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Topic: Difficulty  (Read 2754 times)
Julie
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« on: August 16, 2012, 09:01:47 PM »

 How difficult is it to learn how to clean and comb angora fleece?  Is it hard work?  Can it be done mostly sitting down?  How long does it take?  Im looking to learn a new skill that isn't to physically challenging.  I can do hard work for short times.  Getting old is a pain I will not give up tring to make a living don't need much but do need to earn something.
Julie
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nancy d
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« Reply #1 on: August 16, 2012, 09:20:38 PM »

Sweetgoats (Lori) & Candace knows, hopefully they will chime in soon.
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Candace
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« Reply #2 on: August 17, 2012, 08:29:38 AM »

I usually sell mine raw, I have  had people say they can clean it right out of the bad. I believe all the spinning and combing you can do it from sitting. I have been told to easiest way to clean it is with a product that uses cold water. I'll see if I can find the link and post it.
Maybe one day I will spin! But not yet!  Roll Eyes
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sweetgoats
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« Reply #3 on: August 17, 2012, 09:47:12 AM »

  I have Cashmere not Angora. I have a LOT of Angora friends.  I have learned the better care of the goat the easier it is to "skirt" and use.

  It is really easy to clean and skirt.  Not like cashmere that is easy to clean to a point but it has to really be cleaned and washed by a professional.  I know some people say they do it themselves but it is not as nice as it would be coming from a mill.

  Yes the spinning is sitting down, and so relaxing.     ROLF   Maybe I should do it more.   
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Lori

Home of the Colorado State Fair Grand Champion doe, 2003,2004,2005,2007,2008,2009. and 2011.
Premier Breeder and Premier Exhibitor for 2008 and 2009.
Julie
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« Reply #4 on: August 17, 2012, 10:14:49 AM »

Thanks!  From other posts I've read it looks like you get more money for more work.  So now I need to learn how to do the work.
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taelir
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« Reply #5 on: August 20, 2012, 10:21:14 PM »

It can definitely be done by hand...I've only done one bag of cashmere thus far, but you do have to really take your time and be gentle. I would never use Dawn on any of my fleeces (although some people swear by it). I swear by Synthrapol - it's a professional-grade surfactant and I use it for anything fiber-related, from cleaning/carding to dyeing. It's awesome stuff and lasts forever. When washing fiber, the #1 rule to follow is no sudden temperature changes - cool water is best. No agitation, either! That'll felt it.

I just use dog slickers for hand-carding, but I also spent a little more to get good ones as they're still cheaper than buying hand carders made specifically for fiber processing. I would LOVE to build my own drum carder...if I can get past the initial sticker shock of carding cloth, I'll get one built!

Everything can for sure be done sitting down, especially the best part...spinning! If you're going to try spinning, maybe give a drop spindle a shot first? That's how I teach all of my 4-H'ers (and interested adults) to handspin. Let me know if you want a spindle, I can send you a spindle I made myself. It spins faster than the storebought (like Ashford) spindles, and thus is easier for a newbie to get a good solid twist that won't fall apart as easily. I'd be happy to send you one if you want (aren't you in OK? I'm just north of ya!)

If you do decide to learn to spin, don't do it on angora or cashmere! It's too soft and expensive to want to mess up with. Get some cheap wool - Corriedale is great. So is Punta. Both of them still make beautiful yarns, and you can always blend them with cashmere or angora/etc to make softer blends as you get better. Merino is super nice and soft, but harder to learn on because it's so smooth and soft. I buy a lot of roving through Paradise Fibers for my 4-H'ers because they have a bulk discount and I like having undyed fleece so I can dye it myself Smiley

Can you tell I'm a fiber junkie? Sheesh, I'm sorry for rambling so much. Let me know if there's anything I can help with!
« Last Edit: August 20, 2012, 10:26:56 PM by taelir » Logged
dragonlair
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« Reply #6 on: August 21, 2012, 12:13:10 AM »

I've been long interested in spinning. What do you need to get started? The person who worked at the hospital who spun (spinned?) got fired before I could get her contact info, so I am out of luck there. I know a spinning wheel, at least the ones I have seen, are waaayyy out of my price range, unless they come in beginners models? And you can use the dog brushes? I thought they looked like you could but I didn't know for sure and I didn't really have anyone to ask!

How hard is it to learn? I am a horrible uncoordinated klutz, would there be any hope for me?
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DragonLair Farm and Kennel in Central Maine with Nubians, Lamanchas and Oberhasli. Of course, combinations of 2 or more breeds happens also.
taelir
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« Reply #7 on: August 21, 2012, 01:35:04 AM »

To get started with spinning, really all you need is a drop spindle and some fiber! Processed fiber for spinning comes in a few forms - roving and batting are the most common. Roving where the fiber has been combed into a long rope-like shape; a batt is just a flattened-out roving. Personally, roving is all I'll ever work with. And sure, you could use a spinning wheel but I suspect you'd get more satisfaction out of working with a drop spindle at first. It's SO much less complicated and requires way less coordination Smiley

As far as how difficult it is to learn, I taught myself to spin via the internet. There are SO many good videos out there to help out. I highly recommend Megan LaCore's videos, as well as videos by Abby Franquemont. Both of them do a wonderful job of explaining and demonstrating how to spin on a spindle. For me, the hardest part is drafting out the wool - drafting is a process of gently pulling/stretching the roving out into a thinner 'rope' so that you get the thickness or weight of yarn you'd like. It's easy to break the fiber apart during drafting...but the GOOD thing is that it's really easy to add those pieces back into the yarn as it's being spun. Smiley

Yep, dog slickers work great for carding! I just don't see the point in spending upwards of $100 for a set of carders, when the dog slickers do just fine for my purposes. And if you get a drop spindle, you have a couple options - shell out $20 or so for a commercially-made spindle (Ashford is one of the biggest companies for spindles and wheels), or you can make your own. I make all of the spindles for my students using a wood dowel, wooden wheels, and small screw eye hooks. They spin nice and fast and they're cheap! I've also seen them made with things like old CD's and wood disks.

The very first thing I tell my 4-H spinning students (or anyone I'm teaching) is to expect to mess up a hundred times at first. You're going to feel like an octopus for the first little while, then all of a sudden it'll click and you'll be good to go Smiley

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Julie
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« Reply #8 on: August 21, 2012, 05:32:27 AM »

Thanks for all the great information!  I can't wait to learn in fact met a woman on line only an hour away who I'm visiting in a few weeks to help her with shearing.  I know I will learn so much working with her.  Hopefully I can talk by then better.  Still recovering and I know it will take time.  Lucky tho goats don't care if you talk.  They come to clapping hands and are so loving.
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sweetgoats
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« Reply #9 on: August 21, 2012, 11:34:34 AM »

  I have tried a drop spindle for years, I just can not get it.  I know some people Love it and they can not sue a spinning wheel, I have the spinning wheel. Ashford, single treadle

  As for learning how to spin, I agree but the cheapest I have ever found is Merino, it is cheap and a LONG staple to learn on.

  As for washing the reason so many use Dawn is because it is great to break up the grease "lanolin" in the Mohair.  I have no idea, I dint do it, but I know that is why they use the dawn.

 
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Lori

Home of the Colorado State Fair Grand Champion doe, 2003,2004,2005,2007,2008,2009. and 2011.
Premier Breeder and Premier Exhibitor for 2008 and 2009.
taelir
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« Reply #10 on: August 21, 2012, 12:05:31 PM »

I'm surprised you found Merino to be the cheapest! That's generally considered the highest quality wool fleece. Corriedale, Punta, and BFL (Blue Faced Leicester) are usually cheaper, but they're not as soft and slippery. My kids do really well starting out on Corriedale and Punta...the staple length is great and it's got just enough kink in the hairs to make the drafting process easier for them. I personally LOVE drafting out Merino...it drafts like a dream.

The Dawn will for sure break down the lanolin (unless you want to leave some in there, lots of folks do). I've just found the Synthrapol to be even gentler while doing just as nice a job with cleaning Smiley
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