Sunday, November 15, 2009

Review 2.0

East Friesian: Nice dark colour, amazing amounts of crimp, but, ugh, so crunchy. This was not a pleasure to spin, and the end result is a resounding "meh". I think I can skip this in the future.

Icelandic: De-haired it pretty easily, which cut down the volume of the actual fleece by about half. Also, I need to pay better attention to doing a final skirt of fleeces before washing them...I missed a few organic bits that...uh...melted. Ew. I haven't spun this, but the undercoat is amazingly soft and floofy. As an aside, the tip about feeding fleece into the drum carder so that it is perpendicular to the teeth really does create amazingly fluffy batts. I'll spin this up soon and give a final opinion, but this has been pretty fun so far.

Currently on the drying rack: Romney

And in knitting news, I finally cast on a sweater for Daven that I started plotting out...uh...a long time ago. I've had this yarn for quite a long time, and it was just waiting for me to get the bug to knit it up. It'll be a gansey'esque thinger, and I'm swapping out the XOX's that ran up the front and centre with some knots that Daven preferred. Yay for cabling! It pleases me. I'm attempting to knit this in the round again, as I am full of hate for seams.

With that in mind, I finished knitting my black cardie a while ago, but it's been waiting on me to finish all of those ends. Poo. I've got the finishing about half done, with just the back and one more sleeve to sew in. Le sigh. Maybe I'll do that today, if I get the motivation.

Friday, November 6, 2009

First in a series of wool reviews

These will be rather random updates as I review the process of cleaning and spinning samples of various sheep breeds that I got via The Spinning Loft wool sampler. (Disclaimer: the box I got has more varieties than the one that is currently offered. Oops.)

On to the reviews!

Finn: Two toned grey shades; a charcoal and a silver. It was very easy to separate the two colours so I could spin them individually. Washing was pretty straightforward, and though it took a bit to pick, it wasn't too terrible. Ran it through my drum carder to make two big fluffy batts, then had a really enjoyable time spinning the two tones. My always favourite navajo plying resulted in a yarn that is right around worsted weight. The yarn has a bit of a sheen to it, and a teeny bit of a halo; it is soft, but has a bit of a bite to it. It might be a little harsh for garments that are worn against the skin (sweaters and such) but hats and such would be quite lovely. I really enjoyed working with this, and would seek it out again.

Southdown Babydoll: Oh, I am so sad. This is also two toned, a light grey and almost-black. This was a simply filthy sample, and had so much lanolin that it was chunky and disgusting. I washed it repeatedly and still didn't have a workable fibre to use. The grey may possibly be usable with a lot of work, but the black had the texture of a brillo pad. This is really disappointing, as I find babydoll sheep to be adorable and was considering having a couple. Well, bucko, if you can't do anything but look cute, you're no good to me. I demand usefulness, dammit! I might look at a fleece in the future, but this sample was horrid.

By the way, this is mostly for my own records. I lose papers, but hopefully I won't forget how to access my own damn blog.

Currently in the sink: East Fresian. Nice dark colour, we'll see how she works out.