Friday, 18 July 2008

I lost my heart to a Romney shearling

After managing to prepare my 'Mule' fleece without too many mishaps I plucked up the courage to work on the half a Romney shearling fleece that I bought from HGVPilot on Ravelry. Although the Romney as an adult fleece is considered to be suitable for carpets, upholstery and outer garments at best, this fleece, coming as it does from a youngster who has never been shorn before, felt a great deal softer than the mule so I treated it very gently and it more than repaid my efforts.

Look at this - it looks like a weird underwater coral formation with the lanolin removed from all but the tips of the locks. Having read other people's comments about preparing the fleece I didn't want to use carders on it.

I pulled away a few locks, just to examine them, fascinated by the effect of the crimp, started to tease apart the tips and fluff them out a bit.
Then I got out my lightest Bosworth spindle, a 19 gram zebra wood and started to play with it. I was stunned at how easily and finely it spun straight from the lock into this beautifully silky single. It was quite addictive and I admit to sitting up into the wee small hours one night this week just because I was so transfixed with this stuff. It really was another one of those 'eureka' moments when a set of new skills and materials come together just perfectly.

Here is the spindle sitting next to the spindle of mule fibre to give you an idea of the contrast between the two.

I am planning to spin up another spindle of this fibre then ply them together. It is wonderful to just sit and pull locks from the bag, enjoying the tactile pleasure and getting an even more immediate sense of transforming fleece into yarn. I think I would like this to be a two ply yarn which I think I will leave in its original colour as it is such a clear, creamy white and make a little winter shoulder shawl.

This makes me quite unreasonably happy!


Rosie said...

That is an amazing transformation. And the yarn looks so lively and bouncy. Bet your hands feel all nice and soft, too, with that little bit of lanolin left in the tips!

Auntie Noo said...

Looks beautiful Jane - I can amagine that smile too! - Does it smelll divine too? I love the smell of fleeces! (it's the earth sign of taurus in me I think, I like compost too!!) )

Mrs J said...


celadon2 said...

Looks wonderful. My first ever attempt of spinning is on my blog. I think I've got a way to go.

Love the sock pattern, making haystacks for my daughter.

LittleBerry said...

I am waitng for my combs before I do the 2nd half of my Romney as it's so beautiful as you said.... I just kept running my fingers over the crimps:o)