The topic for 10 on Tuesday was 10 things you like on top of your ice cream- I don't really eat ice cream since discovering frozen yogurt, and the only thing I like on it is Gummi bears (because they get all hard and cold and chewy)- so I'm not doing a Tuesday post this week.
What I have been doing over the weekend is combing wool. Why? Why would anyone want to do that? I'll answer that more questions- why bake your own bread? why knit socks when you can buy them in bulk packages at Costco? So, you get why.
At Fingerlakes last year, I purchased a 2lb lambs fleece, Cotswold/Wensleydale which is a lustre longwool with a staple length (being the length of the lock unstretched) of 5-6". I wanted to try out my Valkyrie Viking combs- and I have been reading and watching videos about combing fibre. I highly recommend Robin Russo's dvd, devoted to combing. I had washed the fleece pretty much when I got it home, and it was nice to talk to the shepherd who wanted to know what my plans were for it.
So I add some oil in the form of a combing milk, but Norman Kennedy uses baby oil. You want the wool to look and feel like conditioned hair. It's olive oil, lecithin, water and essential oil- but you don't want to douse it. Have a spray bottle of plain water because there is going to be static.
The next step is to charge the comb, or lash on. One of the combs is attached to a pad, which is clamped to the table. You catch the butt ends of the locks to the teeth of the comb.
I didn't leave the comb on the pad, but took it in my left hand, and using the empty comb perpendicular to the charged comb, I began just catching the tips and transferring the longer fibers to the working comb. This was so enjoyable I contemplated becoming a dog groomer (I used to brush our Chow dog every day).
And you end up with these piles of birdnests- ready for spinning. I will say it is pretty hard on the hands, but being the binge-personality that I am, I should take more breaks. Who knew it could be this fun?