Enchanted Forest

I want to share a few pictures of my samples for next month. I’m excited because I haven’t been contributing to the Phat Fiber Box for the past two months and also because I’m sending samples of my Teeswater Combed Top which is a new fiber in my shop.

Spinning Teeswater is like spinning Wensleydale. The staple length is usually about 6 to 7 inches long for the combed top, as for the locks, they measure between 10 to 12 inches long and sometimes even longer than that. The top has a softer handle than Wensleydale, and much similar to the silkiness of Mohair.

And so, the theme for the month of September will be  “Enchanted Forest” and the name of my colorway is “Forest Path”. I tried to recreate the colors of the Douglas Fir and Redwoods that grow around my area up in the mountains.

If you don’t know how to get hold of a box, you can sign up here: Phat Fiber Box, and you will be notified when the boxes will go on sale. If you don’t know about the boxes and you would like more information, go here: Phat Fiber Samples

Long tail spinning

A little update on my Teeswater wool. I got to spin about 2 1/2 oz of this wonderful fiber. The wool was really clean, so it was a matter of getting rid of the lanolin. It didn’t take too much effort to get it ready to spin. Plus the excitement of trying the long tail technique with this wonderful fiber for the first time made me much more speedier on the process. Luckily, I got plenty of sun to get the fiber dry in a couple of days and a good salad spinner to get rid of excess of water.

I washed the curls by wrapping them in some tulle in two batches. I didn’t want the fiber to felt, and this is a good way of keeping the locks in one place with minimal handling.

The clean wool has a beautiful pearlescent white.

Trying to spin long tail for fist time was a lot of fun.

Besides the wonderful luster that this wool has, it is really soft.

The best way to do this technique is first, brush the end of the curl. Make sure you don’t brush the tips.  It should be brushed at the end where the wool has been cut from the sheep.

And it should look something like this after brushing it:

This is the end that should be used to spin on to the core yarn.

To secure the lock, I try the ends to overlap a little bit  because I don’t want my yarn to come apart. It takes a while to spin a couple of yards, but the results are stunning.

The bobbin of my Mach 1 already full with only a couple yards.  It will make a great scarf.

“Laugh as much as you breathe and love as long as you live.”

Teeswater wool

Yesterday, the postmaster mistress said to me: “Wait, you have a package!”. I almost forgot about it, the only package that I was waiting for was coming from the UK but, apparently there was a delay due to some sort of postal workers strike. She handled to me the package and indeed, it was my teeswater wool!

I have seen this wool on pictures only, so I didn’t know what to expect. As I opened the plastic bag,  I could see the bits and pieces of the wool showing from the holes. When I had all the wool in front of me, I was gleaming with happiness. I didn’t know how long the curls were.

The length of the wool varies from 8 to 12 inches.

I did a little bit of research online about this breed, and I found that this is one of the rarest sheep in the UK. Its origins are from Teesdale in County Durham and to this day they are only 300 pedigree breeding ewes. Many years ago, the farmers used to wash the sheep prior to the sharing, by letting them swim in streams for a few minutes, thus letting the wool float so the water would penetrate the fiber and getting rid of unwanted debris and the excess of the lanolin. Now days, it is illegal to use the natural streams to wash the wool this way, but they still have the practice of washing the wool by letting them swim in man made pools. The wool retains its curl after being washed.

It has a beautiful buttery color, but I’m sure it will go away after washing it. I’m planning to spin the long tail technique. I will post more about my progress.

I tried to find a pic to post here from Wikipedia, but I didn’t find anything.  Here is an image of the sheep that came in the package.

They are so cute!

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me !