Lovely Lincoln Locks

~What an exciting time in spinning class. This semester we are going to focus on different types of wools as well as learning different spinning techniques and some dyeing.

Yesterday we looked at Lovely Lincoln Locks. What a very curly crimpy wool and so very soft. Lincoln sheep originated in Lincolnshire, England where they are called Lincoln Longwool. World-wide this is turning into a rare breed and are considered “at-risk” in Britain. The sheep are quite large and sturdy with very thick, long fleeces.

This is the information about Lincoln fiber: 9 inch (23 cm) staple length, pointed tip, 3 crimps per inch (2.5 cm), thick size fiber, the colors are whites and browns. The luster is high. Can be used for knitting into outer garments. We were each given a handful of fiber to spin so we could try out the day’s lesson.

Margaret Tyler, our teacher, demonstrated how to spin “fuzzy” yarn. To spin a fuzzy yarn use a short, forward draw with an open hand. You can see how the right hand is blurred as it is opened and closed while drafting.

Look how wonderfully fuzzy this yarn is! Magic! She stressed that she does not ever want to hear us refer to any yarn as stiff. She said it’s all in the spinning and variety, using Romney as the example. Anne Field’s book Spinning Wool Beyond The Basics says that Lincoln should be used for outer wear and woven into rugs. Well, after today’s demonstration and seeing how soft this wool is, I’m a believer in not judging wool.

 Another student purchased and “fuzzy” spun some Lincoln fiber and shared what she made. All of us fell in love with him and had to give plenty of hugs! This is the SOFTEST yarn. She double plied the yarn. The stripes come from the natural colors in the yarn.

If you have some crimpy fiber give it a try, spin fuzzy!

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Fabulous Fractal Fiber

 Mariah was yelling at me this morning – spin, spin, spin.  Ok, time to do my spinning “homework”.  Spinning class starts again tomorrow.  It’s through Grossmont Adult School and the teacher is Margaret.  One homework assignment last term was to make a fractal yarn.  At the time I didn’t have a wheel and to be honest I never mastered the drop spindle.  So today is the day!!! Knitty has a great article on “Fractal Spinning“.  This is the yarn sample I’m going to work with.

Take the sample and divide in half.  Noting which color you start with, spin 1/2 of the yarn.

This is the first half which is spun onto the bobbin.

Next divide the second half into four equal pieces.

Start spinning with the same color as you used for the first half.  Keep adding the other pieces with the colors in the same order.  Below is my final project after plying, winding on the nitty noddy, and twisting.  Please don’t judge too harshly.  Remember, I’m a new spinner and this is only the second time I’ve tried plying!  The yarn is beautiful!  All the ends are the extra unplied yarn I used to tie the skein together.

Spinning class tomorrow, so it will be a late post.  for the rest of the day, I have to sew a carrier for Mariah.  Sewing time!

Fingering the Fabulous Fibers and Fabrics

q8~Raise you hand if your hands start itching and fingers start twitching when you even think of entering a fiber or fabric store!  Our hands are up, in fact, both hands are up.  Now, raise your hand if you’ve seen someone wearing a particularly wonderful looking textured fiber or fabric and you’ve actually asked them if you can feel the item.  Oh yeah, embarrassing.  Fiber junky, I admit it.  In our recent fiber/fabric run from Paulsbo, Wa to Missoula, Mt we got our fix.  This fabulous Angora came from my favorite yarn store in Paulsbo, Amanda’s Art Yarn:

The pattern is Peasant Ruffle Pidge knitted on Skacel Angora Fashion Color Twist.  It takes one skein.  This yarn is like holding a bit of heaven.  My only modification is that I’m not going to add buttons.  I found a beautiful pin to use instead.  The picture doesn’t due justice to the beautiful color.

As a newbie spinner, I was hot to see some roving, batts, tops, etc. At fabulously, wonderful, need-days-to-touch-feel-see, Paradise Fibers I purchased Grey Norwegian Top High Quality 56ct Top.  Yes, there’s that darn Scandinavian “thing” again.  It is my very first spin-a-lot-of-fiber try.  I’m pleased at how it came out.  This is 2 oz, I still have 2 oz to spin and ply.

I just purchased a Lendrum spinning wheel.  I’ve named her Mariah because she spins as the wind!  Tomorrow I’m going to my first spinning retreat with a visiting teacher, Cecelia from Alaska.  I’m enrolled in a spinning class through Grossmont Adult Ed and the teacher, Margaret Tyler help put this together.  I’ll tell you all about it.  So excited.