Earlier this year there was a challenge put forth in the spinning group I belong to. A fleece was divided up amongst the group and we are to prepare it and spin in. We also have the option of dyeing it after photos are taken of it in it’s natural colour. The next step will be to make something out of the yarn we have spun. I’m so excited about all of this! It will be so much fun to see what the other spinners come up with.
The sheep whose wool we’re working with is named Blue. He’s a Texel X.
This is the biggest spinning project I’ve taken on in my young spinning life. The fleece was washed, but that was it. The following pictures show what I’ve had to do so far. I’ve done my best to explain what’s going on. My terms may not be right or there may be better ways to describe what’s going on in the picture. I’m still learning, so if you’re reading this, you know your spinning stuff and you think something is incorrect, there is a good chance you’re right. Seeing as I’m always looking to learn new things, feel free to drop me a note in the comments if you have different information.
This is what the fleece looked like when we received it. It has been washed, but as you can see there is still a lot of work to do
This is after the locks have been teased out (separated) and most of the debris removed (ideally… I’ve done my best although I’m sure there may be tricks I don’t know about)
Theses are hand cards. After the locks have been teased out, they are placed on the carders and brushed. The purpose of this is to get the fibres going in the same direction. This is a very tedious task… Unless you’re lucky enough to have a drum carder!
This is what’s called a roleg. This is the result of hand carding. It’s not ready to spin yet!
Mmmmm… Donuts…. Yes, this is a donut. No fat content in these ones! Once you finish a roleg, your wool will be too wide to spin (at least this is my experience… I’m sure there are methods I don’t know about). The next step is to CAREFULLY redirect the fiber to make the piece you’re working with narrower. I know there’s a name for it, but it’s escaping me right now.
Well there you have it. That’s what I’ve got done so far. I haven’t decided what weight I’m going to spin it. Seeing as I got a fast flyer the other day (thanks Dad!), I’m probably going to spin something for socks. I want to get working with some food colouring to perfect my technique. Hopefully I’ll be able to turn this into something bright and rainbow-y. So much fun!
Stay tuned for the next part where I get it on the wheel. I’m not sure when exactly that will be, but I will make sure to title and tag it under “Spin Challenge.”