Last Friday was Anna’s first spinning lesson. She used my Cascade Little Si spindle and some Romney locks I flicked and drafted into roving. It felt good teaching her how to do something I enjoy, watching her work out how to get around the obstacles on their own, and that light bulb moment when it all comes together and she realises it’s working. Sent her home with a puff of yak down, a couple of feet of merino pencil roving, and a chunk of unknown white wool from the fibre stash. Next lesson is plying, when she has enough on the spindle.
I’ve spun several different sheep breeds now. Jacob is the coarsest wool I’ve spun, but I love how the skein came out and it will be great yarn for a winter hat or two. It’s not rough but it’s not great for next-to-the-skin softness. Merino is lovely, but Polwarth and Cormo have more texture and are almost as soft. Romney and Coopworth feel similar, softer than Jacob, not as soft as BFL, but the Romney is a bit more silky. I’d like to try Wensleydale and Cotswold.
The yak and camel fibres I spun weren’t roving, they were clumps of fluff. Spinnable, but it took some adjusting. I have some fabulous alpaca roving that feels like a cross between wool and silk, very slippery. I still have huge trouble spinning plant fibres, I’ve tried cotton, bamboo, and Silk Latte fibre made from milk protein. And pretty much everything I spin has a little bit of cat in there…
What’s your favourite animal or plant fibre to spin?