Knit Flix

Monday, May 31, 2010

Fleece Day!

Spinnity and I took the Fleece Day! class at AVFKW this weekend.
Fleece Day!
Instructor: Kristine Vejar

Come and spend a lovely morning learning how to select a prime handspinner's fleece, and how to wash it. You will go home confident in your choices at the upcoming, Summer wool festivals and have the know-how to process your own fleece.

I haven't bought a fleece to date, but wanted to know what to look for and what is involved in processing a fleece just in case I get a hankering for one.

The class description says it all--Kristine described and had great examples of good choices and not so good choices--those that might take considerably more work to process, and/or the end product might not be worth the effort. She described Merino breeds vs. rare breeds and the differences between single coated vs. dual coated fleece and characteristics of the wool.

We selected locks from 2 fleeces for washing--

Wensleydale fleece

Corriedale fleece

Kristine did the heavy lifting and took the fear mystery out of the process.

Washing, washing, rinsing, rinsing, rinsing

As an aside, I'd love to see photos of their garden--I bet it's lovely with the contributions of manure tea and fleece compost.

She talked about flicking and carding and demoed combing using a beautiful set of double row St Blaise Combs. I don't see them in the AVFKW online store, but they sell them so give them a call if you're interested.

We all got samples to take home.

Fleece Day at AVFKW

I love the curly locks of the Wensleydale--I know someone who has hair just like this! lol Here's how it looks on the sheep. Sheepy needs a barrette. Both the Wensleydale and the Corriedale would be interesting to comb and spin.

What did I learn? First and foremost I don't have a desire to process a fleece of my own right now. *But* the class opened my eyes to buying a fleece and sending it to someone like Morro Fleece Works for processing, and knowing what they'll do to go from souring to roving is very helpful.

From there, Spinnity and I went to her house where we took a more informed look at her Romney x Coopworth fleece. It has distinct colors which will make for interesting sorting and processing. It was happy to be spread out and breathe the fresh air.

Spinnity's Romney x Coopworth

Check out the crimp, it's lovely!

Spinnity's Romney x Coopworth

It was a beautiful day full of fleece and good information. Oh, and you know I couldn't leave AVFKW without bringing some roving home, right?

Pigeonroof Studios roving
50/50 Superwash Merino/Silk
Colorway: Morocco

Pigeonroof Studios roving
50/50 Superwash Merino/Silk
Colorway: watered silk

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