I spent the last week a couple of towns over being grandmom in charge of two of the 7 grands while their Mom flew to Wisconsin for a week of training. It gave me a fair amount of spinning and reading time during the 2 1/2 days they had school. Monday was a holiday, Wednesday a snow day, and Thursday a late start. The days allowed me to finish breeds 9 and 10 and begin breed 11 for the Shave ‘Em to Save ‘Em challenge.
Since this challenge started in January, I have spun from the Critical list; Gulf Coast Native, with Florida Cracker and Hog Island in my possession to still spin. From the Threatened list; Dorset Horn, Jacob, Karakul, Leicester Longwool, Lincoln, Navajo-Churro, and Romeldale/CVM. From the Watch list, I have Tunis from two suppliers, as it’s texture and natural white color will be the center of my Hap that is the knitting project that some of these yarns will be finished into. Also spun from the Recovering list is Shetland and a second 4 ounces of it was purchased as the main secondary color of the Hap.
As I have worked the various fibers, I have had to work on my spinning skills to use the best technique for each breed. Several have required a long backward draw and lower twist reminding me to slow my treadling. Some shorter fiber has forced me to use a short forward draw, which isn’t my preferred method due to arthritis in my right (lead) wrist. I am left handed and have tried to learn to reverse hands, but have not been successful. Some fibers have had a lot of neps, some of which I have not removed, making a more textured yarn than the yarn I usually spin. Some of the yarns require that the yarn be spun heavier than I usually spin. Over the years, my yarn has gotten to be an even, consistent yarn rarely thicker than dk weight.
One of the fibers came as clean unprocessed wool and had to be carded to rollags, one had to be washed and awaits flicking the tips or carding. Some have been pencil roving, a few more cloudlike. It has been a good learning experience so far and I look forward over the next two years, obtaining and spinning the rest of the breeds.
My preference for spinning and knitting has been a medium length staple with a crisp finish, sweaters and shawls that I keep are always of these characteristics. I don’t care to spin the very soft next to the skin breeds, though I do spin them and knit them for items for sale in my online shop.
My preference for pencil roving, thicker roving, batts, rollags, or spinning from locks is still undecided. I guess that will be determined by the breed on hand.
And just for fun in the midst of the week, I finished spinning a 50% merino/50% silk blend that once washed will go to the fiber retreat next week with yarns for sale. It is 126 yards of fingeringish weight yarn. It will make a nice trim for a hat or scarf.