Episode 115: #slowcloth Shetland spin & Gotland/Silk spinning growth

Thank you for joining me this week! I have some exciting news to share! For those hoping to purchase e-book copies of the book, they are now available from Blurb. The links are here. Breed & Colour Studies went live this morning – be sure to read this post here for links.

Welcome to new and returning viewers of the show – I appreciate spending some time with you, chatting about all things spinning and using our handspun. Thank you to our patron community for continuing to support the show. If you are curious about Patreon, please have a watch here for information. Today, we discuss a spin I’ve been working on for a while but haven’t shared yet that is part of a larger project I’m envisioning on a loom. Next, we chat about this month’s Crafty Jaks fibre club, and I have some announcements to make. Last, we have a spinning growth about a combo Gotland/Silk spin. I look forward to your thoughts about this spin. Enjoy the show!

Works in Progress

  1. Disdero Ranch Shetland
    • Spinning short backward without smoothing
    • Medium twist single
    • Will ply high twist and sample on the loom with some various patterning before spinning anymore
    • Just need second bobbin!
    • 2/2 twill – thinking about a large piece of fabric for a dress … or tunic …

Finished Objects

  1. Crafty Jaks March Club – 77% UK Organic, 15% llama, 8% tussah silk
    • Nests of fibre that I unwrapped
    • Split each into 3 lengths of fibre, then pre-drafted each gently along entire length
    • Spun each end-to-end, short backward with no smoothing
    • Plied into a 2-ply – medium twist singles/ply


  1. Unbraided – EBOOKS Today! Link here.
  2. Breed & Colour Studies – Next installment has begun! Orders went live this morning – link here.
    • Please listen to Wool n’ Spinning Radio ep. 34

Spinning Growth

Marion (miri-mari) says (post 80):

Here is a skein of yarn I made a few days ago – it is a 2-ply combining Gotland lambs wool and hand-dyed silk hankies. The silk singles was a leftover from another project; the Gotland locks were hand combed. While spinning and plying the Gotland behaved quite like any other longer wool fibre I have been working with but after soaking and drying the final yarn it seems that the Gotland has relaxed/stretched (or the silk has shortened?) and in many places the original curls seem to break free from the yarn (if that makes sense) and the amount of twist lost in the finishing process is way above average. I have plied the few remaining meters of Gotland with itself and this yarn (sorry, no photo as it has already been used) does not behave like that – no escaping curls and no extraordinary reduction of twist – so I really wonder why the Gotland-Silk yarn looks the way it does. I had a similar effect in my first samples of Cotswolds lamb fleece but at that time I though this might be the result of spinning from the – merely flicked – locks instead of properly combing them. The combed fibre resulted in a far more even yarn and I had no problem with the curls coming back after washing so I thought combing the fibre was the solution. Now this skein seems to prove the opposite.
I like the skein I made though it did not turn out as planned; it is nice and soft and in fact it almost looks like a kind of boucle. Nevertheless, I would like to understand what makes the fibre behave like this and how I can control it without turning the yarn into rope.

  • May be that the silk shortened after soaking,
  • Looks like the Gotland reactivated it’s twist when it went for it’s bath – so the curly locks became just that again – curly and separate from the yarn
  • Gotland can be very wiry – discussed this a ton during our Gotland study: Spun up very differently from BFL, which we were comparing it against
  • Wonder what this yarn would have been like with a slightly different plying technique like spiral plying with a slightly thicker Gotland single and silk spiraled onto it for example?
  • A lot of possibilities with this yarn. Would encourage sampling with it – woven or knit fabric will be completely different with this yarn compared to the skein


  1. This month’s sponsor of the show is com
  2. April’s Breed & Colour Study will commence on April 1st – fibre orders open Monday, April 15th at 10am (?)
  3. April – sponsored by Westcoast Colour (Lynn)
    • Tell us about a breed specific yarn or fibre from a farm that you have worked with or would like to work with (with links to the farm/shop if possible) and why it was so great – what separated it from conventional commercial yarn?
  4. 51 Yarns SAL – working through double-coated wools at the moment. Monthly teaching Vlog goes through my experiments for the month & Thoughtful Spinner chronicles my woven long-wool scarf that I made over Christmas.
  5. Support the Show for small business owners – information on the blog and/or email me directly for more
  6. Newsletter for Wool n’ Spinning
    • Helps to let everyone know about upcoming dates for the community all in one space
    • Access the sign-up on the blog in the bar at the top of the page
    • Published once per month

Until next time – Happy Spinning!


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