Today was one of my all out fiber days. You know the ones where all you really want to do it work with fiber. I started with some solar dyeing. Of course I pick a day to dye outside when it only gets up to 87 instead of the 100’s it has been for the past few days. So outside they stay for the night. I will post finished yarn and roving tomorrow. I did get the inspiration for the roving from another Tour de Fleece spinner. She posted a pick of some finished yarn and I just loved the colors. So out came the dye pots and dye to see if I could get close to hers. In the pot they look pretty close and I can’t wait to get to spinning.
After I got the dye pots going I plied some silk embroidery thread I have been working on. I have been using my Jenkins Turkish Delight to spin the singles and my Schacht Matchless to ply them. I have a project in mind for the threads. I am hoping to get to that project in a few weeks.
From there I spun today’s breed samples. Two breed that I have like for a long time yet haven’t spun yet. I used to work at a yarn shop a few years back and one of the big sellers what Reynolds Lopi yarn, which is made from Icelandic. The other was Jacob. I really enjoyed them both and am planning future projects already.
One of the really cool things about Icelandic is that they are double coated. Meaning there is a long outer hair like coat and a short downy under coat. So you have some choices in how you want to work with it. Because of this I did two samples one with both coats and one with just the downy under coat. I have to say I really like the sample with both coats. It has better texture and eye appeal and it’s grey. In my sample the downy under coat was about 2 inches long while the outer coat was more like 8 inches long. The tips of the outer coat seem to have more intense color. In this case the black was much darker at the tips and faded to grey by the time you reached the cut end. As you can see the grey sample has more interest and it will make a great outer garment. Icelandic is known for it’s water repellent qualities, which are great for outerwear. The cream sample is also nice but I would not want to make a sweater with just the white. I carded the sample with hand cards and believe it or not I found it to be easy to spin even though there were very long fibers. I am already planning some future jackets, so Icelandic will be on my must buy list. On the scale of 1 to 10 I would say it’s an 8 ½.
I have wanted to work with a Jacob fleece for over a year now. At this point I have been unable to find the fleece I want. The really cool thing about Jacobs is the fact that they have multi colors in one fleece. They are not a blends of color but patches . The problem with the fiber market is you can easily find Jacob fiber to spin but they are all blended, like the little sample I spun. Although it’s nice I want to get a fleece so that I can separate the colors and knit a multi colored sweater. I think it would be great for a Far Isle sweater. I once again spun 2 samples, one of blended colors (the small one) and one where I kept the colors separate so that I can see how well they work together. Because they come from the same animal they naturally work together. I found the fiber to be a bit on the coarser side but not so much that I can’t wear it next to my skin. This is on my shopping list. I am looking for a fleece with at least 3 colors maybe even 4. So if you know where I can find one that I don’t have to pay an arm and a leg for let me know. On the scale of 1 to 10 this is such a 9 to a 9 ½.
Tomorrow I will be working with one of my all time favorites and another totally new to me one. So come back and see what I think of Karakul and BFL.