Friday, May 27, 2016

Wool Study: Romney

I did not take this photo, taken directly from Pinterest raising sheep board. Very awesome photos there!

I think it is very important as a spinner and future shepherdess (alongside my shepherd of a hunk of a man) that I not just understand how to spin (different techniques and artistic add ons such as color) but understand what i'm spinning.

 My desire for this wool study is not just come to a conclusion of what kind of breed(s) we would like to keep (my husband is doing his own kind of study as well) but to handle these fibers so much I can just feel if it is medium or fine for example (i'm also learning about micron's/spinning count) and exactly what this exact fiber can be used for, plus so much more!

 Please understand i'm completely novice at this, so if you have any extra information that you can share or if I got something wrong, please let me know! I want to learn! Much of my study is not just what I have handled but what i've researched and I want to share what i've learned so far.

One weekend my family and I went to Wild Life Week in Pigeon Forge, TN (it was so much fun!) and there, as vendors, was my all time FAVORITE spinnery - Smoky Mountain Spinnery and while everyone was looking at the gorgeous yarn and tools, I made a bee line to a large basin filled with raw Romney locks.

Here is a short video on my Instagram recording the lovely booth of The Smoky Mountain Spinnery during Wild Life Week, enjoy! :)

  Just to touch them the first time was like touching rare jewels! Immediately I was drawn with my eyes at the natural color, a dark chocolate staple length with the tips a caramel color and some beautiful grays here and there.

The crimp was exquisite and held together very well.

When I grabbed a handful I immediately noticed there was hardly any lanolin and the plus was there was pretty much no VM! I had to ask about this beauty!

I came to find out this fleece was a blue ribbon winner (4-H). so I purchased 2 oz of it (and I was pleased because I knew I was purchasing the weight of the locks itself and not the grease as some breeds give have A LOT of lanolin in their fleeces that sometimes you are paying for the grease more than the fleece, for example - merino.) and took my jewels home with me!

 There was no need for a deep wash because, well... hardly any grease! I could have spun in the grease but I didn't feel like it. haha!

 I just gave it a gentle wash  to rid of the grease but to keep the softness. After it was dried a day later I then took my hand carder and gently flicked both cut end and tip of a couple locks and begin to spin...

Oh... my... GOODNESS!!!! The spin was effortless. I was even able to practice the long draw! I was able to spin wpi 36 which is thread weight. I did two single spun and 2 ply them together to make a wpi 32 which is lace weight!

One thing I have learned is romney fleece truly is lustrous! High yielding and spins easily, from what i've researched over all the spinning count is 50 to 44 (i'm still learning more about that) which is equivalent to about 29 - 36 microns. Definitely low grease which means fleece will weigh more than lanolin which is a huge plus!

The natural colors has stolen my heart, the spin was relaxing and the results was amazing! Up next... Tunis!

Top we have single spun thread weight. Bottom braid is 2 ply lace weight

Both tip and cut ends gently flicked and fanned. So fluffy!

So beautiful to spin!

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