Archive for March 19th, 2007

dscn1725.JPGToday I had a play with the Shetland wool. It’s the first time I’ve spun a hairy fibre - Victorian wools tend to be the shorter, softer variety such as Corriedale or Polwarth.

Once I got the knack of it I found it quite easy though. It required a rather longer draw than I am used to, spinning semi-worsted from a prepared top. This came out at 22 wpi in 2-ply.

To my surprise, the brown wool was distinctly different to the white. I bought mainly white for my mittens as I’m planning to dye it, but I got a bit of brown and black to dabble in natural-coloured Fair Isle. The white is much longer than the brown and generally softer both in the top and spun. The brown is shorter and clumpier and it was much more difficult to get a smooth yarn. It also contains quite a lot of thick, white and black hairs.

So, Shetland experts: is this the nature of brown Shetland? Or is it a result of different processing? Or simply that the wool came from Fred Sheep not Molly Ewe? How much consistency can you expect in a wool that comes from the same breed of sheep, but not the same sheep?

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P.S. I would like to show you some lovely brown-and-white Fair Isle knitting but I believe I’m supposed to be writing a chapter today. It is already after 4 o’clock and although Shetland wool is a very nice distraction I’d best stop procrastinating ;-)

 Edited 8:45pm to add:

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I finished the chapter too :)

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