Sunday, July 20, 2014

Spinning Wool

Natural Coloured Fleece and Fiber

Cotswold (white)
Cotswold (medium brown)
Jacob (dark brown)
Navajo-Churro (medium brown)
Icelandic (grey)
Corriedale (white)
Corriedale (striped grey and white)
Border Leicester (medium brown)
Coopworth (white)
Blue-Faced Leicester (white)
Romney (white)
Romney (medium brown)
English Leicester (white)
Wensleydale (white)
Lincoln Longwool (white)
Alpaca (white and medium grey blend)
Alpaca (brown)

The Fleece & Fiber Sourcebook is an excellent guide.  I still have more to read, but as you can see, I am off to a pretty good start building my collection, focusing mainly on medium to long wool's and irresistible Alpaca.

With still a pound of English Leicester to wash, I do love the process of cleaning and preparing raw fleece.   One day, I would like to try making my own natural dyes from plants. Harvesting Color, a book by Rebecca Burgess makes it sound so easy, but finding the right plants is a little more difficult.

As I learn to spin on a Drop Spindle, I have become curious about other types of spindles.  The Tibetan Spindle and Russian Spindle are both support spindles, meaning they spin in a bowl, not hanging from the air like a drop spindle.  

The Tibetan holds more fiber and spins longer than a Russian, but a Russian spins faster and is easier to carry.  Support spindles are traditionally used to spin fine yarn from short fibers, but that does not mean you cannot spin a heavier yarn or use long wool.  

The French Spindle, looks like a Russian Spindle, but used without a support bowl; you just hold it in your hand. It sometimes has a groove running down the shaft to guide the fiber.  

Another interesting spindle is the Turkish Spindle, which is a drop spindle that makes a center-pull ball as you spin your fiber.

Time now for a little drop spindle spinning, 
on this sunny Sunday afternoon.

Update: July 30, 2014  Just came across another interesting spindle, the Akha Spindle, from northern Thailand. 


marina said...

what earthy colours in those natural fleeces. Boy sounds like there are many types of spinning wheels!

Lin said...

Had no idea there were so many different types of drop spindles!