Saturday, April 25, 2015

The Slippery Slope of Fiber Goodness

What do these things lead to?

 A truly beautiful Merino Fleece.

A new fiber to me, CVM/Romeldale.

No more sending the fleeces out for processing. Lightly treading has never been my style and this is no different.  Lets back up a little....  The process has always intrgegued me as much as the finished product. Having the control of the fiber processing is just one more level that I can apply. The two fleeces above are some of the latest in the "fiber stash" The CVM/Romeldale was one that I usually overlooked at fiber shows/fairs but I found this fleece in a small local guild's fiber fair a couple hours Northeast of home and it was special.  The crimp was really fine and the shepherdess who raised the flock was really enthusiastic about her wares. Her flock is raised with hand-spinning in mind so she coats the lambs to reduce the vegetable matter. She went on about the lineage and how they were breeding for near skin soft fiber. 

Cormo is the gold standard for near skin skin soft fiber in my opinion. This fiber is pretty nice. I measured the fiber after some initial sampling and found it to be slightly over 19 micron. The soft grey color is almost pure white at the base and slowly fades to a light grey over the length of the staple.

Washed locks of CVM/Romeldale

   To the typical knitter these images don't do much but when I see the fine crimp, I just see soft woolen spun fiber that is screaming to be made into a treasured FO. 

Saturday, I'm have the opportunity to attend the Iowa Federation of Hand Spinners. The is the next level above the spinning guilds here in Iowa. All the guilds are represented and one of the main reasons is that they are having a spin in with Rick Reeves. 

I don't have a Rick Reeves wheel but my Schacht Wheel is a Rick Reeves design and just the idea of spinning with other like minded fiber lovers is worth the trip.

One of the classes at this gathering is a class on how to wash, comb and prepare a raw fleece specifically for woolen spinning. I hope I can pick up a few nuggets of knowlege and apply it to my ever expanding hobby. 

The combs in the first photo in this post are the new Valkyrie extra fine combs that arrived a week or so ago. Hand combing the locks saves so much of the fleece that normally is lost when you send the fleece to a fiber processor. Some purest will separate the fleece and hand wash the locks individually and then flick them and just spin from the lock but I can't see spending that much time when I want to  comb and then either drum card the clouds or diz the resultant fiber.      

  I will try to put up some i  process photos of the fleeces I'm processing and my thought process of how and why.

Life is Good