Monday, 30 August 2010

Romney Fleece revisited..

The Moorit coloured Romney/Icelandic cross fleece came with a tag warning that it had a tippy britch. Other than the britch must be mighty big on this beast, the fleece is really nice and very pretty. The shades of greys and browns meld perfectly and despite the pulling off of tips on half of the locks, it's processing up beautifully. The batts take only 2 passes through the drum carder, although they do need to be run through slowly, there are no neps or noils. The light, fluffy batts strip easily into rovings which I've wound into balls or bumps for spinning.

It spins so easily that the only real issue I've been having is not letting it get too thin. My goal has been to spin up 2 batts a day, although I fear that might not be a realistic goals. I've kept pretty much to it, but it does mean that I'm spending several hours a day at the spinning wheel. I've got 3 bobbins spun and wound into skeins. One is still on the niddy noddy drying. Now my big question is, do I really want to work with my original idea and use that as weft for a commercial warp, or do I want to try to spin the warp up as well? I have a bit of research to do before I commit to one or the other and until then, I'll card up a few more batts and spin another bobbin. I'm making headway on yardage if I only need it for the weft as my orignal plan calls for 1800 yds of weft and I've got 11oo spun already. The warp though, if I spin it, requires 3100 yds, presuming that I've kept the sett the same. If not, it's another story and another few bobbins full.

Look what came in the mail! A little cardboard shipping carton which actually fit into our mailbox. In it were some new dye stuffs that I've never had a chance to use before and some Thiox so I can use up the Dyer's Knotweed that's growing well right now. The Lac is another bug red. I have some "real" lac, but this is pre-ground so I can do a comparison of the two. The Black Oak is supposed to give a gorgeous, strong and fade resistant yellow as is the Fustic. The Coreopsis is because I saw a sample of this dye recently and it was a fabulous orange. Since my Coreopsis gave me only a few flowers, not enough to harvest, I ordered the dye. The Madder is there because I've got a bit of pre-ground root left and a small bucket of that which I grew in the previous garden left but not much else. Better to have it around than not. Of course this means I need some white yarn to play with... after I spin up enough of the moorit I think :)


Karen said...

Oh shiny! I like the new blog layout and colours. :)

Leigh said...

I love your new blog look! And what a neat package to come in the mail. Lots of good things coming up, I can tell.

Helen said...

OOh! I envy you your Romney i can't seem to get a fleece of it here and it spins like a dream.
Your dyes look good too are they extracts?

Sharon said...

Boy, was I glad to read your comments because I was confused at first. It's a new layout - nice. I agree with the others. So anxious to see where you're going with this Romney - has a rug future sound. Romney would be the perfect fiber. Can't wait to see what you pull out of your hat!

Nina said...

Karen, thanks. I've been mulling a change for a while. Not sure it will stay this way, but good for the moment.

Leigh- Even though I ordered the dyes, it was still such fun to get the packet in the mail.

Helen, have you checked with the Romney Sheep Breeders Society? They could very likely put you in touch with a local breeder.

A couple of the dyes are extracts as that is the only way I could find them- the Coreopsis and the Fustic. The others are just the ground dye stuff though.

Sharon - I think this Romney is a bit too fine for a rug. I'm spinning it at about 28-30 wpi for yardage to make a medieval hood or really, two. If I do a tabby, I've half the yarn spun and then some. If I do a twill, I've got just under half the yarn spun. Decisions, decisions :)

Sharon said...

You didn't say what it is that you want to weave the Romney into - a rug?? Curious~

Nina said...

Sharon - the Romney is going to be used to weave yardage for the medieaval / Saxon period hood challenge. I'm spinning it at about 28-30 wpi, so too fine for a rug. It will be perfect for a medium grade yardage to make outerwear, even if that outer wear is a reenactment costume.