Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Fleece Study update

I have 5 little skeins to show for all my labors so far - Brecknock Hill, California Red, Cheviot, North Country Cheviot and Columbia. I also have 4 breeds carded & ready to spin, and 39 breeds washed, dry and ready for picking & carding. These all started out as approximately 1 ounce of raw fleece - the dry weight ranges mostly from .5 to .8 ounces.

I got out my drum carder because the hand cards were irritating the arthritis in my wrist and carded up Clun Forest, Coopworth and Corriedale. I'm going to spin up the Coopworth even though I broke off all the tips when I opened it up for carding. The sheep was clearly rather stressed at some point in that year of growing the fleece.

Then I hand carded the CVM on my fine cards - it's very fine, but also very short - the staple is 2" unstretched and 3" stretched.

I was concerned that it would be difficult to spin this short fiber on a suspended spindle, but it is drafting beautifully on my Bosworth Moosie. It's a real pleasure to spin, working up to a lovely, very fine yarn. I can't wait to see the finished 2 ply. It will be perfect for lace.

I had considered trying to spin all the fleece in this study at roughly the same grist, but I decided to spin them at what I think is an optimal size for the particular fleece. This may complicate how they are used in a final project or projects, but it makes me a happy spinner at this stage!

Oh, and I ordered 4 more breeds from The Spinning loft - 4 ounces each of:
Coopworth to replace my broken tips sample
East Friesian, Ile de France & Oxford - to expand my Fiber Study to 51 breeds!
These are washed and drying slowly in the current high humidity.

I did finish threading up the summer & winter - I did a bit of sampling with treadling sequence - there are so many options for this weave structure! This first sample is one of the easiest to treadle, but I will do large samples of some other sequences. This design comes from an old manuscript - isn't it lovely?

1 comment:

Melanie said...

I'm enjoying your fleece study very much, Melissa. Thanks for sharing your observations.

Your Summer & Winter sampler is lovely.