Tag Archives: handspun wool

Gramma Nettie soaks wool

This is my first attempt at fermented suint to clean raw wool.  The idea is to soak the untreated raw wool in plain water, letting bacterial fermentation scour the grease out.  The wool is to sit in the water, the first batch for about a week, the rest is done in about 3-4 days.  It is supposed to get stinky, similar to the earthy barnyard stench.  Then, take the wool out, rinse with the house and let it dry in the sun.  The residual odor dissipates and is gone by the time it dries.

This batch is baby Icelandic lamb moorit coloring.  I like the idea of minimal handling for two reasons.  The first is that my hands can’t handle all that squeezing.  The other reason is that I think it should be much gentler to alpaca and fragile fleeces.

The funny thing is that twenty years ago, I thought about soaking wool in water for extended amount of time.  I didn’t know about getting the grease out.  I thought it might be a way to essentially “rot” the vegetable matter out.  I don’t know.

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Posted by on 7 August 2016 in Wool



Gramma Nettie and wool

Gramma Nettie and wool

This is my newest acquisition, two pounds of merino from Shep’s Wool.  I will dye it orange and yellow, then purchase some red wool and some black wool.  I can never get red too look like red, it always looks pink.  These are going to be Monster Longies for my three grandsons, RedBoy, OrangeBoy, YellowBoy.

I parted the single long top into pieces just under a quarter pound each.  Then I chained the top instead of braiding it.

The smallish chain I took for myself, some was spun into a plain single, the rest on the drum carder with three different color angelina.  Then I spun it up, plied it with the plain one to make a simple yarn with subtle colors.  I call it confetti.

The vertical yarn is fulled, the horizontal yarn is not.  Fulling makes the yarn softer and more pliable.  Now I have a choice, whether to dye the top or the yarn?

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Posted by on 6 August 2016 in Handspun, Wool, yarn


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Gramma Nettie spins wool

Gramma Nettie spins wool

And what else is new about that?  So here is my latest example of grey Shetland wool which I carded, dyed using Country Classics colors, then blended on the drum carder.  I don’t know how many stupid bats I did before I figured out what to do.  I tried to stick with either warm or cool colors, but added a splash of the other for interest.  The purple ended up quite nice.  I took some of the same colors and spun long series of singles which I plied with the shorter series, creating a sort of fake fractal ply.  Oh, I also added glitter!

This is the Batt ready to spin.

Here it is blended on the drum carder.  I use a cat brush as the brush.

Partly spun.  It does have a bit of VM

Spun, washed and fulled.

The warm colors With a touch of green

An Entrelac beret I made up with colors I’m not really pleased with.  I’ll probably frog it.


Posted by on 21 July 2016 in Handspun, Knit, Socks, Wool


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Gramma Nettie is THAT kind

Yes, I am that kind of Gramma.  The kind the kids hate to get gifts from because they know exactly what it is.  In my case, hand knitted socks from home spun and dyed wool yarn. 


Long about June or July, I trace around the little peoples feet, marking both the position of the ankle and the ball of the foot.  This one tracing gives me measurements for both mittens and socks.  Then I spin up the undyed wool. 


This last year, Red Boy was old enough at 3.5 years to help out a bit.  He was very curious about the process of spinning, and he really got a kick out of thwacking the freshly dyed yarn against the side of the house before setting out to dry.

Yet, when he opened up his gift, he looked so dejected and forlorn, he cried – loudly – and tossed them away.  Orange Boy quickly followed suit.  Yellow Boy is still to young, but he cried too!


I told their Momma that I expected them to get tired of socks at some point, perhaps at the ripe old age of nine, or so.  I just did not expect it to happen at 3.  My heart was broken, and try as I might, I did take it personally.  After all, this IS a competition for Granny supremacy!  My grand kids have to like me better than the other Gramma, right?  Now I think my chance for the title of Gramma of the year is jeopardized.  How can I repair this damage?


Then I got a text from my daughter … “Guess who wanted his Christmas stockings before bedtime?”  Woo-hoo!  Who’s your Gramma now!?

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Posted by on 26 December 2015 in clothes, feelings, Grandmothers, Handspun, Knit, Socks, Wool


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