Monday, December 16, 2019

Fiber, fiber, and more fiber

I've rediscovered my enjoyment of spinning this year so most of my craft-time has been spent doing that...or buying more fiber to spin. Yeah, there's been...ahem...a lot of buying.

It was on clearance! Lots of colors of wool to play with.

Another sale = more colors to play with

There was a fiber festival. I went. I bought.

Sometimes the braids of hand-dyed fiber are just too irresistible:

Guess I really like this dyer's work
...and this one too!

The first fiber in my collection was a gift from my in-laws after they visited New Zealand, and it was many years before I started spinning. I think the presentation is beautiful and I may never spin it because of that!

Then there's the fiber I bought because it was from interesting breeds of sheep or other animals or plants. My stash contains fiber from sheep, camelids, goats, plants, and other sources. Most weights are 4 ounces, but some are 8 ounces and there are a few larger "bumps" and some very small samples of 1-2 ounces. Some are blends, either two sheep breeds or mixed with something like cashmere, silk or bamboo. Some fiber is in its raw, natural color and some was purchased dyed, either by an independent dyer (like the braids above) or commercially (like the wool and bamboo in the first two pictures). All are prepared fiber, ready for spinning, with the exception of the one fleece in the list.

Here are the sheep breeds:
  • Merino (what spinner doesn't have merino?)
  • Bluefaced Leicester (known among fiber people simply as BFL)
  • Corriedale
  • Shetland
  • Perendale
  • Gotland
  • Jacob
  • Texel
  • Finn
  • Icelandic
  • Norwegian
  • Ramboulliet
  • Targhee
  • Polwarth
  • Teeswater
  • Swaledale
  • Romney
  • Herdwick
  • Deboulliet (my first fleece that I'll have to wash and comb first)
  • Black Welsh Mountain
  • Wensleydale
  • Cotswold
  • Navajo Churro
  • Wallace East Friesian
  • Falkland
  • Whitefaced Woodland
  • Manx Loaghtan
  • Gray Masham
  • Coopworth
  • Mohair
  • Cashmere
  • Pygora
  • Llama
  • Alpaca
  • Camel
From other animals and living or formerly living creatures:
  • Angora rabbit
  • Yak
  • Musk Ox, which is known as Qivut (very soft and very precious)
  • Silk
  • Seacell
  • Milk
  • Cotton
  • Flax
  • Bamboo
  • Banana
  • Corn
  • Hemp
Why so many varieties? Well because it's so much fun to use and learn about different fibers! Last year I bought a drum carder, which you use to blend fibers into batts. You can combine different colors, textures and fibers and come out with some really one-of-a-kind blends that can be very arty or whatever you want.

This is the model drum carder I bought last year. 

So yeah, I have a lot of fiber. But it makes me so happy!

I haven't yet played with my carder beyond one very fun day with my spinning guild, but I have been spinning.


After! Now I need to learn how to chain ply so I can keep the colors separate.


Just finished spinning this fiber last week - two full bobbins. Ready to ply!

Some spindle spinning while vacationing in France. Not finished yet!

Here are some of my spindles:

Support spindle used to spin cotton

The spindles in the center are old support spindles from Bulgaria and I don't spin on them, though I suppose I could.

Mostly I spin on my wheel:

Lou√ęt Victoria

So there you have it. Lots of fiber!