Sally is blonde. She is 2. She has real pretty fleece. Most of the locks are 5 or 6 inches long. Very very soft and, unlike her twin, Holly, Sally has lustrous…yes shiny shiny…fleece. I daresay, it’s hard to spin a fat yarn from this slidy fleece…I was aiming at a 2-ply, but, this might be a 3-ply. I’m too hungry to decide right now. See ya later.
Sally is next up. Well…I don’t have any more Holly clean and ready to spin. See the thing is…our A/C died. This is Florida. It’s Hot. We did some research and determined that a new compressor for our old A/C would cost about the same as a few wall units. So, we did what any red-blooded Americans would do…we went to Lowe’s and picked up a wall unit.
When we got home, it was 95 degrees in the house. That was at 5:00. It is now 9:19, and the temp is down to 90. The way our house is situated, (don’t blame us, we didn’t stick it here), the afternoon sun gets worse and worse until sunset. Well, we should expect the temp to plummet fairly soon. But, til then. Ack.
Anyway…this is all i could accomplish, and I want a medal for it, at that. This is about 4 ounces of “Sally” – blonde GC ewe. Mmm.
Maybe I’ll get to spin her tonight. And just maybe I’ll let y’all in on a secret too. But not right now. Right now, it’s time to post this pic.
This is natural green cotton from our 2009 harvest. After selecting for depth of color in prior years, this lint is a nice sage. Here you see some lint, and a 2-ply, 28wpi yarn spun on the ol’ Fricke.
Here’s the yarn directly after spinning. Thanks, Smitty, for modeling.
After stripping the natural waxes, the final color is set – a nice medium sage green.
After playing with the bulky version of Holly, I started fiddling with her fiber. Decided that maybe a fine version, a sport weight version, would be the ticket. It is. What a soft, lovely, knittable yarn. On 4s, this knits into a beautiful sweater fabric.
Let the games begin.
Holly’s fleece makes a nice chunky yarn. This, possible candidate for EZ’s New Zealand Sweater, knits up, on 9s, to 3sts/in. Here you see a washed skein, 3 ounces, 76 yards. It’s the color of old clothesline. It’s a very soft, fluffy yarn. Nice for a real warm outergarment.
These 12 yard samples were spun to help me decide how to get the yarn I want. On the left, Sally*. On the right, Holly. Each fleece was spun worsted weight and bulky. Each 2-ply was spun to catch as much air as possible.
I think that I’m going to go with Holly for the New Zealand Sweater. I’ve started my first bobbinful of singles.
*Here’s a flash…What lamb fleece I had left from last year went into a bag that was mislabeled. I’ve been saying that the grey fleece was Sally’s. But, ahem, I must amend that. See, the sheepesses were shorn a couple of months ago, and their fleece is only about 3/4″ long. Now, sheep lay around, often in the sand, and they are dirty dusty gals. It’s been downright next to impossible to see a difference between the two. Today, while giving them some oats for a treat, I nailed it down. Sally is the blonde.
After an official Tour Rest Day, the desire to spin more more more!!!! is driving me. With several nice Gulf Coast fleeces to pick from…all raw…I’m at the point of sampling. The goal is to spin enough to make a sweater – couple of pounds would be prudent. Unlike the Gracie sweater, which I designed for Tom, this sweater is for me…and I have a pattern (!) I’d like to use. The New Zealand Sweater, from Spun Out #2 is an Elizabeth Zimmerman pattern from 1982.
Zimmerman shows 3 versions of the sweater done up in different yarns: 1) in Sheepsdown (2-3 sts/in), 2) in Shetland (6-10 sts/in), and 3) in Sheepswool (3-4.5 sts/in). I’m leaning towards the Sheepswool version. So, in sampling, I need to keep these figures in mind. Sheepswool comes in either a 2-ply (4 – 4.5 sts/in) or a 3-ply (3-3.5 sts/in).
The little sample in the photo shows “Sally” (GC ewe) spun 2-ply worsted, 12 yds/quarter oz. I knit a preliminary gauge swatch to see if this is in the ball park. Unwashed yarn knit up at about 4 sts/in. I’ve since washed the yarn, it has bloomed, and I’ll knit the entire quarter oz up on size 8 circs to get an accurate reading. I want lightweight (I’m old enough to avoid any further sagging), lofty, soft/springy yarn.
So, that’s what I’ll be doing for the next bit. I’m also going to spin up some “Holly” (Sally’s twin who is as yellow as Sally is grey) to compare. I’ve decided against using the lamb for this sweater…rather I’ll save that for a next-to-the-skin project.