Tejidos Jigra Knits

August 29, 2006

A teacher’s gift.

Filed under: Knitting, Spinning, Stories — jigraknits @ 7:59 am
My sons both had the same grade 3 teacher. She’s a kind, mild-mannered, efficient teacher and understands each of her learners quite well. She also has a farm where they keep a few sheep. I asked her once what she did with the fleeces of these 4 or 5 sheep and was shocked to hear that they were trashed because the trip to the wool auction was too far for so few fleeces. I promised her some knitted garment or accessory if she gave me the fleeces, and late this spring, she did. The sheep are Rideau and not famous for their wool, but I don’t care. Ambos hijos tuvieron la misma profesora en el tercer año de primaria. Es una maestra amable, callada y eficiente y comprende muy bien cada uno de sus alumnos. Tambien tiene una finca pequeña donde crian unos 4 o 5 ovejas. Le pregunte una vez lo que hacian con la lana y me quede impresionado cuando dijo que la echaban a la basura porque el mercado donde se puede subastar queda muy lejos para la lana de tan pocos animales. Le prometí algo tejido si me diera la lana y esta primavera me la dio. Las ovejas son ‘Rideau‘ y no son famosas por su lana, pero no me importa eso.
She is not that familiar with the fibre preparation process, so I decided to document it well and give her a little kit so that she can use it in her class if she wants to in the future. I did promise her something to wear too, so I had to start. Pictured on the right is the unwashed fleece. I’ve already taken off the manure tags, so it looks fairly innocuous. In the second picture, the fleece is soaking in boiling water with some oxygen-activating household soap. The third picture shows how filthy the fleece is closer up with bits of vegetation, yellowed lanolin, urine, and dirt making it an ugly hue. Once it has gone through about four washes and a final rinse, I lay it out on a drying rack in the sun. Parts of the fleece are not pure white. The creamy colour is a result of lanolin and perhaps some urine burn. The darkest bits will be plucked out. Once dry the fleece looks like little cumulus clouds.
Unwashed fleece
Click for larger version.
Soaking Wool Fleece
Wool slop Drying rack
Little Cloud
Ella no esta familiarizada con el proceso de preparar la fibra, asi que decidí documentarlo bien y darle un juego de muestras e instrucciones para que lo pueda usar en sus clases si lo desea. Tambien le habia prometido algo para lucirse, así que tuve que empezar. A la izquiera alta se puede ver la lana sin lavar. Se ha quitado los bollitos de estiercol y se ve inocuo. En la segunda foto (derecha alta) la lana se esta remojando en agua hirviendo con un jabon de oxigeno activado. En la tercera foto se ve que tan sucia esta la lana con pedasitos de vegetacion, lanolina amarilla, orines y mugre, creando un matiz bien feo. Despues de cuatro lavados y un rinse final, se coloca la lana en el sol para secar. Partes de la lana no son blancos. El color crema es un resultado de la lanolina y quizas secciones que se han quemado con orines. Los hilos mas oscuros se arracaran. Ya seco, la lana parece nubes.
In my next post I’ll show the carding and spinning. En la entrada siguiente, mostrare como se peina e hila la lana.

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