handspun · spinning · textured yarn · yarn

CraftyJAKS: January 2019 // Herdwick

Updated: I added a prep video of how I managed the batt to get ready for spinning. This is to help spinners see the various ways we can manage our prep of different fibres. See below!

One of the main reasons I love fibre clubs so much is because they push you outside of your spinning comfort zone so easily, again and again. There are many ways we can be pushed, but I often think of three major types, which include:

  1. Colour,
  2. Fibre, and
  3. Spinning technique.

For this spin, I was completely pushed outside my comfort zone in fibre content. This spin was challenging! In a really way! Katrina created a batt of 87% Herdwick, 11% Sari Silk and 2% Wool Neps. Talk about fun!

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The Herdwick was the comfort-zone-pusher for me this time round, rather than colour or fibre, which I’m sure is in my future. If you own The Fleece and Fibre Sourcebook (Robson & Ekarius, 2011), I would highly recommend looking up these amazing sheep. The lamb pictured will leave you feeling warmly towards these animals! I thought Herdwick were always grey but they are actually born black and grey with time. The carded Herdwick I received from Katrina was fascinating … it was sort of spongy, not soft at all but not really coarse either, and dense. Definitely dense! After the conversation on a recent Wool n’ Spinning Episode, I laughed to myself as I further examined the yarn while sitting down to write out my reflections of this yarn.

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I mentioned on the podcast that I thought this would be a rug yarn and sure enough, Robson & Ekarius do highlight that use for this fibre. They also cite using it for fire retardant in commercial insulation, which I thought was fascinating, as well as jackets, baskets and structural objects – think hand-felting. Nothing next to skin, then!

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In the end, I divided up the batt into strips and sat down at my wheel to figure this fibre out.

Spinning at my Majacraft Suzie, I added quite a bit of twist to hold the fibres together and created a traditional 2-ply yarn. I’m thinking about working it into a weaving project eventually with some other worsted-weight woollen yarns.

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In the end, though, you know what I wish I’d done?! A corespun! It would have been absolutely perfect!

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