the carder flicked out the bits from the opened fleece.

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The benefit of the picker can also be seen in an experiment where I washed some dirty fleece that hadn’t been through the picker and some that had.  The water of the unpicked fleece (right in the photo) was much darker, dirtier and needed a 3rd rinse.

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Dorothy gave the Guild Lendrum a spin with the carded fleece.

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The day rolled into a fantastic mill worker experience. We’re going to unionize!  Next the spinning, dyeing and weaving for the ANWG Blanket Project. Oh yeah!

Lynda Daniells

Earth Day 2016

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On April 24th, Roberts Creek, lovingly known as the “Gumboot Nation” of the Sunshine Coast of B.C., hosted its 27th Earth Day Festival.  It was a great day of music, tasty local food, raffles, petitions and information on environmental initiatives.

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Our environmentally aware community created over 55 displays.

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There was live music with dancing on the Mandala, a very special stage for Roberts Creek’s deeply held environmental convictions.

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Fibreshed team members Lynda Daniells and Merrily Corder set up our Fibreshed display of local fibres, local dyes and creations by local artisans.

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In our display we demonstrated solar dyeing with marigolds.  We also sold Japanese indigo seedlings along with instruction sheets on growing and dyeing with this wonderful source of beautiful blue.

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A feature of our Earth Day participation was the beautiful Fibreshed Earth Day hat which was created for raffling.

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This was a collaborative project.  The white fleece is a Suffolk cross from Johanna Walker’s farm in the Lower Mainland, washed and picked by Merrily and Lynda, carded into a batt on the electric carder by Dorothy, Merrily and Lynda and then spun into yarn by Dorothy.  The brown fleece is a Shetland from Wendy Gilbertson’s Sunshine Coast flock, washed and made into a roving by Qualicum Bay Fibre Works and spun by Verna.

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The hat was designed and knitted by talented fibre artist and designer Verna Chan of Kittens Mittens Knit & Crochet.  She joined Lynda and Merrily at Earth Day to demonstrate drop spindling.

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Another member of our Sunshine Coast Spinners and Weavers Guild who participated in Earth Day was Dorothy Thom who rug hooked an adorable sheep made of fleece from a lower mainland Suffolk cross for the back of Lynda’s jacket.

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Doreen MacLauchlan was proud to have the Fibreshed tag on her hand spun, hand woven, Fibonacci inspired scarf.  The white fibre is alpaca from Thormanby Island, sold at FibreWorks Studio & Gallery in the form of rovings which Doreen spun and made into a two-ply yarn. The unusual locks of white, grey and black-tipped wool is Shetland from Windy Hill Farm, Deroche and was washed, picked, carded, spun and plied by Doreen.

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Doreen’s Fibonacci pattern crossed the warp and weft.  Note the Fibonacci series of a single white weft thread, a single grey, a repeat of the ones and then 2 shots of grey, 2 shots of white and on to 3, 5, 8 and 13 shots with this pattern repeated throughout the length of the scarf.  This creates a sequence of numbers very pleasing to the eye.

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Our Fibreshed display added much to the public education at Earth Day as many visitors stopped to enjoy our display and ask questions.  There’s increasing concern about where our clothes come from and a growing awareness of the importance of supporting local soil to skin regenerative fibre systems and artisans.   Our Fibreshed celebrates each day as Earth Day by embracing community and all the Earth’s beauty we have been entrusted with caring for.

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Lynda Daniells and Deanna Pilling