There is still very little spinning

Day two:

Once we’d washed up our fiber on Day 1, it was time to talk about prep.

There are two ways we addressed prep in class:

1. Flicking:

Be careful. The flicker will bite you if you aren’t paying attention!

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Here our instructor, with a carefully placed, doubled over apron on her lap, shows us how to tap tap tap on the ends of a lock to open it up. It’s not a perfect worsted prep, but it’s pretty darned close in my book!

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Look at that fluffy fluffyness!

 

2. Carding

This is the queen of woolen prep. I’m a woolen spinner by default so I had a really good time seeing how Leslie carded vs. how I was doing it, and watching all the other women in the class (we happened to all be women). While I liked Leslie’s method, I feel like my method works better with some super short fibers – I’m looking at you, leg wool – and her method works better with fibers that are an inch to six inches in length. I’ll do a video on the method she taught vs my method… eventually.

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Lay a TINY amount of fiber on the card. Only a lock or two. Really, as much as you think you can get on the card? Half that.

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Leslie looks like she has mischief on her mind. She was trying to show us how to swipe the top card back, picking up the fiber from the bottom card.

This is Anna. I can not blame her one iota for feeling the call of the Canadian Production Wheel that was just lazily hanging out in the room.

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Beautiful!

The course was held at Roseneath Cottage, which is part of the Smithtown Historical Society. The local Fiber guild meets in the Brush Barn one Wednesday a month. We have HUGE meetings, between 40 and 80 spinners strong. The guild has some really beautiful equipment, but I think this particular wheel actually belonged to the historical society.

We were SUPER lucky in our group to have Tabbethia. She’s a shearer by trade, and she owns the Long Island Livestock Co. She was able to tell us that most shearers remove the belly wool outright, tossing it aside as it’s removed. She showed us the hole in the fleece where the sheep’s head would be, and explained that the shoulders are usually the most full of vegetable matter because the grain falls into the fleece while the sheep is eating.

We were a really diverse group of spinners, and we were lucky to have each person and their strengths there!

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Tabbithia showing us the structure of a fleece

Now we’re coming to the end of the day. Leslie showed us how to make a Sliver or Sausage from carded fiber. A Sliver is fiber that’s been carded, then rolled from right to left, causing the fibers to be aligned in a more or less parallel manner. It’s not perfect, but it can be close. Leslie said that you typically pull the sliver out into a longer presentation, to further align the fibers.

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Leslie shows us how to pre-draft the sliver

Once we understood the preparation, she showed us worsted spinning, keeping the twist out of the drafting triangle.

I like the photo below so much that I may use it in a class handout. It so clearly shows the drafting triangle, and the twisted yarn in front of it.

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Look at Leslie’s perfect nails! Oh, and the drafting triangle too.

Once that was done, there was a lot of fleece to hand out. What follows is nothing short of Fleece Pr0n.

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Debouillet

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Cormo

I’ve washed up the fleece parts that we were given in class. The Debouillet is scrumptious. The Scottish Blackface is silky smooth. I have no idea how I’m going to card it. A really nice Corriedale feels like sandpaper compared to the fine wools. It will all work out though.