1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

BYC Spinning Fiber

Discussion in 'Hobbies' started by MullersLaneFarm, Jan 10, 2009.

  1. hencackle

    hencackle Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 25, 2007
    Telford, TN
    I'm asking this question for a friend of mine who just started spinning recently and she's having internet issues right now. She received a gift of raw Merino wool and wants to know of a recipe for a homemade wool wash. Thanks!
     
  2. MullersLaneFarm

    MullersLaneFarm Chillin' With My Peeps

    903
    4
    138
    Nov 26, 2008
    NW IL Fiber Enabler
    Quote:Dang this lady (or guy) was fortunate . . . to meet Cyndi IN PERSON!!!!! I'd give a baby finger for the above. [​IMG]

    Actually, they never took me up on the offer. Not that meeting me is anything special, let me assure you!! There are plenty of far more experienced spinners / fiber artists than me in my area. I am very blessed to have friends that are Master Spinners and are very willing to show me new things. Their only request for 'payment' is that I pay it forward. So I do, and expect the same from folks I happen to teach.

    Lyric, you are far too kind to me. Most of what I know I've taught myself, right or wrong. I've learned a lot from my mistakes and have learned that some of my 'mistakes' are really 'art' in disguise! One thing I always, always, Always stress in the fiber arts .... there is no one right or wrong way. It is any art. Just because you don't paint like DaVinci, doesn't make you any less an artist, does it?? I'm sure DaVinci didn't follow someone else's lead. If he had, he wouldn't have gone down in history for the artist/scientist that he was.
     
  3. MullersLaneFarm

    MullersLaneFarm Chillin' With My Peeps

    903
    4
    138
    Nov 26, 2008
    NW IL Fiber Enabler
    Quote:The care of fiber rabbits is far more intense than meat rabbits. With meat rabbits, you can basically feed/water & process in 6-8 weeks. With fiber bunnies, you need to comb just about every day, worry about their teeth and toenails. Maintain a steady diet so there are no stresses in their hair. Gentle enough that you can have them sit on your lap and spin from their backs without them moving!! (This is really cool!!) We've raised both meat and fiber rabbits. I had to sell my breeding pair of champagne agouti Angora when I found out I was very, very allergic to Angora. [​IMG] Odd thing was I wasn't allergic to our California & New Zealand meat breeds!


    Quote:Yes, there is a market for handspun yarns and angora fiber. It is a very competitive market though and you will need to market yourself and your product well.

    Quote:Well, like they say, the way to make a small fortune from a farm is to start with a large fortune!

    Quote:Here's the thing with spindling & spinning (in my perspective).

    Spindling will teach you a lot about spinning on a wheel. It gives you a chance to go through the 3 steps of spinning one on one. Drafting the fiber, putting a twist into the fiber & putting your twisted fiber onto a bobbin. Using the Draft while Parked, Twist, allowing the twist into your drafted fiber, Parked, winding onto the bobbin method, you can learn the basics of spinning AND what a new fiber will do for you on your wheel. I will admit I have more spindles than wheels. Some of the spindles I sell, some I give away (usually to children under the age of 10)

    If you find yourself waiting a lot during the day.... standing in line at a store, doctor's office, red light, et al ... you may want to carry a spindle and fiber with you. You'd be surprised how much you can spin when you have a minute or 3 standing or waiting.

    If you have blocks of hours at a time to dedicate to spinning, then you will achieve more yarn using a wheel.

    When I was working (leave at 6 AM, get to work by 7, lunch around noonish, leave work about 5ish, get home around 6ish), then get dinner, kids homework/fed/baths/night time routine) ... I spun more yards on a spindle than I did on any of my wheels. Now that all the children have flown the coop & I have retired, I can dedicate as many hours a day as I wish to fiber arts.

    Please don't discount spindles!!

    Angora fiber is pretty slippery. I suggest you start with a good fine/medium grade wool. Corriedale is my number one favorite fiber (even after all these years!) Some Corrie is coarser than other, some is so fine it could almost pass as Merino. Faulkland is another wonderful fine/medium fiber. Let me know if you would like some and we could work out a deal, I'm sure!
     
  4. MullersLaneFarm

    MullersLaneFarm Chillin' With My Peeps

    903
    4
    138
    Nov 26, 2008
    NW IL Fiber Enabler
    Quote:HenCackle ... I love the quote in your siggie!! T. Jefferson was one very wise person!!

    As for your friend. Merino is a very difficult wool to work with. It could be as much as 50% lost in the fleece from when it is shorn to when it is ready to spin.

    Do you know if the fleece was 'skirted'? Skirting means to remove all the undesirable parts of the fleece, including the neck wool (where there is an abundance of hay/chaff), the leg & belly wool (which is very short and coarse) and the britchen wool (which is covered in dung tags). This will be about 40% of the fleece. Yes, it is a lot but if your friend wants to spin the best of the fleece, this is necessary. Don't throw away the 'bad' stuff, just don't include it in with the 'good' stuff.

    Now turn the fleece over so the cut side is up. You will probably see small bits of cuts (called 2nd cuts) where the shearer had to cut twice to get close to the sheep's skin. Remove all the 2nd cuts you can see.

    You can use the traditional hot water and detergent method to scour the fleece. If your friend isn't of the feint of heart, I would recommend theFermented Vat Method for merino wool. (You need to be a member of Ravelry to view) It takes time and is very, very stinky but it will produce the very best of results

    eta:
    I'd take it one step further and examine every single lock, opening up the tips before placing into the Fermented Vat or even scouring with hot water & detergent. I've found that out the more attention you spend on a fleece during prep, the less time you will spend on it later on and it will always give you better results/less loss of fiber
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2011
  5. lyric

    lyric Chillin' With My Peeps

    124
    0
    89
    Jul 25, 2011
    Sunny FL
    Quote:Is this difficult to do, Cyndi? DH says he wants a peacock and I'm thinking, "yeah, what do we do with it?"I'll be spinning with their feathers is gorgeous.
     
  6. lyric

    lyric Chillin' With My Peeps

    124
    0
    89
    Jul 25, 2011
    Sunny FL
    Quote:I've done more reading since this post and here's the thing about angora . . . maaaaaan, it is 98 degrees in the shade here in Florida. I do not know that I would personally have much use for it. Dang. [​IMG] Sooo, I'm in the market for a way cool, affordable fiber I can spin AND use for self and others. I have fallen in love with the feel of MicroSpun yarn. I would be interested in spinning something comparable. Know of anything? It would be even better if it is a fiber I can raise myself.

    Quote:Welll, if I'm reading this correctly the answer was "no". Then again, "they" can be negative, and/or "they" can be greedy folk. When we say "small profit"; that's what we mean. Simply taking care of our "needs" not necessarily all the "wants". We are simple folk, not the kind to put on pretenses and definitely not those that "keep up with the Joneses"; thank gawd. Perhaps I explained it incorrectly. We can't do the farm thing if we'll be in the red, no different than living in a town, ya gotta have funds to live there. So I am hoping IF there is surplus with our animules, LOL, we can offer for sale (ahem, or donation) to others which will turn a small profit.

    Quote:I stand educated on this matter [​IMG]. I will purchase a way cool, cute spindle. I saw some BEAUTIFUL wood ones. I love wood. Oh, and the ladybug spinning wheel caught my eye. She seems semi-affordable. So, whatcha got in the way of those you'll part with via sale, Cyndi?

    L
     
  7. lyric

    lyric Chillin' With My Peeps

    124
    0
    89
    Jul 25, 2011
    Sunny FL
  8. lyric

    lyric Chillin' With My Peeps

    124
    0
    89
    Jul 25, 2011
    Sunny FL
    Quote:Would they fare well in the heat of FL and could their fiber be spent thin enough to wear in FL too? [​IMG]
     
  9. hencackle

    hencackle Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 25, 2007
    Telford, TN
    As for your friend. Merino is a very difficult wool to work with. It could be as much as 50% lost in the fleece from when it is shorn to when it is ready to spin.

    Do you know if the fleece was 'skirted'? Skirting means to remove all the undesirable parts of the fleece, including the neck wool (where there is an abundance of hay/chaff), the leg & belly wool (which is very short and coarse) and the britchen wool (which is covered in dung tags). This will be about 40% of the fleece. Yes, it is a lot but if your friend wants to spin the best of the fleece, this is necessary. Don't throw away the 'bad' stuff, just don't include it in with the 'good' stuff.

    Now turn the fleece over so the cut side is up. You will probably see small bits of cuts (called 2nd cuts) where the shearer had to cut twice to get close to the sheep's skin. Remove all the 2nd cuts you can see.

    You can use the traditional hot water and detergent method to scour the fleece. If your friend isn't of the feint of heart, I would recommend theFermented Vat Method for merino wool. (You need to be a member of Ravelry to view) It takes time and is very, very stinky but it will produce the very best of results

    MullersLaneFarm--Thank you for replying. I know that the wool was brought back from Australia. My friend's friend had gone there to visit her daughter, SIL & new grandbaby...they live on a 3000+ acre farm, raise wool to export to China. My friend received 4 gallon-sized ZipLoc bags of raw merino wool. That's all the information I have from her text, so I wouldn't know if the fleece was skirted for sure. I assume it was in order to make the plane trip to the US.

    Yes, she is a Ravelry member. If need be, she can get online at her library to read about the Fermented Vat Method.

    Since you mentioned Merino is difficult to work with and my friend is teaching herself to spin (YouTube & magazine article?) ---What fiber do you recommend for a beginner to use instead?

    I'm glad you liked my siggy. If only Mr. Jefferson could be here now. [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2011
  10. lyric

    lyric Chillin' With My Peeps

    124
    0
    89
    Jul 25, 2011
    Sunny FL
    DH just asked me a question I can not answer. Which fiber is more sought after: alpaca vs. llama?

    Thanks.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by