Sunday, October 21, 2007


When I went to the Plum Nelly I bought a n 8 oz bump of hand dyed wool from Brown Sheep that they wanted tested for market. So today that's our topic. This wool is a roughly med length wool, hand dyed in blue, pink, and a shade of pale green that is kinda close to blue.

My first sample is spun on a drop spindle and is a high twist, fine 2 ply. I just split it lengthwise, predrafed and spun following the color sequence. The drafting wasn't bad, it was actually quite fun. I didn't have to worry about the spindle dropping, the crimp was more than enough to hold it together. The dye sections were short but when I spun it they lengthened out quite a bit.

I then plyed on the spindle (something I usually don't do), skeined, and washed it in warm water. I pressed it in a towel and hung it to dry under the vent for 1 hour. It was dry and I noticed the fiber was harsh and over spun. I thought the plying and washing would even out the twist and it did but the yarn didn't relax much in the water. I had left it to soak for 10 min. It will be good for sturdy sock bottoms or maybe weaving. If I were to knit it I would make a bag or belt or something.

So now I wanted something softer. This time I carded the wool on my drum carder twice making a nice feminine purple. Then I spun a heavy DK/light worsted single on the wheel spinning slower for consistency. The drafting was a little more difficult now, mostly because I really had to pay attention to the fiber length. I found that a long draw worked better with some redrafting of the thicker spots. I didn't predraft the batt at all so I wouldn't make the single too thin. The wool felt softer in the batt, and in the yarn. Finally I plyed it at about half the rate, skeined it, washed it, pressed it out in a towel, and hung it to dry. I could already tell this yarn would be more suitable to a hat. The yarn was squishy before I washed it. Now that it has dried It is very bouncy. It still has a rough hand but the look of the yarn is decidedly softer.
Click for a close up photo of the yarn.

Finally some book reviews: Drunk, Divorced, and Covered in Cat Hair...funny as all get out! Read it in 2-3 days and laughed myself silly. This lady has a blog called Crazy Aunt Pearl. I haven't checked it out yet but I will.

Paula Simmons book Handspinners Guide to Selling is another book I've picked up and it is a great resource for info on production spinning, and the business of selling your product. The tips of consistent weight and yardage in your yarns. Picking only a few weights to produce, equipment that will help, spinning tips that will help, Using samples to sell to LYS's, pricing ideas and pretty much a way to make a living at it. The only downside is that the book was produced in the 60-70's, and I don't trust that people are still making a living solely off of production spinning. She does state that demo's, teaching, writing books, and selling finished goods are a good way to round out your income. (I demo'd at the Children's Museum Sat and I wonder about charging for it. It sounds like a good idea.) It's more like they're necessary as far as I can see. The cycle of "craft resurgence" is a long one. There was one in the 60-70's and now one in the 2000-2010's That's a 40 year stretch. As much as I may want to, I think I'll keep my day job.



Blogger dragon knitter said...

any idea what breed? that might be why it overspun so badly.

the colors are pretty, though.

i read the first 10 pages or so of crazy aunt purl, and i want that book. now. i may recommend it to the library, lol!

i think i may have to try that spinning book as well!

10/21/2007 8:32 PM  

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