Comb, Sweet Comb

While I am about 5 skeins into the knitting of the Urban Aran (got some quality time in on Saturday while participating in Knitting in Public Day), I am still working on making sure I have enough yarn spun up to finish the project.

Sure, the smart and cautious thing to do would be to spin up the whole lot before picking up the needles- but I was awfully anxious to get started once I figured out what I wanted to do.

So, this weekend I washed up another couple batches of white Romney, and today I went back to the combs for another round of fiber prep.

This is where I started-The Raw Wool:
Unwashed bargain romney fleece

Now, mind you, this is not a primo fleece. But then I didn’t pay all that much for it, either. I knew going in that I would have to do some work. But under all that veg and dirt, there is some quite nice, soft, crimpy wool.

First I washed. That brings us to this:

washed romney bargain fleece

Lots whiter, but still quite a bit of crud. (More than you would want to try and flick out.) And some weak tips. But it’s got enough length that losing the tips wont be a big deal.
nice wool, but icky ends

This wool is a perfect candidate for combing! Here we go-

wool lashed on comb (from the side)

First pass, left to right-

the first pass

Second pass, top to bottom-

the second pass

There is sometimes quite a bit of waste- but then, you don’t want to be spinning the crud anyway!

combed fiber and waste

And finally, the diz ( you might notice that mine used to be a spork)

dizzing off the comb

And we are left with a beautiful lofty strip of combed top-

combed wool top

Which I like to wind up into a tidy bun.

combed wool muffin

Wow. A miraculous transformation.

Unwashed bargain romney fleece to combed wool muffin

in more-than-a-few easy steps.


  1. Tina T-P

    I admire anyone who can use those things – they look like an accident waiting to happen to me…

    One of our lamb fleeces got the blue ribbon for best Shetland Yearling and younger fleece at Black Sheep last week 🙂 ! T.


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