Monday, February 15, 2010
A few years back I bought two Rambouillet fleeces, one white, one brown. I wanted to weave shadow weave cloth. Washing Rambouillet can prove to be a challenge, as all fine wools it has lots of lanolin. It took several passes and eventually I got it squeaky clean.
I took it to Spinderella's Mill she carded it and Jim her husband tried spinning it. The wool was so soft that it was next to impossible to spin it on the industrial spinning heads. He managed to spin some of the brown one before giving up.
That yarn became the inside of a jacket I knit for my DH. The rest, of the brown is in pencil roving. ALL of the white was in pencil roving. Rambo fleeces tend to be large, lots of wool.....
Back in November or December I tackled the bags and started out with the white. I am spinning it on the Roberta, the main reason, the wheel has 8 oz bobbins and I can get large skeins. So far I have 1.5 lbs of plied yarn and about 8 ounces more or singles. In the bag probably another 8 ounces or so. All together I should end up with about 2 lbs of finished yarn. The brown one might only be a pound or so.
The wool is soft, but has lots of VM and nubs. The spinning process is not all that quick, I have to stop over and over again to pull out bits and pieces of VM and nubs. The yarn will not be perfectly even but it is nice and soft.
I am spinning it to my default yarn, making to effort to spin thinner or thicker, just what my hands and the wheel want to do. Ballpark it should end up at about 20 wpi.
I will not have enough of both colors to weave a large piece of cloth in shadow weave, but I do have an alpaca/wool blend in brown that might very well end up as the weft. The alpaca came from my own alpaca and was carded, blended and spun at Spinderella's.
As I work my way down the bag, I am thinking what the best choice for the yarn might be. Cloth in a double weave structure is what I think it will become.
For now, I have to finish spinning the lot, wash and set the twist and measure out the final yardage. Not until then will I make the final decision. I want to use all the handspun yarn for one cloth. Weft, I know I have enough.
I will keep you posted, the more I spin, the more exciting it gets. I can just see it as warp on the loom, full width in a nice and even warp ready to weave......part of the enjoyment of fiber arts is process and exploration of all the possibilities.