Exploring the world of fiber, one draft at a time

My posting can be as frequent or infrequent as my spinning, so be as patient as that fiber, sitting in my stash.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Two Sheep breed review in July Spin In podcast

I have uploaded the July Spin In podcast and you can find it here or in ITunes under Yarnspinners Tales.

I talk about two different sheep breed fleeces in the podcast, so here are some pictures to go along with that discussion.

First, the breed of sheep that every new spinner is told to start with Romney:

Nice long open locks, moderate crimp and as you can see, combs or cards well. Combed skein is on the left, carded on the right.

Next, a rare breed, that was created specifically in the western United States, Targhee
This breed is part of the fine wool class, and has a very short staple, and very tight crimp. The washed locks feel cottony and did not like being carded at all. The combing produced a nice top but there was a high percentage of waste. Combed skein is on the left and carded, a very ugly lumpy skein, is on the right.
The yarnspinnerstale this month is about crafting and it's need for community. From the beginning when a crafter was earning his bread, there were guilds. Once machinery took over that task, crafters would gather to help each other, as in quilting bees. Now finally in this internet age, we have the height of the world wide community such as Ravelry. I talk about how the knitting Olympics started, and how it has grown to be a large community of not only knitters, but spinners too on Ravelry. And I talk about my personal ravelympic spinning challenge and the fact there are others doing the same thing.
My challenge is to start with a raw fleece and knit something from the yarn from it by the end of the olympics. That means washing, carding, spinning and knitting. I will challenge myself to have it all done through the spinning, and then I will knit a 'sample' which I have decided will be a mobius. I do not plan to knit the entire fleece by the end of the olympics, because that quantity of yarn needs to be a sweater or shawl. But a sample piece, to get an idea of the gauge is a perfectly acceptable finale for the challenge.
I have chosen another rare breed fleece that I purchased and have not had the time to work up yet. I will be keeping notes, just like I use in the podcasts so I can share the experience later. The fleece is from a Maine Island Sheep. Here's a photo:

And two close ups of the locks.

I have been spinning so many naturally colored fleeces lately that even though white seems boring, I am actually excited about working with a natural white for a change.
Stop by here now and then during the olympics, I will be posting pictures of the progress.
And if you are on Ravelry, I am on Team Tardis. Yeah, it's all about Doctor Who for me, because I just could not resist a team that boasts that they have already been and done the 2012 olympics and decided to come back for this one again :)

1 comment:

Ellyn Jackson said...

As a Romney breeder who breeds for fineness in wool, I am very pleased about your description of the fleece, wool and usage and ease of spinning with Romney. I do wear mine next to my skin, but it is also the washing process that helps to make it soft.
Ellyn Jackson
Wool-E Farm
Dorr Michigan