Sunday, February 01, 2015

Loading Up The Musket

OK, not what you might be thinking! The RomneyX fleece I’ve been working with has the colour that in Shetland sheep would be called “musket”. It’s described as a very light brown with light grey fibres underneath, fading to beige or oatmeal with the animal’s age. Exactly. The Shetlanders have such delightful words to describe the colours and patterns of their sheep! I’m extrapolating it to a different sheep breed which I hope is not completely incorrect.

I also rather belatedly discovered a shortcut to removing the brittle tips while teasing the locks. I used one of my little 2-row Forsyth mini-combs to flick the tips:


This worked a treat though it created slightly more waste than pulling off the tips by hand:


However when I finished flicking each lock it didn’t need very much more teasing to get it ready for carding. Note that you can actually see the grey fibres in this lock though they barely show up in the spun yarn.

Spinning long-draw for me means letting go of micromanaging every inch of the yarn. It’s hard! The results are quite a lot more variable than my usual inchworm drafting style. To try and keep some consistency in my singles I’m using a sample card attached to my wheel:


I tied it on with a length of plied wool too so I can check both as I spin. Here’s a bobbin full of singles:


You can see how fuzzy it is! The spinning wheel is Klaas, my Louet S90 that I’ve owned since 1992. They are now out of production on this model. It’s a bobbin-lead wheel which has quite a strong draw-in and in this case that actually works in my favour. I can’t hang onto the yarn very long before letting it pull into the orifice which helps to keep the twist light and airy. I only need to use the leather brake when plying this yarn because I don’t want to over-ply it either.

Here’s the four skeins I’ve spun already:


These haven’t been “finished” yet. I still need to wash them and full the yarn a little by rinsing in cold water and slapping the skeins on a hard counter. They will be a lot more durable then and hold up better in a man’s sweater. This is just over half of the total that I think I’ll need.

So I’ve been kind of neglecting the blog lately, haven’t I? Bad damselfly. Nothing exciting going on around here really. It’s beginning to look like spring though:

Snowdrops Crocuses

Photos were taken by Thom on his iPhone while we were out for one of our long walks. We didn’t have a very cold winter this year at all. Even some nice sunny days though they were mixed with a few visits from the Pineapple Express – warm and very wet. Sorry to anyone reading this who lives in a colder climate! If it makes you feel any better, we pay dearly for our moderate Pacific Maritime climate with outrageous property values and very high taxes. Today though it’s raining and dreary so we’re staying in and doing some housework instead.


Sharon in Surrey said...

Those skeins look very yummy!! I thought of a Gansey immediately. I know what you mean about nothing going on . . . it's dull as dishwater with a miserable cold drizzle outside. Wish I had a wood stove to spin by.

Heather said...

Oh, fuzzy and very pretty. Nice job!