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From Fleece to Finished Object!

September 30, 2007

It’s taken me some time to do it, but I’m finally finished with my sheep to sweater project. You might remember that it started out as this fleece that I won at our local spinning guild auction (a really good bargain at $10 for the whole beast – sorry for the somewhat blurry photo:

After scouring as much as was prudent, I moved onto the hand carding. This:

became this:

Next, I spun and plied:

and finally got to the finished yarn:

The skein on the left is unwashed and unset, and the one on the right, finished and set. I’m always amazed at how much dirt can still come out of a fleece, right up through the last stage of processing.

So, what to do with all that yarn? How about Alice Starmore’s Flying Geese Gansey. Again, I apologize for the too-dark photos, but autumn has come to the NorthWet, and I live in a north-facing Bat Cave:

I believe that it’s a good pairing of fleece to project as this Dorset lamb is very soft and yet, as a down breed, will be quite resistant to felting – a good trait for a working sweater.

It’s going to keep me warm this winter!

55 Comments leave one →
  1. September 30, 2007 5:51 pm

    Absolutely stunning! I love the photo of you in front of the kitchen sink, it is a great workhorse sweater.

  2. September 30, 2007 6:12 pm

    How absolutely wonderful. I love seeing the whole thing from start to finish. I’m so impressed!

  3. September 30, 2007 6:42 pm

    Oh, wow, amazing!!!!! You should be so proud of yourself.

  4. September 30, 2007 6:46 pm

    Raw fleece to finished garments always impress the hell out of me. Wonderful work! And handcarding a sweater’s worth of wool – you must have bionic wrists. 😀

  5. September 30, 2007 6:56 pm

    What a wonderful post, Sam! Your spinning is amazing (just look at those perfectly consistant singles for heaven’s sake) and the final sweater is stunning!
    I really enjoy a nice Dorset fleece. Though I haven’t seen many myself lately and those that I have are somewhat less than memorable.
    Your rolags look just perfect. I’ll have to remember to bring my handcards the next time I see you so you can show me your carding techniques! I never use my handcards because I just make a mess with them.
    I think I’ll have to put that sweater on my ‘to do’ list too.

  6. September 30, 2007 7:05 pm

    Wow, I have been waiting a long time to see that! It looks GREAT.

  7. Jan permalink
    September 30, 2007 7:48 pm

    Great work, Sam. I love seeing all the steps. It’s fun to see the true nature of the fleece brought out in every step. Your rolags are charming. I do like the dark pictures because the stitch patterns show up so well.Your sweater is a keeper. May the two of you travel many roads together.

  8. September 30, 2007 9:56 pm

    Wow! That’s my dream…to be able to spin the wool and knit the sweater. You did most everything else as well. Impressive:)

  9. September 30, 2007 11:56 pm

    Gorgeous work! Your hanspun, as always, is an inspiration. I love the perfect rolags. The gansey is just awesome with wonderful stitch definition, and it looks just great on you.

  10. October 1, 2007 5:03 am

    Hmmm, don’t know which process I am more impressed with. The whole processing of the fleece, the beautiful spinning, or the knitting of a tricky and lovely sweater. Thanks for sharing.

  11. October 1, 2007 8:34 am

    Congrats on your persistence and dedication on such an amazing outcome. I love to spin to knit, but nothing more than a shawl or sock. To work on enough wool for sweater (handcarding at that), spin, and knit is truly an artist.

  12. Katina permalink
    October 1, 2007 8:37 am

    Wow. That is an absolutely amazingly detailed sweater. The patterns are so perfect!

  13. October 1, 2007 9:36 am

    That is a gorgeous sweater! I really love the whole project concept. Absolutely Beautiful!

  14. October 1, 2007 9:37 am

    I am in awe. It simply amazing the steps from fleece to knitted sweater and that you did them all is outstanding!!! The sweater is so beautiful!

  15. October 1, 2007 9:41 am

    Beautiful Sam! It feels so nice too. It’s really a treasure.

  16. October 1, 2007 11:02 am

    Completely awesome! Every step is well thought out and beautifully done. I hope you get a happy feeling each and every time you wear it!

  17. October 1, 2007 11:47 am

    Sam, I’m speechless! That sweater is definitely a Forever Keepsake. You’re amazing!

  18. October 1, 2007 12:20 pm

    That’s amazing

  19. October 1, 2007 12:46 pm

    Wow! Beautiful job, Sam. Really gorgeous–and I just want to reach out and touch those rolags, that yarn and the texture of the sweater. Thank you for giving us all something exquisite to admire and aspire too!

  20. October 1, 2007 1:54 pm

    Oh Sam! I’m speechless!!!!!!!

  21. October 1, 2007 3:39 pm

    wow sam, that is beyond stunning! well done!

  22. October 1, 2007 3:57 pm

    I love seeing the process from fiber to finished product. Thank you for the progress photos!

  23. October 1, 2007 4:31 pm

    WOW! I am in absolute awe. What a gorgeous piece of work! Brava! 🙂

  24. Laura permalink
    October 1, 2007 4:38 pm

    Wow, wow, wow, wowee! I am in awe. It is gorgeous!

  25. LisaK permalink
    October 1, 2007 4:43 pm

    Wow. That is amazing and gorgeous. Excellent work.

  26. florence permalink
    October 1, 2007 5:45 pm

    merveilleux travail! flicitations, j’ai des moutons mais je n’ai jamais russi une telle transformation de la toison au pull!

  27. October 1, 2007 5:59 pm

    Oh, Sam, what an accomplishment!

  28. October 1, 2007 7:32 pm

    Wowee, Sam – a truly beautiful job from true scratch. I think I have fiber ADD! Do you really handcard straight from the washed locks? I always pick up my fleece before carding, unless it’s unusually loose & open after washing.

  29. October 1, 2007 8:54 pm

    Wow! I’m in awe!! Amazing!

  30. Sam permalink
    October 1, 2007 10:05 pm

    Wow – thank you, everyone! I had a blast with this project from start to finish. Melissa, I’ve gotten much more ADD about picking myself – don’t know why I didn’t pick this one as much, but there you have it. I started this whole thing a couple of years ago without too much of a project in mind, just the fact that I wouldn’t dye the yarn. It developed as it went and probably turned out better than it had a right to, so I really am pleased. Thanks again to all for the very kind comments. It’s fun to share the process! 🙂

  31. October 1, 2007 11:56 pm

    Everything about that sweater is perfect. You did an amazing job, which is no surprise! Congratulaions on finishing just in time for sweater weather!

  32. October 2, 2007 1:21 am

    Fantastic! Gorgeous sweater made from gorgeous spinning. It’s just beautiful.

  33. October 2, 2007 7:02 am

    I don’t speak english very well, but your Blog it’s wonderfull!!!!!!!

  34. June permalink
    October 2, 2007 7:31 am

    Wow-Za! Sam, it is absolutely gorgeous! Congratulations on a job very well done!

  35. October 2, 2007 7:43 am

    Exquisite! The knitting, the spinning, the photos and the finished garment all are beautiful. I especially love that shot with the 2 skeins.

  36. Mary in VA permalink
    October 2, 2007 8:46 am

    Oh my word that is awe-inspiring. A gorgeous sweater, then to know that you didn’t just spin the yarn, you prepped a raw fleece. I bow down in awe. Plus for the fleece to have cost $10!

  37. Zeila permalink
    October 2, 2007 2:48 pm

    Oh Sam! Life is but a dream…especially in a dreamy sweater.

  38. Tina Ramey permalink
    October 2, 2007 6:15 pm

    Awesome work, Sam! I am so impressed I am utterly speechless. Some day I want to grow up to be great spinner just like you.
    Tina in Houston

  39. October 3, 2007 5:40 am

    Beaucoup de travail pour un r�sultat magnifique. Tr�s joli pull.

  40. October 3, 2007 7:02 pm

    You are an inspiration. The sweater is beautiful. Thanks for sharing this journey with us.

  41. Kay permalink
    October 4, 2007 10:43 am

    I am truly awed!!!! What exquisite work!!!!

  42. Naomi permalink
    October 4, 2007 1:13 pm

    Stunning! You must be so pleased. I hope the world sees it and you glow with well deserved pride.

  43. October 4, 2007 1:54 pm

    That is a gorgeous sweater, beautifully rendered in handspun.

  44. October 5, 2007 2:48 pm

    Now THAT is a work of art that you can be proud of!

  45. October 5, 2007 5:44 pm

    That is amazing. And it fits you wonderfully.

  46. October 5, 2007 10:04 pm

    Holy wow! That’s fantastic, and amazing, and jaw droppingly fabulous. Congrats on creating such an amazing piece of functional art from scratch!

  47. October 6, 2007 5:06 am

    Wow. Drop dead gorgeous sweater. From fleece??? I am in awe. And mostly sputtering speechless. Congratulations!

  48. October 7, 2007 1:56 am

    I’m not even worthy to look at the pictures. My stars. Gorgeous. And wow!!

  49. October 7, 2007 12:46 pm

    Oh, my! That is absolutely stunning. It is wonderful to have the documenting photos for the entire process. You sure have done yourself proud!

  50. October 8, 2007 9:46 am

    Very very impressive. The recap was wonderful, and the sweater is stupendous. Congratulations!

  51. October 8, 2007 12:50 pm

    add me to the speechless contingent!
    wow wow wow wow wow!

  52. October 8, 2007 2:53 pm

    Wowee Zowee!! How impressed am I…as some other wise soul said….I bow at your feet, Oh Amazing Goddess!
    That is sure something to be Proud of!!
    Damn straight that will keep you warm!
    Oh, if only….I had YOUR Talent!!

  53. October 9, 2007 5:10 pm

    Amazing! How gorgeous, and how talented you are!

  54. October 10, 2007 2:07 am

    Wow, stunning! And impressive. Fabulous.

  55. Kathy permalink
    October 11, 2007 6:29 am

    Wow! I’m so impressed! A gorgeous fine three-ply all the way from locks to fancy gansey! Are you for hire? How inspiring you are!

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