Today I decided to try dehairing the cashmere I bought over the weekend. Now, I really have no idea what I’m doing here. I googled “how to dehair cashmere” and came up with nothing useful (lots of links to cashmere rugs, though) and I only found one post on Ravelry (that I can’t find again) about it. What I read on Ravelry said to wash the cashmere and some of the guard hairs would float to the top and you can just skim them off. While the cashmere is drying you can run your hands over the fiber and the guard hairs will stick to your hands and then when it’s dry, you can hand card the fiber and the rest of the guard hairs should stay in the padding of the cards, something like that, anyway. So I filled my sink up with water and gently pushed the cashmere down into the water and did yoga for about a half an hour while it soaked. Came back and all the cashmere was floating at the top, not just the guard hairs. OK. I took the fiber out of the sink and squeezed most of the water out of it and tried running my hands over the fiber and everything, not just the guard hairs, stuck to my palms. I tried screaming some foul language at it and that, obviously, did nothing. By now I was starting to get a little frustrated so I grabbed my blanket (the one in the picture above) and the wet cashmere and sat down in the back yard. I had decided to just pick the guard hairs out by hand. Out of nowhere came about a dozen wasps, so I grabbed everything up as fast as I could and headed for the porch. I’m allergic to stinging insects and getting stung and going into shock while I’m here alone doesn’t sound like much fun. I went back inside and just laid the cashmere out to dry and gave up for the day. Tomorrow, once the fiber is all dry, I’ll try the hand card method. If that doesn’t work I’ll just lay the blanket out on my living room floor and pick it out by hand there. I give up on doing anything outside, between my allergies and the wasps, I’d rather not even mess with it.
Before I even tried washing the cashmere I took it, the llama, and my angora outside, dumped it all on my blanket and picked through it. The angora was fine, it’s really clean, but the cashmere and llama had a little VM that needed picked out. The llama has been dehaired already so, thankfully, I don’t have to mess with it. There’s a lot more fiber in the little bag than I thought there was, too. It just needs a quick wash, it’s a bit dusty, and it will be ready to card and spin. I love the colors.
If you follow me on Twitter, I posted last night that I thought I was going to run out of yarn for my shawl and a few minutes after that I did. I’m about half way through the last chart and I only have about six inches of yarn. This is Helen’s Lace, which means it’s too expensive to justify buying a whole skein to finish the shawl, and I have no idea what color it is, so I guess I’ll frog it and knit something else. I love Victorian Lace Today, it has such beautiful patterns and a ton of information on knitting lace, but the yarn requirements are way off. I’m not the only person who has complained about this, either. My skein of yarn had about 2600yds and the pattern called for 2200yds, I shouldn’t be out, especially since my gauge was little tight. Whatever, I’ll think of something else to do with it. Times like these I’m really glad I’m a process knitter and that I don’t wear my shawls, I feel no guilt or anything about ripping this out and starting over with something else. I am a little upset about the yarn requirements in the pattern being off, though, books should be edited better than that (especially when you figure how much they cost).
So, seems like everything I’ve done today is a giant fail (I’m pretty sure I broke my coffee grinder, too), I really want to do some spinning now but I’m afraid I’ll mess that up, too. I think I’ll just wait until tomorrow to try anything.