Way back when, I bought a part-fleece from a Jacob sheep at the Rocky Mountain Natural Colored Sheep Breeders’ Association (what a mouthful, just imagine what it’s like writing even the acronym on a check), one of my favourite vendors at the Estes Park Wool Market in Colorado. Here’s the fleece posing artistically with my cotton cards for a promo photo for one of my classes:
Last summer I partitioned the spotted fleece into three sections: white, black, and border areas with a bit of each mixed in. With my then-new wool combs, I made these bird’s-nests of top:
Before I could spin it, life got crazy with a couple of international moves, career changes, etc. Well, I finally got around to spinning it over the past couple of weeks, creating a self-striping yarn (oh, chain ply, how I love your ability to preserve colours) that I tried to make as light and lofty as possible. I made two skeins’ worth, and even though I concentrated on spinning them the same way, the second bobbin of singles was slightly denser and thinner than the first. I now understand why some skein competitions include a “handspinner’s basket” category, where larger amounts (8 oz. of yarn, versus the typical 1 or 2 oz.) must be submitted: it’s difficult to be consistent in your spinning! I should’ve used a control sample, which is a short length of yarn pulled off your bobbin to keep nearby as a visual reminder of what you’re aiming for. I always encourage my students to do this, but hey, do as I say, not as I do, right?
Regardless of the inconsistency, I’m still very happy with the results:
Super lofty and soft, just what I wanted. I’m so pleased with it I’ll be entering it into a skein competition, along with a few other nice skeins I’ve been saving up for that purpose.