Monday, September 05, 2016

Some more ironing today, I hope; and I must print the docs which will be have to be posted to New York tomorrow (with or without the socks), after a phone call from my Financial Adviser. Said not without irony.

Today, Greek Helen is going to do the hospital visiting, while Archie and a friend and I go to the Surrealism expo at the Gallery of Modern Art, very well reviewed. I expect to enjoy it, and it will be fun to introduce him to it. Art doesn’t have to be heavy.

Thank you for your help with alpaca. As I thought! I’ll keep it (mentally) for scarves and lace. I don’t see why this should be so – that is, I don’t understand the distinction between “hair” and “wool”. An alpaca just looks like a long-legged sheep, to me.

As for knitting, I advanced the Whiskey Barrel sock somewhat yesterday – but most of the hospital visit was devoted to the problem of a maddeningly-beeping machine connected (or rather, un-connected) to the drip my husband has acquired for hydration.

I advanced somewhat with the Uncia. Chart A is finished; I’m five rows into Chart B, and it is indeed easier. Some rows even repeat themselves! The one remaining problem is that there are a lot of slipped stitches on the wrong side and I am not finding them easy to anticipate. Even EZ’s ever-useful maxim, “Look at your knitting”, doesn’t necessarily tell me whether the next stitch is to be slipped.


I fear my Uncia will be smaller than the prototype, but of course there’s still blocking to come. I’ll know more when I reach row 200, half-way, at the beginning of Chart C. It won’t be absurdly small, at the worst. It’s about two feet long, so far.


8 comments:

  1. As I understand it some dogs have a single wool coat rather than hair or fur. These breeds are better for people with allergies as they don't moult as the coat contains all the dead hair which can be combed out and used for spinning. I became aware of this only a few weeks ago while chatting to a lady and her Wheaten Terrier on a boat on Lake Ullswater. Apparently people were encouraged to use their dog wool to knit socks during the war.

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  2. Anyone who has ever lived with a German Shepherd will know all about dog wool. They are impossible to keep tidy during their twice-yearly moult. A bucketful a day was the usual harvest, from plucking them. I sometimes felt as though I ought to learn to spin, but I have been told that the yarn retains the smell of wet dog every time it is washed.

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  3. Just out of curiosity for the specifics, I googled and this popped up first -more technical than I need, but here it is, straight from the annals of livestock production management!
    https://sites.google.com/site/viveklpm/wool/structure-of-wool-and-its-differentiation-from-hair-fibre

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  4. When I was a younger spinner, I experimented with dog undercoat. The fibre handled, spun & looked like rabbit angora with quite a halo when spun. In the skein it washed up with NO ODOR. I mean, does wool smell after washing??? I made touques & scarves with it using one ply of dog & one ply of wool. Dog hair is so warm that you can't wear much of it unless you live in the arctic. Phew. But, other than that, it's very soft & silky but with no memory at all.

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  5. Jean, your Uncia is beautiful. I have the Book of Haps and am tempted to try it.

    Surrealism is a great introduction to the joys of museum visits. Enjoy!

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  6. Jean, your Uncia is beautiful. I have the Book of Haps and am tempted to try it.

    Surrealism is a great introduction to the joys of museum visits. Enjoy!

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  7. As a handspinner, I work primarily with hair fibers. The principal difference between hair and wool is that wool is solid and hair has air in the shaft - called medulated. I have made 10 alpaca sweaters plus a number of vests. I always knit them with a strand of my handspun alpaca and an equal size strand of wool. And I knit them pretty firmly. Otherwise the fabric will stretch. Alpaca has good drape even when knit firmly. Because alpaca is heavier than wool, you must have good shoulder support and a firm neckline or those areas will pull out. My sweaters largely retain their shape and appearance (except for the first one which was knit too loosely.) The ribbing also has a tendency to lose its draw in. Perhaps a twisted rib would help.
    I spun many breeds of dog hair for people in the 80's. If you use a vinegar rinse, the resulting yarn does not smell. The fiber is very warm - what other domesticated animal goes to the North Pole and stays outside? However, sleeping under a handwoven dog hair blanket is pure heaven in the winter.

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  8. It is probably just me, but if I were to need a dog hair blanket, I would prefer one that still contained the dog.

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