Saturday Morning Spinning – two bags full

July 27, 2013

Good morning everyone! It’s hard to believe it’s Saturday already. Seems like the week flew right by. I’ve sure enjoyed the cooler temperatures, and resurrected my evening walking routine, but I’m still waiting until the sun goes down before I start. It’s cooler in the evening and there’s less traffic which is always helpful. Also, my route starts out heading west and it’s nice to not have the sun right in my eyes.

This past week I go to catch up with a couple of dear friends that I don’t get to see often enough. I got almost no spinning done, but I have been hammering away at a knitting project most of the week, and starting to plan another, both of which are in anticipation of the fall and winter class schedules at Trumpet Hill. I’ll talk about those once I get some more details.

This morning I’m going to spend a little bit of time working on the last of the red and black Rambouillet. I put the rest of it on hold a while back to work on a super secret project with a deadline and I’ve been slowly making my way through the rest of it since. I’m at the point now where I just want it all done. What I really want to work on this morning is a bag of this.

Particularly the bag on the left with the brown wool. It’s my favorite of the two and seems to have the least amount of vegetable matter in it, and the one I want washed first. I won’t wash these myself though. They will go up to the mill and I’ve already made arrangements with the Battenkill Mill to drop off the bag of brown next week.

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These bags came by way of a friend who got them (with me in mind) from her friend who owns the sheep and the small farm where they reside. It’s primarily a vegetable farm and I think these are the only two sheep there. I still haven’t been able to speak with the woman who owns the sheep and the farm to find out what breeds they are, how old they are, what their names are, etc.

I’m certainly no sheep expert, but I think that just based on the lock structure, staple length (between 3 and 4 inches), crimp, fineness of the fibers, and relatively high lanolin content that the brown wool is likely in the merino family, possibly Rambouillet. That might explain why I was so immediately drawn to it.

The white wool is still anyone’s guess. The locks have a much different structure and a much lower lanolin content. The staple length is about 4 to 5 inches based on the sampling of the locks that I’ve pulled out of the bag, so it’s a little longer than the brown. It’s still pretty though, with very fine fibers, great crimp structure and luster. It reminds me a bit of Blue Faced Leicester.

Even though the farm is not a sheep farm, the wool I received, aside from having a pretty typical about of vegetable matter, appears to be in pretty good shape. The fibers seem to pass the snap test. (Pinch a lock of fibers at each end and hold it up to your ear and tug on them. If you hear a pinging/twanging sound then the fibers are good and strong. If you hear crackling, the fibers are weak and breaking.) Each bag is at least ten pounds raw weight. Even if I lose half the weight after skirting and washing, that will still leave me with at least five pounds each. That’s a pretty respectable amount of fiber that I will get a lot of things out of, including gifts to the dear friends who had a hand in getting these bags to me, and the owner of the sheep they came from.

That’s it for me for this morning. Have a great weekend and happy spinning!

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