Posts tagged ‘romney’

I’ve got both yarns skeined, blocked and measured. The second S yarn came out slightly finer but not enough that it’s a problem. I still have fiber left so I can always spin more. It came out a bit hairy, what I would expect for a coarse fiber, so I’ll need to thread it on more shafts than you might think for simple plain weave. In this case, I think 4 should be fine.

Z 643m, 145g
S 707m, 142g

matching s and z twist yarns

The hard part is going to be keeping them straight. I already had to check my numbers several times to make sure I got the right measurement with the right yarn. I hope to have this warped and well underway while The Boyfriend is out of town else I’ll never get enough quiet time to get it done right.

The Z bobbin of romney is done and I’m well along on the second S one. There are some pictures I haven’t gotten off the camera yet, but I can tell you exactly what it looks like: a skein of 400-ish meters of off-white singles. Rather a lot like this, actually, although a bit finer and nowhere near as even. I’d guess it’s around 25 wraps per inch, for those who pay attention to such things (I usually don’t.)

I left it on the skein winder and sprayed it with water rather than wash, I don’t want it to fluff up at all and drying under tension would be a good thing. The skein winder is wood, but I long ago finished the pegs in clear nail polish so it could handle a little water. It’s still not a proper yarn blocker, but it will do for now. I started to count the finished skein to get an accurate length measurement, but I tried it the day I was home sick and managed to lose track before I could write it down.

I did some spinning the other day and thought I’d post something. I am working with some long staple, about 20 cm, Romney fleece that’s been sitting around for some years now. It’s not the nicest stuff so I haven’t been terribly interested in using it for a project. But right now I’m working on yarn for a weaving sample so random wool from the fiber closet is fine.

For singles warp I need to spin from combed fiber, but the big scary English combs that would work best with this fiber are still packed away back east. The Viking combs, or any hand-held comb, are difficult to manage with this stuff. So I’m using a dog brush to comb it out and spinning directly from the staple.

To keep the fiber under control I’m basically holding it against my leg with my left hand like this:

drafting long staple wool

It sorta functions like a distaff, holding the fiber in place so I can draft it a little bit at a time. I do have to stop and prepare more fiber frequently, but the wool itself is long enough that it’s a reasonable amount of fiber to hold at one time. If I were spinning thicker yarn that would be a problem.

Actually this yarn is fairly thick for me, and very inconsistent. I’m not really paying attention because for what I’m working on I’d rather get it over with than really work on getting good yarn. It’s more than stable enough for warp and will show the effect I’m after in the finished project. After I finish this bobbin I’m doing another twisted in the opposite direction so I can experiment with combining them together in woven fabric.

I needed something to work on at the Swedish Christmas Fair, so I dug out some Romney fleece I had sitting around and started on a medium-weight single. It’s really long staple (20 cm) so combing out with the dog brush is fine and it’s fast to spin. Normally demo yarn is total crap but this stuff is so mindless to work with that it’s coming out fine.

I’m finally following through on a project I’ve been talking about for years, spin direction patterns. You can get interesting subtle patterns like checks and stripes in a plain-weave fabric by changing the direction the yarn is spun. Light reflects differently off each yarn and it makes it look like a much more complex fabric.

This was common in early Scandinavian weaving of the Viking era, so I want to do a sample for an upcoming talk at the local Swedish cultural society meeting. I also saw a really nice Peruvian piece at the Textile Museum a few years back, done with 2-ply. It’s one of those interesting techniques that you can only do with handspun because you just can’t buy the right yarn.

So far I’ve gotten almost a full bobbin done Z. It’s not great yarn for me as I’m not much paying attention to size but it will be fine for a sample. I will probably have to do it on the table loom just because the smaller one has less yarn lost to loom waste. That’s a big deal when you are spinning it all.

It’s also using up some fiber I’ll never make a real project from. I bought some of this fleece years ago to use for students and never did anything with it. It’s coarse and not great for clothing, not to mention the annoying canary stain that causes it to all come out vaguely yellowish.

Every time I intend to sit down and do something textile, real life intrudes. But finally, with The Boyfriend off for the weekend, I can do something. I’m not particularly inspired to spin, so fiber prep it is. And with nobody to complain, out comes the music…

L’amour est enfant de Bohême,
il n’a jamais, jamais connu de loi,
si tu ne m’aimes pas, je t’aime,
si je t’aime, prends garde à toi!

No, la Carmencita makes cigarettes, not textiles. But it’s nice to listen to, anyway. And then I’ll visit with Mimì and Susanna and maybe even Turandot.

I previously sorted the short and excessively crimpy part of the Romney fleece and started picking it to later card. I’m contemplating blending it with what’s left of the Dorset. But that is filthy and has to be combed out with the dog brush to get out all the trash. They are similar in length but the Dorset is more bouncy, together it should make a light gray. I don’t know what I’m going to do with any of it, so why not.

I did the same dog brush number to some of the Merino lamb, to see what I think about it drum carded. I tried some combed and that was nice, but I thought I’d give it a try. I’ve got enough of it. But I might have to find somebody with a fine fiber carder because I have my doubts about the standard one I normally have available. If the fiber is too fine, it doesn’t stay in the teeth of the carder but floats on top in clumps. I know a lot of people with drum carders, but some are more convenient to visit than others.

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