After receiving a comment regarding the Zwartbles fleece which I have begun to card ready for spinning, I thought I would write a little bit about this fleece.
The fleece is a dark brown with a few light brown spots. When I received the fleece it was very smelly and dirty and contained a lot of vegetation and other not very nice matter. Once I washed and dried the fleece (the sweater dryer from Lakeland is brilliant for this) I put it into a cotton pillowcase to store until I had time to begin carding. I have tried to card the fleece with the large carders but they are a bit too big for my little hands and I had a lot of trouble using them so purchased a pair of small handcarders and they are much more manageable. It is a lot of hardwork carding the fleece but the results are really rewarding as it is very light and airy if not short staple length (or is it me thinking of all the lovely fleece I have seen in books etc). You are supposed to roll the carded fleece into a rolag (basically just a roll) ready for spinning, this is the part I could not work out as the length is shorter than what I have seen being used so I just tried to roll it as much as I could into an oblong round tube shape. I have carded roughly half of the pillowcase of fleece this is roughly 7 hours carding time (I know I am slow and have a lot of suspicious marks on my wrists which I will have to explain to my parents before they think I have begun to self harm). Once I have completed the carding I will begin my first attempts of handspinning and will let you know how I get on then.
One of the first books I purchased on Handspinning was Carol Knoll’s “The Whole Craft of Spinning”. At first glance of this book I thought it was going to be a waste of money as it is only 47 pages in length, but boy was I wrong. It was a mine of information, it literally does what it says on the cover, it takes you “from the raw material to the finished yarn”. It covers using drop spindles and spinning wheels (includes explaining the various parts of the spinning wheel and their names etc).
The part which I thoroughly enjoyed in this book were two of the chapters which go through the different animal fibres and even the plant fibres etc and was really interesting.
The book is available through Amazon (which is where I purchased it from) and is $6.95 which is approximately £4 from Amazon. I am sure you will be able to purchase it from other book stores.
I hope you have found this interesting and I will review some other books as I get round to reading them.
In case I don’t get the chance to write again before christmas I would like to wish you all a very merry christmas and a happy new year.