Thursday, November 01, 2007

A Day of Confession


Okay, maybe it is good for the soul, and besides, I have two confessions to make.

Confession One...I'm a Techno-Idiot
Regarding my PC, it all started when my PC bag fell off my roller-luggage while I was at the airport. When I got home, I realized my wireless network card, that was in the card-slot (which sticks out from the PC about an inch or so, had busted during the fall.



Easy enough, I went to Staples and bought a new one (actually Thaddeus went and bought it for me). After inserting the new card in the slot and re-booting a number of times, my laptop wasn't recognizing the new card. I disabled the network connection for my wireless and then re-enable it. I uninstalled the card slot, and then re-installed it. I uninstalled the driver/software for the wireless card and then re-installed it. Then I started trying all different combinations of these three things before I started to realize that perhaps I had broken more than just the wireless card. I continued to try multiple options until I got a hardware conflict error, and then started booting the laptop in so-called Safe Mode until I somehow corrupted a configuration file that was necessary to boot my machine. Now the machine was completely hosed.

All that was stupid enough, until I brought my PC into the tech guy at work, when he told me I had a built-in wireless card all this time, and there was no reason I needed to have purchased the Linksys card at all. So, not only had I paid for two unnecessary wireless cards, but if it hadn't been in the PC to begin with, it probably never would have broken my laptop.

At least my new laptop is better, stronger, faster...and I know now that it has a built-in wireless card.

Confession Two - Fiber Preparation Idiot
Wanting to use my new drum carder, I decided to try scouring the Cormo fleece I bought at Rhinebeck (if you've read Ted's description of processing an Icelandic fleece, this story will be strikingly similary...aka...boring).

Being very worried about felting this incredibly soft fleece, I filled a bathtub with very hot water and added Dawn dishwashing liquid. I added about 1/4 of the fleece, and let it soak for about 10 minutes. I then carefully took the fleece out of the hot water and drained the tub of incredibly disgusting water. I repeated this process twice more, and then put it in a zipper pillow cover.

I then repeated this process for another 1/4 of the fleece.

I spun both pillow covers in my washing machine to centrifuge out excess water, and then laid out the fleece to dry on two deck chairs.




After letting it dry for a day, I decided to test-run a small amount of carding.

Even after all this back-breaking work, the fiber was still way too greasy, so I resigned myself to re-scour all of it again.

As I was getting it ready to wash, I realized that I probably should have skirted this fleece before scouring, because there were still some little poo-tags in the fleece.

Suffice it to say, I have a lot of work to do to prepare this fleece, and I learned a valuable lesson.

Current Knitting/Crocheting
I was able to slog my way through three more stars on the tablecloth during my flight on Wednesday night.



I fly back this morning, so I should get a couple more done today.

7 comments:

Carol said...

Qu'est-ce que sait "poo-tags"?

Deborah C. said...

Sorry to hear about your laptop woes. I don't buy fleece anymore because I just don't enjoy the prep work. Also, I have a cesspool, as Long Island is woefully backward and we do not have access to a proper sewage hookup, so anything that goes down the pipes goes into the cesspool. I can't justify filling it up with fleece washing! Besides, there are such lovely rovings available

Fredda said...

If I never saw anything you made with your fleece purchases, I would think you were nuts to go through all that. Is it enjoyable at all?

Marilyn said...

Well, blame your stupid IT department for giving you a wireless card when you didn't need one.

Most laptops these days have wireless cards built in. Even my 4-year-old Dell laptop has that. If this was a work machine preconfigured by your IT guys, they don't know sh*t.

Now, what you need to ask for is an air card. I'm getting one next week. What's that? You know the commercial with the Brit in the pond accessing the internet? That's what it is.

And now you know why I don't do my own fleece. For exactly the kind of mess you and Ted have. No thanks. I don't need to muck around with sheep dip and grease.

knittingboykit said...

Patience is the key! And perhaps cold water--or letting the water cool before changing the hot wash and rinsing cool! I also use mesh (laundry)bags (purchased for $1!)--not the little lingerie bags! I recently aquired some Romney fleeces and have washe dand dried one of them--in a tub outside--I put the water into the garden--both the soap and the sheepish residue are great for the grass! Dont even worry about putting it into the septic! Soak overnight in water with MORE soap, and take your time rinsing...vinegar is supposed to kill suds, also cold water. I made 2 batts of the Romney with 3 passes throught the DC--too much VM, but it feels great and spins nicely!

Seanna Lea said...

Your poo-tags make me glad that despite owning more than one spindle that I am still not a spinner and don't need to play with dirty sheep fleece. Even if the result is amazing.

Linda D said...

Oh my gosh, I can commiserate over washing Cormo. Suggestion: Now that you have it well pre-washed, send it out and have it made into glorious roving by a professional. Once you DO manage to have it clean, it is a nightmare to put through a drum carder, neps galore. My favorite fiber mill seems to be running about a year behind ;), but I am sure there are many more out there.
Linda