Sunday, December 09, 2007

Last of the Shetland Fleece Samples

OK. This is the last of the Shetland fleece samples from Cathy, and I have loved working with this one. True, it has had quite a bit of VM and a few second cuts, but it's softness has been heavenly and it's color variations a delight to the eye.

Photo showing the variety of colors in this Shetland fleece.If I had the entire fleece, I would want to either just tease or pick it, and then spin it by the handful, the way I do angora rabbit. This would have mixed the colors as I grabbed them randomly, and created a lovely variegated yarn. However, with just a little over 3.5 ounces to work with, I wanted to use it with my other Shetland yarns in a project. So I decided to drumcard the fiber to blend the colors.

3 sample staples.This closeup shows the lovely range of light to dark brown, all with champagne tips. A single coated fleece, it was the softest so far. Below is the color they all blended together to become.

The yarn:

This is the softest fawn yarn so far.The particulars:

* Weight of clean fiber - 3.6 ounces
* Staple length - 1 - 3 inches
* Crimp - 6 per inch
* Wheel - Kromski Minstrel double drive
* Spinning ratio - 8.5 to 1
* Twist angle - 28ยบ
* Singles - 28 WPI
* 2-ply - 13 WPI
* Yardage - 254+ yards

So I now have three shades of fawn yarn:

A color comparison of my 3 fawn Shetland yarns.Even though I've finished spinning all the fleece samples, I still have some Shetland rovings that I bought for my Rare Breed Sweater. My next step will be to take an inventory of my Shetland yarn collection, start spinning some of those rovings, and think about possible knitting projects. I have something Fair Isle in mind, I'm just not sure about any of the details yet.


Tina T-P said...

Oh, Pretty! (kind of makes me feel like Gollum - however, like I don't have enought shetland wool to work on...)

Oh, boy, can't wait to see what you come up with this time! T.

Tina T-P said...

BTW - check out the Fair Isle vest that Becca just made:

It is really cool! T.

Laritza said...

Lovely colors. I take it you are going to knit a Shetland samples something?

Cathy said...

If you need more fleece - I still have Nikki, Sass, Peeps in the fleece (Henna in roving), a black Shetland roving (from Karen Gaietto), and 15 or so of the free fleeces (the last of your samples) so I will happily contribute more. Just say the word and the colors. There's more of a silvery and several fawns. And 2 islets (very filled with VM).

Teyani said...

that is really going to make a lovely sweater - I love spinning shetland too. (and cannot wait to get mine back from the mill!)
Klaus over at CMF probably still has a bunch from the final shearing we did - let me know if you'd like his email. (most likely he'd sell them very cheap)

bspinner said...

Beautiful fiber. Any sweater you knit with this yarn will be gorgeous.

Sharon said...

As lovely as the color is, I am surprised at how short the staple length is. My neighbor Mim (Sheep Mom to 35+ Shetlands in who knows how many colors) and I were talking to someone recently who's interested in Shetlands - what do you say in 25 words or less? I understand elastic fine wools, but where's the luster? Why spin dull yarn when you can spin Shetland?? Did I mention that I'm not exactly objective???????

Leigh said...

Looking back at the notes Cathy sent, I see that it is actually lamb fleece. So I guess that explains the length and softness.

I agree about spinning Shetland! Besides its physical characteristics, I imagine that one can get every natural color yarn imaginable. And if it doesn't grow on the sheep, then the colors can be blended, right?

Woolly Bits said...

the melange is beautiful, Leigh! they remind me of the warm browns of alpaca fleeces, they go so well together! I am sure you'll enjoy knitting them, too!

Kathy said...

I have to say I've been hopes that any day now I would receive my fleeces back from Wooly Knob Fiber Mill (after all they've only had them 6 months!) and would get some in the mail to you to add to your collection! Darn it! So, I thought I would let you know that I visit you...still. :)
BTW...we're all working to make you a Shetland convert, you know! ROFL!

Leigh said...

Well, it's working! I would love to try some of your fleece, Kathy. I'm sure all that waiting is tiresome. I'm sure it will be worth it though.

Mimi said...

Amazing work on the fibers!

Kathy said...

Yup...Bee-you-tea-full yarns, Leigh! You are worthy of spinning Shetland! We're very picky about who gets to fondle our little sheeps' fleeces, you know! :)

Helen said...

I loved seeing all those yarns together quite yummy. It makes me want to get back to spinning.

cyndy said...

These are just beautiful- Leigh!

I'm so glad that you keep a fiber journal ;-)

And I can't wait to see what these Shetland yarns are going to become!