We recently went through a veterinary emergency which threatened to remove Grey Cat, my senior statesman for the resident cat tribe, from us. Fortunately, he has pulled through for the moment although we know he is on borrowed time. We are just enjoying each day we have with him.
Prior to knowing I was about to spend an inordinate amount of money on veterinary bills, I bought the Little Peggy wheel blogged in an earlier entry along with the Coopworth fleeces below and an assortment of shetlands from Windswept Farms in Michigan.
Of the half-dozen Shetlands, all were nice but this is the one I started working with first:
This is a lovely musket color fleece, soft and clean, with very even color variations.
I had just read an article on spinning lace weight yarn with Shetland wool, so this was an opportunity to try out the process. The fleece is worked with in the grease. I bought a metal dog comb to comb out each lock, opening the tips and fanning out the cut ends of each. This is an extremely clean fleece and easy to work with in this fashion. Here is what the combed locks look like:
Notice that this box top is from a carton of printer paper, so it is eleven and one-half inches across — the flicked-open locks are almost that long!
What I had been reading said that spinning in the grease allows for a thinner strand — the grease holds things together. The idea is to try to spin down to a strand that is about 5 hairs thickness. So far, so good — it is holding together well and is pretty thin!
That is Emlyn, the blind cat, in the upper left, just below the flyer! He happened to be passing by as I took the shot.
The only problem is that I’m sure I started out spinning counterclockwise, but am now going clockwise so I may get a rude surprise when I skein off and find the first few yards going the other way!