Thursday, December 31, 2009

Allison's First Machine Knit Anything

My daughter wanted to knit her friend a hat for Christmas. She picked out a camouflage like yarn. They are in ROTC together I think that is the reason for the choice. Plus she said her friend liked green.
We cast on and started knitting everything was fine. Then my daughter decided to really knit fast. Back and forth she slid the carriage. Zip, zip, zip was the sound of the carriage. I suggested she slow down, but I'm just her mom what do I know. Then we found out why going slowly would be a good idea. Something didn't knit right about.... 20 rows ago. After examination I decided it would be easier to unravel the whole thing and start over. Easier and faster that is. It went pretty quickly and my daughter seemed to enjoy unraveling the knitting. Again listening to the zip, zip, zip of each row unraveling.

We casted on and she took off knitting again. This time at a slower pace. I taught her to just keep and eye on the knitting. After each row make sure things look like they've knitted correctly before starting the next row. Once one gets more experienced the faster one can go. After about 50 rows she wondered how many more rows. I told her she was almost done. She couldn't believe how fast it was going. Everything went correctly the 2nd time and in about 20 minutes she had a knitted hat. 15 minutes later the hand work was done and hat was ready to wear. While I did the hand work she prepared the pom pom. That's one thing she said the hat had to have....a pom pom.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Swirl Round Baby Blanket Crazed

I just love this pattern. Easy and impressive is right up my alley. I hope everyone tries this pattern of Diana Sullivan. Again her videos are linked up with her blog and can be found here.

This blanket I made bigger and with non baby colors. I intended this one to be for my mom and dad for Christmas. They also have a poodle, so we know who will really be sleeping on this blanket.
I used 80 needles in all to this size. It is a really nice large size for an adult to curl up under and read a book... with one small poodle.

I used Lion's Brand Vanna's Choice yarn. I had bought this particular yarn in 3 different colors in 6 ounce balls. I had intended to do this circular blanket with 9 wedges. 3 wedges in each color. My 6 ounce ball made 1 9/10ths wedges. I needed more yarn. I figured if I got 3 more 6 ounce balls in the three colors I'd be good. WELL famous last words.

When I woke up in the morning and saw the 3 9/10th wedges hanging from my knitting machine in the sunlight I instantly didn't like the 3 colors together. In skeins lying on the table they looked great together. Worked up in knitting I thought they looked terrible. I had purple mist, denim mist and taupe mist. The purple or the denim looked really good with the taupe, which was more of a chocolate brown. The purple AND denim did not look good together at all in my opinion.

Now faced with 2 colors and would have to do 10 wedges and how much unraveling do I want to do. I started and ended what I had on the machine with purple. The color I decided not to use for my parents blanket. This really ended up being easier to recover from than had a chosen to stick with the purple. I would have had to nearly scrap the whole thing.

I decided to unravel the incomplete wedge (the last knitted wedge) and to leave the complete purple wedge (first knitted wedge) on until the end. I would then some how hang that last wedge excluding the purple wedge and then unravel it. I don't know how I did it, but it worked.

If you look closely in the pictures you can see a slight ridge between 2 wedges, but in person you don't notice it. That's if I don't point it out. AND my mama taught me not to point things out that bother me. She says nobody else would even notice if I kept it to myself. It's hard sometimes, but I'm getting better.Everyone loved the Swirl Blanket. I'm intending to make at least 3 more.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Machine Knit Slipper

This took my about an hour last night to make. It was something new to me. I've always wanted to make socks, but have been too scared to try it...YET! After making the slipper I thought this is probably very similar to making a sock.

This is a lined slipper by Diana Sullivan. Again I watched her videos. I'm not sure I could have followed a written direction of this slipper. My knowledge of short rowing and such is very slim. Watching the video helped tremendously knowing when and where to add needles or take them out of work. Whether the needle was next to the carriage or away from it. Knowing whether to wrap the needle or not. ALL in the video.

She even has videos on how to finish the sock. If you don't know how to do the Kitchener Stitch or the Mattress Stitch check out her Beginner Machine Knitting Course. She teaches those stitches.

As for the finished slipper. The size in the video would be my size, but when all was said and done it's a size smaller. I did end up printing out the pattern after I was done. It has sizes for everyone. Also on the printed sheet the tension was looser. After talking to a more experienced machine knitter she said it would make a pretty good difference in the size. I will be making this again with the new tensions. I want a pair for at least myself before Christmas.

I must add a warning about knitting slippers just in case anyone doesn't know. My mom was a Visiting Nurse and she called knitted slippers "killer slippers." She called them that, because they are VERY slippery when worn. My teenage daughter stretch my little slipper over her size 9 feet and immediately started running and sliding around the kitchen on purpose. My mother saw many a broken hip due to knitted slippers.

If these are going to be worn on anything, but carpet consider getting something that would make them non-slip. I remember years ago something that one could squirt on. Maybe Aleene's made it. I don't remember. I'll have to do more research.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Peppermint Kiss Baby Blanket

Blanket with flash and don't mind the water spot. Iron went crazy with some light steaming.

That's what I'm calling my latest creation. I just love it and don't know if I'll even give it away. I made this using the videos posted by Diana Natters on Youtube. You can find links to the videos on her blog "Diana natters on." This blanket is called Swirl Round Baby Blanket. When I saw a picture of this blanket my immediate thought was peppermint candy. So, I knew my first blanket would be done with red and white.

I'm a pretty novice machine knitter and I found the video easy to follow. I kept it up on the computer and would replay bits to keep me on track. I had a minor problem with joining wedge 9 with wedge 10, but it was just a misunderstanding on my part. With a replay or two I was able to see my mistake and successfully join the wedges.

The pie crust edging was unbelievably easy. I'd never done it before and really enjoyed learning a new technique. I wasn't sure how to end it. I made sure the last "pie crust" piece over lapped the first then I did a latch tool bind off. Doesn't look quite a good as I would have liked, but it looks just fine too. Only I would notice it and maybe an experienced machine knitter if she really looked closely. I might email Diana and see if I did it correctly or if there is another way to do it. Most of all a big thank you goes out to Diana Sullivan for talking the time to film a fun project for us all to enjoy.
blanket no flash

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Welcome Sacramento Area Machine Knitters

Just a reminder...

This blog entry is here to assist the Sacramento Area Machine Knitter's Guild in advertising their meetings on the Internet. I hope you will stop by one of our meetings and share your latest project with us!

Meet with local Machine Knitters. Chat and discuss the art of machine knitting. All machines brands users are welcome, from the Brother, Bond to the Electronic Passap.

Sacramento Machine Knitters Guild, meets on the 2nd & 4th Thursdays 10am-noon (we meet throughout the summer at our normal days and times if there is enough interest).

We meet at St. Andrews United Methodist Church, 6201 Spruce Avenue, Sacramento, CA (off I-80 at Greenback exit, turn right at first street, up about 2 blocks, bear right at the curve and the church is straight ahead).

Updated: 05/17  Contact info has changed as Marilynn (pronounced Mary Lynn) has moved to Colorado.  We wish her all the best.  For more information about the Guild and upcoming training topics call Hugh Hall at 916-332-5190.

November 12th - Today's meeting was informative as always. I learn something new every time I go. Hugh came in with a great idea about making swatches for all the punch cards for his knitting machines. He then attaches the number of the card to the swatch. It reminds him when he's looking for a pattern what it looks like and which number card it is. I'm going to get started on this for my machines. Looking at the cards I can never guess what the card is going to look like.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Figure of 8 cast off

I had a hard time finding this. So, I wanted to put it here to find when I'm ready to try it.

Figure of 8 cast off

This transfer tool cast off on the single bed produces a stretchy cast off which is good for necks or anywhere requiring a bit of stretch.

The cast off is started at the carriage end of the knitting, at main tension, (no loose row) at either end of the machine though you may find it easier from one end than from the other. Remove the yarn from the feeder and pull some yarn through the tension mast to slacken the tension. Position about the first 10 needles in upper working position (UWP).

*Knit the first stitch by hand.

Pull the first needle with its stitch back to non-working position. The stitch will enlarge. If you are right handed put your left thumb nail on this stitch below the gatepeg and push this needle to holding position (HP) with your right hand. The large loop is on the shaft of the needle and cannot shrink as you are holding it. Hold the transfer tool so the end with one prong is facing you and lying above the machine bed and the needle in holding position with the tip just behind the large loop. Pick up the loop from behind and place it on the second needle by bringing the end of the tool towards you and down and dropping the stitch onto the needle from above. You have made the figure of 8 and can see it around the two needles. Gently pull the yarn so that the figure of 8 is firm around the needles.

Knit the second needle by hand and repeat from * as for the first needle to the end. When you get to the end of the row break off the yarn and pull the end through the last stitch. As you use up the needles in UWP bring more out. The yarn needs to be slack so pull more through as needed. You can drop the cast off stitches off some of the needles in holding position if you wish as it can make casting off the rest of the row easier - but always leave a few in HP Remove the knitting from the machine by gently pulling it towards you. If you have to stop mid row either return the needles in UWP to WP or hang the 3 pronged transfer tool onto the needles nearest to the casting off to stop them falling off. Be careful of the needles in HP.
Frances Murray

Friday, October 30, 2009

Blending Yarns to Get Another Color

Hugh from the Sacramento Area Machine Knitter's Guild was showing me a knitted scarf he likes to make. This particular one he used a blended yarn technique. He said he didn't particularly like the color of either of the yarns on the cone. He had bought them fairly cheap from a thrift store. So, not to let them go to waste he knitted both colors simultaneously. Blending the yarns made his scarf have a beautiful rose color. I may have taken the photo a bit too close to get the real beauty of the blend. I was fascinated. I will definitely use this technique in the future to get unique colors for something. Don't know what yet, but it's coming.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

I conquered it!

Remember the big yarn mess? My daughter took the semi neat skein and gave up. I wanted to throw it away, but I couldn't bring myself to do. When she gave it back to me it could best be described as a rat's nest. Oddly enough this made it easier to work with. Didn't have to worry about keeping it neat. Just start a ball and kept winding it back and forth, in and out of the rats nest. It sat on my lap many a night as I watched TV. I've been trying to watch less TV, but for this project I gave myself permission to watch what I needed until I got it all unraveled. This mess had many ends in it. I'd just get a ball going and it would come to an end. Finally the 2nd to last ball got quite big. So, big in fact I finally had to cut the yarn myself. It was turning into a big yarn mess trying to weave a giant ball of yarn in and out of the rat's nest. The rest rolled up into one last ball.
I took the largest ball and used my yarn winder to wind it into a ball I could use on my knitting machine. I want to make a trick or treat bag. I better hurry up!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Big Yarn Mess

It's laying on my bed looking all innocent. Ready for winding. Not a tangle in sight right? Not the case. This skein has turned into nearly something of my nightmares. I've had many a tangle skein that within an hour or so was finally rolled into a big manageable ball. Not this skein. I show 2 ends in the photo, but right now we have 4 ends. I say we as in my daughter jumped in on hour 2 convinced it wouldn't be that hard.

I have my arms slid into the skein and she weaves the small ball in the making in and out and round about the skein. Not one round has just freed itself easily. Every round is a puzzle. It reminds me of computer cords or stereo or even TV/DVD cords. Someone is out front pulling on the cord. Someone is in back looking and feeling for the wiggle, so they know which cord is in need of help. That's the way it is with this yarn. I feel the pull on my arms and guide my daughter as she untangles each and every wrap of the yarn. Some knitters I have spoken too think I have knots. Nope. Not really any knots just yarn woven so intricately around itself that one cannot get it to unwind with out a fight.

I personally had decided once hitting hour 4 and still having one ball of yarn about the size of a ping pong ball to throw the whole thing away. The skein was given to me. It cost me nothing. It's very cheap yarn not good enough to make something wearable, but I was going to make some knitted Trick or Treat bags. It's a gorgeous color of jack 0 lantern orange.

My daughter caught wind of my plan to throw it away and she vowed to get it untangled. I said I'd throw it away when she was at school. She begged me not too. She said, "Mom you don't want to enlarge your yarn footprint!" We both laughed. I would really like to recycle this yarn that was given to me, because someone else didn't want it. BUT life's too short for tangled yarn too. We'll see. I'll give it a little more time.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Welcome Sacramento Machine Knitters

This blog entry is here to assist the Sacramento Machine Knitter's Guild in advertising their meetings on the Internet. I hope you will stop by one of our meetings and share your latest project with us!

Meet with local Machine Knitters. Chat and discuss the art of machine knitting. All machines brands users are welcome, from the Brother, Bond to the Electronic Passap.

Sacramento Machine Knitters Guild, meets on the 2nd & 4th Thursdays 10am-noon (we meet throughout the summer at our normal days and times if there is enough interest).

We meet at St. Andrews United Methodist Church, 6201 Spruce Avenue, Sacramento, CA (off I-80 at Greenback exit, turn right at first street, up about 2 blocks, bear right at the curve and the church is straight ahead).

Contact Marilynn (pronounced Mary Lynn) Wright at 916-331-2309 for more information about the Guild and upcoming training topics.

08/13/11  Sacramento Machine Knitter's Guild is still going strong.  Come join us.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Using my punch cards

I really had no idea how to use the punch card mechanism of my knitting machine. Usually using the manual I can make anything work, but had trouble with the very simple manuals that come with these pretty complicated knitting machines. I knew my friend Julia could get me up and running if I brought it to the knitting meeting. What I didn't know was our new member that had only been to one previous meeting had my exact machine and loved it. She knew exactly how to make it work. I was knitting this swatch within minutes. AND there was an instruction that wasn't in the book. Carolyn the fellow Studio 700 owner said you had to run the carriage over the needles and back again before knittting to get the machine to read the card. She called it the "free pass." She asked herself several times "Why do I know that?" It wasn't written in the book. Once it was done everything worked great. I spent nearly 2 hours just using different cards and making a really long swatch. I had SO much fun. I felt SO creative.
Here is a picture of what I was doing. At the top if you notice the stitches are singles. Down below they are doubled. Same card just a flip of a switch that elongates the pattern you are already doing.

Marilynn showed us how to switch colors while using a punch card to make a picture in your knitting. She got this pattern from an old English Machine Knitting magazine. SO CUTE. She gave me the swatch to take home.
I am really looking foward to doing more experimenting with punch cards with my machine knitting!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Machine Knitting Stand Issues!

Here is the underside of my machine knitting stand. There are 2 round pads for the clamps inside the legs. My problem is that the space between my clamps is about 19 inches. The pads to the machine knitting stand is 18 inches. That one inch causes a huge problem. It was suggested that I use the ribber clamps as they are in a different places as the bottom clamps.

But as one can see the ribber clamp spot is exactly lined up with the slot for the bottom clamps. All three of my machines are too large for this stand. In the immortal words of my husband, "I'm screwed!" hahaha OK I just need a larger stand. I have used a tilt stand at my Machine Knitting friend's house that works great with my bulky so I know it would work with all my machines. Now I either need to find another stand online, which is proving to be challenging. Or figure out a way to beg, borrow, buy or otherwise wheedle the tilt stand from my friend. hahaha Are you reading this Julia? Don't want to tip you off to my evil plan.

I found a tilt stand on ebay, but when I asked the seller to measure the distance between the legs they sent me a link on how to set up a knit stand. OK thank you that could be helpful if one didn't know that. What I really need is for you to get a yard stick and walk over to the tilt stand and measure the distance between the legs as I asked for to begin with. No response to 2nd query. I guess they must have enough customers. The search goes on.

The Garter Carriage

I really don't have much to say about this as I don't know really anything about it. I just know it was really cool. Amy a very experience machine knitter brought her garter carriage to our regular meeting. She wanted to show how it worked. She was in the middle of making a tank top for herself. She demonstrated how to make a ribbed edging for the neck line. She also demonstrated how to get a V-shaped neckline. I really enjoyed watching the whole process even though it was a bit over my head right now.

Here she hung the neckline on the knitting machine.

Here is a picture of the ribbed neck line after a few passes with the garter carriage. Amy said she doesn't like using a ribber and does everything with her garter carriage. In order to get the ribbed look she did need to do some hand manipulation, but it was much. Then the garter carriage did the rest.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

July's Machine Knitting Meeting

This is a new group I just joined. It is a well established group and there are about 20 women in the group. Lots of experience in machine knitting in this group as 17 of the gals are over 60 years old. 3 including me are under 50 and we three are about the same age. I have admit that one of the 3 under 50's has a lot of experience as well. She's been machine knitting for about 30 years. Quite a lot of the ladies in this group also hand knit. I suppose I'll probably learn more about hand knitting some day. Quite a few gals machine knit and then finish their item or garmet by hand knitting or crocheting. This month there were 2 gorgeous hats. They were hand knit, but could be easily done on a knitting machine. I wanted to remember what they looked like. I wanted a reminder to be more creative when making my hats.

The above hat had two rows of the ladder yarn for lack of a better name weaved in. I was surprised that only 2 rows made such a beautiful fluffy ring.
This hat had some beading, which can also be done on a knitting machine. I just loved the fuzzy brim though. Again something I'd like to try.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Sheep Shearing Not Too Different From Poodle Grooming

I took this video of sheep shearing back in the spring, but it's been stuck on my camera since then. My husband's computer wouldn't download it. To my great surprise my new laptop took it right off no problem. So, here it is.

What I found amazing was the speed at which one with experience can shear a sheep. This guy could do a whole sheep in less than 5 minutes. My husband says it takes 3 hours to shear our poodle. He needs to watch this video and get some pointers.

It also amazed me how the sheep reacted just like a poodle being groomed. The sheep looked over at me with pleading eyes "Please help me!" Then there was the half hearted struggle in the middle of the grooming just like a poodle. Then resignation that the grooming was going to occur with or without their cooperation.
Watch the sheep shearing.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Machine Knit Edging

This was actually fairly easy to do and it looked SO nice once done. First she made a hem by knitting a few rows and then rehanging the edge. She knit a row or two after that and then began the pattern. The pattern was achieved by moving a stitch over to another needle. Depending on the pattern you want. She wanted this V like pattern.
You can see the thicker edge of the knitted hem.

I'm going to have to give this a try. I like the fancy look of something so simple to do.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Sponge Bar Refurbish... Do It Yourself

Of course the first thing you do is pull the sponge bar out. Didn't think to photograph that. I know they make these fancy dancy sponge bar removal sticks, but save your money and get a pen or pencil from the drawer. They work equally as well. I like to use a pencil with a nice eraser on it. I put the pencil in the sponge bar slot eraser first and push the sponge bar out the other side just enough so I can grab it. Then I gently slide it out keeping it level with the floor. One doesn't want to bend it or get it caught on any of the needles.

Once it's out I bring it to an area I have covered with newspaper to catch all the creepy old sponge bar mess as you scrap it out. I use a large flat head screw driver. I've done 3 now and they scrape out pretty easily.
If there is any residue left of the sticky strips from the old sponge bar I squeeze in some Goo Gone to soak.
It doesn't have to soak long. I start scraping up the old glue pretty quickly.
Here's the finished cleaned Sponge bar minus the old sponge. After Goo Gone give Sponge Bar a good cleaning as the Goo Gone is oily and you don't want it to stop the new foam from adhering. I use some regular household cleaner. As you can see I'm doing this outside in case the Goo Gone and household cleaner cause any noxious fumes. One can never be too careful mixing chemicals.
I buy Frost King Rubber Foam Weather seal 3/8" X 5/16" at Home Depot. All three of my knitting machines have used the same size. You might measure yours just in case.
Starting at one end remove the waxy strip to reveal the sticky strip and start centering it down the middle of the sponge bar. I like to hold my thumb and forefinger on each side of the sponge bar to assure it is going into the channel and sticking straight. Take your time it goes fairly quickly and you want it on right the first time.
After weather seal is applied glue a strip of ribbon on the exposed side of the weather seal with plain white glue. I used yellow ribbon as it was what I had in my stash.
It is now finished and waiting for glue to dry on the ribbon.
At the very end of the sponge bar on each side. Take a small piece of tape and wrap it around the ends. I usually forget this until I go to push in the sponge bar on the knitting machine and foam starts to peal back. The tape wrapped around the ends keeps it on the sponge bar as you slide it in. Now I just have to clean up my mess.
Any questions feel free to contact me.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Can Life Get Any Better?!

Welcome to the "Spinning and Weavers" guild meeting for May. This is not a group I belong too. Not that I don't want too, but I came as a friend of a member. Way out of my realm of knowledge. I just haven't gone there...yet. I don't think I've ever met a more creative group of women. Not only do they spin their own yarn, but some of them raise their own sheep for the wool. I am very impressed.

The gal 3rd in on the left in the blue shirt with the long dark hair is named Barbara. She invited us all to entered the "Sheep to Shawl" contest at the Sacramento County Fair in May. She said she needs some competition. Then she got flustered saying not that she's tooting her horn, but that no one enters and sometimes wins out of default.

The gal on the far right of the picture in a blue sweater has a Knitting Machine set up at work. She machine knits as part of her work. I'm SO jealous. We got to talking about machine maintenance and she wanted my info on how to refurbish a sponge bar since I have done 2 successfully. Felt so good to be able to contribute to a group of such creative experience ladies.

Isn't this a gorgeous place to meet. It is Horton's Iris Farm. We were surrounded with Iris everywhere! I'm not exaggerating. We sat and did whatever fiber art we brought. Lots of spinners, some knitters and I brought some crocheting. Then we had lunch. We all packed a lunch and the gal hosting provided tea and Cinco de Mayo cupcakes. I never wanted to rejoin the real world. I just wanted to sit amongst the flowers, spinning wheels and crochet forever.

The Iris farm isn't far from my home and I didn't even know it was there. I'll be back to probably buy some Iris. Or maybe they'll see me sitting in the middle of the Iris crocheting some time. They'll have to run me off with a stick.

My favorite Iris were these 2 Iris right by each other. The colors were glorious. It had rained the night before and everything was SO fresh and beautiful.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Knitting and Driving

A policeman spots a woman driving and knitting at the same time.

Driving up beside her, he shouts out the window...... "Pullover"!!

"No," she shouts back, "a pair of socks!"

Friday, May 15, 2009

My Knitting Machine

Here is my Toyota KS 650 Bulky knitting machine. When I first saw people knitting with knitting machines I knew I wanted to get into it. I really didn't want to spend the money to buy a machine and my crafty friend Julia came to the rescue with a donated machine. She taught me how to clean and oil the machine and how to refurbish the sponge bar.
I've been VERY fortunately in that this used machine was in relatively good condition. The carriage (piece with the handle) did have some yarn tangled in it that I couldn't get undone. I sent the carriage to Needle-Tek and they fairly quickly and at a reasonable price sent it back ready to go. Another fortunate thing is the machine came with it's original instruction book. That has helped me tremendously. I'm really surprised at how I've taken to the machine. I've done a few simple projects. Basically anything I can make with a rectangle I'm good. I gearing up to brave making socks.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Machine Knit Mystery Solved

Mystery solved by machine knitting guru Berda. She gave me the link to these 2 videos. The piece comes with the SRP-60N Ribber that I just purchased. I don't have a book for it, so I ordered one from ebay. In the below videos Susy Ranner demonstrates how to use what I think she's called the P-carriage used for pile knitting. If you want to get straight to the end product view the 2nd video. What I love about watching Susy is she is so genuine. She let's you see all the foibles and aggravation of being a machine knitter. AND you get to see the triumph of getting the end product you desire.

I've taken the 2 videos off the blog, because they both automatically play instead of giving one the option of clicking them for yourself. Please follow the links to the videos as they are very good and make you feel right at home with your knitting machine.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Sheep Shearing

I was invited to come watch a sheep shearing in March. Since I've been really into knitting and crocheting the past 6 months I was very excited to see this. I met women who not only knit, but raise their own sheep for their wool. They take it from the sheep to the yarn. Carding their own wool. Spinning their own yarn. I am not quite that into fiber arts. Don't think I'll ever raise my own sheep or spin wool, but I love watching others do it.Here's where they start wrestling the sheep in for the shearing. It really struck me as funny. Being the owner of a poodle and we groom her ourselves how very much alike the whole process is. First you have to find them and wrestle them onto the grooming area.Then you have to wrestle them into position to start the grooming. With me kicking and wiggling to get away the whole time. Just like a poodle once laid on their back they submit to the grooming with very little wiggling from then on.Oh I'm not saying they don't continue with the "poor pitiful me" look or that "please come rescue me" stare.The big difference in shearing a poodle and shearing a sheep is the sheep takes just under 5 minutes each. I couldn't believe how fast this guy was. It takes about 3 hours to shear a poodle! I video taped one of the shearings to show my husband just how fast it could be if he just sheared off all the poodle's hair. Not very stylish, but sure would save time.Once the fleece was off the sheep it was taken over to this make shift table where the women would "skirt" it. That is removing all edges of the fleece that are too mangled or dirty to be used. This was when I was first enlisted to help. I thought I was just there to watch, but when the experienced older lady says jump one jumps. There was a pile of the skirtings that she asked me to put in a pillow case. They still save them. I asked why, but really didn't understand the reasons being new to all this. So, much to learn that day. Anyhow I had my tiny camera and thought I really don't want to get my hands dirty, but as I said I was a guest and I was asked to help. Not going to say no and risk not being invited back next year. I turned off my camera slipped it into my pocket and reached out to grab the small pile of skirting with my 2 hands cupped together. I knew the wool had dirt, pee, poop etc. on it. Nothing soap and water won't take care of. What I didn't realize was how much lanolin was on the wool. I knew lanolin came from sheep. I didn't know how one got it off them. Squeeze a lanolin gland? Pull it out of an ear? Honestly, I hadn't ever thought about where it came from. I know now right off their wool. As soon as the wool touched my hands I was instantly creeped out. My hands were coated thickly with lanolin, pee, poop, dirt and loose wool. I couldn't believe the amount of oil on my hands. I couldn't believe what a big baby I was being ... in my mind... I wasn't about to let the old sages see me whine. I quietly wiped my hands on the pillow case the skirtings went into and walked to the house to wash my hands. I knew then I wasn't touching any more wool that day. I did help with sweeping and shoveling of loose wool to help keep the shearing area clean. The more I thought about it I just wasn't prepared. Next year if I'm asked back I'll dress for digging in and helping with the skirting. I'll just plan on my hands being coat with lanolin all day. Many of the ladies said their hands were so soft after a morning of skirting.