Better than salt money

Work like you were living in the early days of a better nation

Fiber log

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I’ve spun up samples of two of the new wools.

First was some Masham. It’s just a bit rough in the hand.  The roving splits easily, and opening it up to spin (pre-drafting) is easy.  Set the wheel to the most open of configurations; as it’s not supposed to like, “too much twist”.  Had some trouble with it, mostly because I was afraid of getting too fine, and overtwisting it.  Some of it was undertwisted, which made plying a bit of a hassle.  Seems to have a nice drape.  It’s a bit prickly for next to the skin, but would probably be good for warp in a tweed, or for sweaters, etc.

I got about 60 yards of singles, but with the plying problems I made for myself, only 57 yards of 2-ply from the oz. I had to spin.

Next was some Polwarth. Very soft in the hand.  Loftier, as roving, than the Masham.  A bit stickier.  It took more work to pre-draft.  Moderately grabby at first, but a very even spinner.  The only word (and I was using it a lot) I can think of to convey how nice it was to spin is, that it was, “creamy”.  It was very steady as it moved onto the bobbin (though I think I am being too attentive when working the samples.  I want to see how they behave, and how they will best spin; so I’m seeing what people say about it, and trying to match that. I’m not sure this is doing justice to the experience I’ve built up)  I do think I can do  pretty much what I want with it.  It’s very smooth when spun up, even with a woolen treatment.  I’ll bet I can spin 3-ply lace weight with it, on the wheel.

I am glad I didn’t start with it though, as it’s got more “tooth” than Merino (and a lot more than Alpaca).  In the very beginning it would have been hard to manage because it’s so responsive; any of the problems which come from lack of skill/co-ordination would be magnified.  Then, when I got the hang of it, that same responsiveness would have been too kind.  The Alpaca, and Romney, and even the sort of finicky Merino I spun, required me to be attentive, in ways the Polwarth doesn’t.  But now that I’ve got some skill, I’m going to be spinning a lot of this, because it’s really easy to keep fairly even.

I already have a cable-project in mind, and the first two oz. of that have already started going onto bobbins.


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