Friday, August 9, 2013

Thursday Spinning...Or Adventures In Fiber And Photography

Don't have a heart attack, but I actually did some Thursday Spinning yesterday :-o.  I had some beautiful dark gray mohair from Tombstone Livestock to inspire me and after I got some "work" spinning done, I started to "play".  

Mohair comes from Angora goats.  Angora comes from Angora rabbits.  Cotswold is often called "poor man's mohair" and that is a comparison to the goat fiber - it has a similar feel, curl and shine factor.  I enjoyed getting to try it out.

First I spun some just on its own.  Yes, it was a little slippery and needed a bit more twist to keep it together (yarn is just any sort of fiber with twist added to it to make it strong so it won't drift apart) but it was not hard to handle even on a super humid day with sweaty fingers.  Probably too much information there ;-).


Next I decided to blend it with some Jacob roving.  I'd done this once before, years ago, using Ford's silky wool.  This time I used a completely different type of Jacob wool, the finer, almost spongy "rescue fleece".  I chose that mostly because I wanted to use a white wool...and it was handy ;-).


I fed the two completely different fibers into the drum carder in layers.  This is after one pass through.  Look what happened to the mohair!  It went back to its original curly form.  Is this from carding or maybe from the humidity? 


This is after a second pass through the carder.  Much more homogenized, but not completely.  I maybe should have made a third pass, but wanted to try it like this.  

As an interesting (at least to me) aside, these first three pictures were taken on an old wooden chair positioned in front of a window in the wool house.  I put down a black cloth for the background so the fibers would stand out...and that's it.  I think that second picture especially is really neat.  Okay, back to spinning.

Keep in mind that it was awful humid even with the AC running it's little heart out.  Probably nothing would have been super fun to spin like that.  Also keep in mind that I'm a coarse wool girl and soft and spongy doesn't tend to really wow me even on a good day.  The mohair did "upgrade" that finer Jacob wool, but still, at the end of the sample I was not thrilled with my yarn.


Until I started knitting.  And the yarn I didn't especially like knit up into a beautiful swatch!


This is freshly knit and before I washed it.  Again, black cloth on chair in front of window - my new go to shooting spot I believe. 


And this is after a quick wash.  I wish you could see the fuzzy halo and feel how soft it is.  It's definitely a luxury yarn and I can see why it's a popular blend.  Thanks Audrey  :-).

16 comments:

Miha Giustina said...

Yep, you are more of an exclusively sheep person, I think:-), but the mohair addition does look nice!

Michelle said...

It's all gorgeous! I have some white/champagne mohair from Audrey and would like to blend it with some wool like that, but my drum carder doesn't cooperate with me most of the time. :-/ Oh well, for the time being I am busy with Browning's roving.

Alice said...

Love the texture in that second capture!!! You did a remarkable job blending the fibers! What a fun way to explore new combinations!!

Tombstone Livestock said...

I almost had the mill blend the black mohair with my black shetland wool last year. Now I am going to look at the 2 mohair fleeces I have to take to the mill and find fleeces and have them blended. I only have a chocolate and red mohair fleece to do this year but I bet I can find a shetland fleece to go with them.

Love the pic of the batt showing the layers together.

I found just the straight mohair was hard for me to spin for the TDF challenge.

Great job on the photos. Can't wait to see what you make with it.

thecrazysheeplady said...

Ooh, black mohair blended with black Shetland sounds wonderful!

Andee said...

I have three knitting projects I am working on now. My plans for this Fall is to focus more on spinning. Keep these posts coming! They are inspiring me :)

Andee said...

I have three knitting projects I am working on now. My plans for this Fall is to focus more on spinning. Keep these posts coming! They are inspiring me :)

littlehawkyarns said...

You are giving me hope for the mohair I'm supposed to get.

Sheepmom said...

Your swatch is lovely, both the color and the knitting. Giving yarn a wash is a must before one passes judgement. What a great use for a rescue fleece! Hmmmm.....I know a fiber festival with a skein competition......

Rae said...

I think it all looks perfect. Wish I knew more about the whole process. It's a beautiful blend of colors.

I need orange said...

Just goes to show -- you've got to see the finished product before you can decide if you're happy with your spinning....

That swatch is gorgeous. I love natural gray. It's never just one color. I love seeing the different fibers of different colors......... I love dyeing gray wool yarn -- you get a much richer end result than when you start with white wool.....

Can't wait to see what this yarn turns into. It makes me feel all "cozy in winter" just looking at it.

(lol -- not perhaps anyone's most favorite thing to be touching, on a hot and sweaty day? :-) )

MarmePurl said...

Love the looks of that yarn. I wanted to reach into the computer to pet it.
And I love the new picture taking back round. Clever. I may have to try that if I ever have time to get the needles out again.

Susan Mckee-Nugent said...

I too love the 'sandwich' picture and am glad you admitted right up front :) that you are a coarse wool gal...i am too as i love knitting up outer garments, those Celtic genes to the fore! it is muggy here today, massive T storms and commend you spinning in 'it'. i also say that we go thru at least 3 iterations with wool, like, oh look at that fleece, washed/dyed hmmmmmmm, spun up hmmm again, and then knitted and wow, good choice!!

Tree Hugger - Suzan said...

Lovely color and know it'll be warm!

Willow said...

Kicking myself (again) for never learning how to spin . It was the plan when My friend and I raised and showed Angora rabbits years back, but nope never learned.
I crochet and managed to wip up 5 scarfs this week ...wish I had some cushy yarn ( kick).

Far Side of Fifty said...

Pretty and if it feels as good as you say then it must be wonderful! :)

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