Baa Ram Ewe..To Your Fleece Be True

The rain has returned, an I have been able to enjoy some time behind the wheel (spinning wheel, of course) lately. And that is great. But right at the moment, I’m actually enjoying doing fiber prep more.

I’m working on that dark brown (almost black) romney ram lamb fleece from the “Shearing on a Stand” demo (see previous post), and it’s really nice.

romney wool muffins 02-27-08

Sitting and flicking out locks and pulling fiber bunches into strips of roving really gives you time to think about the wool, and how the processing affects the final product. I really think that the best thing you can do for the wool (and the finished piece) is to process it only as much as absolutely necessary to remove dirt, debris, short bits, etc. The more heat and chemical agents (dye, etc) you apply, you more you take away from the natural beauty of the fiber.

Wool is a marvelous, malleable raw material and can be made into all sorts of things that are funky and fabulous and highly stylized, but I personally prefer to produce yarns that feel closer to the source, and let the best characteristics of the wool show through.

Romney Fleece 01-19-08

This wool has a lot of character. It’s dense and strong, crisp and springy. Not to mention the beautiful deep color. I love the caramel colored tips, but unfortunately they will not show up much in the finished yarn.

This would make a nice 2-ply sock yarn if I gave it a lot of twist, but I think I want a heavier weight, more lofty end product from this, so I’m going three-ply. I plan to do a “real” three ply once I get the third bobbin loaded, but in the meantime, here is a sample that I Navajo-plied as a test-drive:

two yarns 02-08
It’s the one on the right- Of course you can’t tell how nice and squishy it is from the picture, so you’ll have to take my word for it. I’ve been using it as my “thinking ball”. I just walk around holding and squeezing it.

More to follow-

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