Friday, December 10, 2010

I couldn't stand it anymore, so I stole John's old phone and used it as a camera. It's not the greatest camera, apparently.

I am really enjoying my saddle blanket project. This is the first time I've got to handle anything other than raw wool from my favorite flock of sheep. I spend hours leaning over skirting tables, picking VM (vegetable matter) out in the spring. It's a back breaking job, even though Melissa's sheep are pretty clean. It's a real treat to see the roving so clean, and feel the softness. In some ways it's prettier in raw locks though, shiny and crimpy. The roving still has a faint whiff of sheep, especially the ram fleece, but I kinda like it. I feel so rich! I really am grateful to Melissa for trading me so much beautiful roving.

Here is Lightning's wool. The camera doesn't do it justice at all.
Maybe I chose the wrong lighting too.

White lambs' wool. Sweet! I'd like to climb in there and make a nest.

Linda's wool, and again, the photos don't do it justice at all.

My sister asked me, what the heck is roving anyway? It's a long, washed and combed, but not twisted, "rope" of wool, like so:

Let me digress for just one moment to talk about specifics on my saddle pad project.

If you ever do this, DON'T try to sew the canvas by hand, even if you don't have a good working relationship with your sewing machine. The sewing machine is worth the trouble, even if you break a needle or your thread pulls out of the needle repeatedly or you have to fix your bobbin. It took me HOURS to sew by hand, and I did the last bit with the machine, 3 times, taking it out and setting it on my horse in between, in less than an hour. (I made the rear wedge slightly smaller than Linda's recommendations.)

In regards to spray paint, it's probably better to do that when the weather is dry and above 50 degrees. I did mine in the snow and then hung it in my bathroom to dry. It STUNK. (Is that a word?) When buying my paint I couldn't find oil based spray paint as recommended, so had to go with latex. I chose a "Colonial Red" because it's red like my outbuildings and I thought I'd have some left over. I actually had to go back and get another can. I've never spray painted anything before, so I was surprised how little paint was in the can.

So here's my started project. It's not easy but it's hard to put down, I enjoy doing it. I think it will be easier once I'm into the part where the canvas isn't doubled. I have a bit of a problem where my loops got too big. I can't change them, they're locked in place. I may have to cut them out? I'll have to ask what to do there. I'm hoping that as I work it will start to look less asymmetrical. I like symmetry. Unfortunately this is in the back, where my riding buddies will have a clear view of it, since Tonka is always out front.

See the big puffiness?

I like this area better

That is a LOT of wool (more than I'll need)

The dogs heard me telling Huck to sit, which might mean treats, so they wanted to join in, but they didn't want to pose nicely.

And here's my phone. I think it's toast.
Alrighty, I'm back to cleaning up my living room so I can decorate for Christmas. I've been having so much fun wrapping presents, I need to make room for a tree to put them under! Which means I'm going to have to put my beautiful work of art saddle somewhere else. :(

Here's a story for you, sad but true. I was in the middle of something, walked through the living room, and found myself standing for many minutes admiring and touching my saddle. It's a terrible distraction.

Okay, seriously now, I'm going to get back to work (but I've got to go see my saddle first). :)


Linda said...

I can't believe you're doing it--what a project!

Linda said...

Nice red...mine was but I ran out and ended up using blue instead, It's looking good.