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.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

CVM fiber study of two ways to comb

The fourth and final ravellenic project involved some CVM fiber I found at the very bottom of my downstairs stash basket. The fiber was unwashed and in two distinct forms, locks and not locks. Since I was now bored with carding/combing everything routine I thought I would try an experiment. What differences would I see if I washed the locks and combed them with a dog grooming comb, along with the washed non lock fiber combed with the typical wool combs. The processes should both be producing 'top' in the sense that it was creating straightened fibers to spin.

I went into great detail in episode 82 podcast about the process. What you get here that is not on the podcast is pictures!

The combed locks skein is 50 yards 2 ply 17 WPI. It weighed 3/4 oz.

The skein from the pulled top is 33 yards 2 ply 15 WPI and weighs 1/2 oz.

A quick math calculation shows both skeins are close to about 15 yards 2 ply per 1/4 oz. not exactly but close enough for me to say the skeins are very similar. Based on that the bottom line is it does not really matter, choose your method based on what you like to do best for processing.

Several comments about the photos. I have not been able to get the iPad app to let me arrange the photos, or label them so if you see this before I get on the real computer and do some editing, come back later for those as well as a link to the podcast. Meanwhile, enjoy the pretty pictures.

Non lock fiber hand combed top:

Locks combed with grooming comb:

Two unwashed skeins still with active twist, top skein combed with hand combs, bottom skein combed by lock:

Ashford lace flyer bobbin of CVM single:

Edited for links and photo descriptions 08/17/12

California red sheep fiber

It's a wonderful fiber, but the name sure is misleading. I didn't even get a pink tinge. This was the third ravellenic project I completed. It is reviewed much more extensively in the Yarnspinnerstales podcast, episode 82.

From what I read about the fleece, I really am glad I didn't. It seems the reddish brown tinge to the fleece comes from hairs of that color in the fleece. Hairs mixed in with wool staples mean a harsher yarn. This sample that I washed, carded and combed to spin was as soft as merino. White....not even a hint of pink, but super soft.

Given the choice, I preferred the combed sample to the carded. Even with my finer tooth carders I found the batts were not carding well due to the fineness of the wool. Combs however worked great. There was a lot of waste, there always is with combing but the yarn spun thin enough to still give good yardage.

So to pass on what I learned, if you buy this fiber looking for the red color, be sure those reddish brown hairs are in the sample. I am sure this varies sheep to sheep and even over the different areas of the fleece. You have to know this as you evaluate a fleece for it's usefulness to you.

On the left is the combed fiber skein, 24 yards 2 ply at 12 WPI.  On the right is the carded fiber, 28 yards 2 ply at 9 WPI.

California Red fiber, washed on top, raw lock samples on bottom:

Carded California Red fiber:

Combed California Red fiber

Edited for links and picture descriptions 08/17/12

Moorit Salish fiber

This is the second ravellenic event spinning project. I received the fiber in a trade for a few silk hankies. Each of us were receiving something we hadn't spun before in the trade. I wanted the fiber to review for my rare breed file.

Rare in the sense that I could find very little about it in my usual go to books and the Internet. At this point the best I can say is Moorit is the description of the color, and Salish is an area in the pacific northwest. Where and how this fiber was raised and then obtained by my trade partner is now lost in the mists of the time it dwelt in my fiber stash.

But it was a fun project to spin for review. I love the color and it carded and combed well. Unlike most of the samples I review I had a massive amount, 6 oz. The staple was long enough that I could use my large clamped combs to make the top. It reminds me of alpaca when I comb it that way. My sample skein was 30 yards of a 12 WPI 2 ply.

I carded with the hand cards although it would drum card fine too, in fact that is how I plan to use up the remainder of the fiber, since I decided I liked spinning this fiber woolen. My sample skein spun woolen was 10 WPI 2 ply of 30 yards

Photos will show the fiber before prepping, and the sample skeins.

Friday, August 03, 2012

Ryeland fiber

The ravellenic event is on and I have five projects I want to complete. While most ravelry members tend to knit during this event, I am of course spinning.

The first one done is a small sampling of a sheep breed's fiber I have not spun before called Ryeland. It is short stapled, moderately soft wool that could be carded or combed to spin. Although the combed top spun thinner than the carded prep, it seems that this is not one of those wools that 'wants' to spin thin. Instead it seems happiest at a nice 9-11 WPI thickness.

(still learning the posting on the Blogger iPad app so I am not sure the order these photos will upload).

In the three photos you can see the carded and combed prep, the pre washed sample skeins and the skeins after washing. The combed prep has a bit too much twist in the skein but that relaxed out after a good hot bath. Ah, but don't we all!