May Breed Study: WhiteFace Woodland

A week or so ago I received the Club Spin 15 May Breed study from Sherrill and she included a little #spin15aday bling with it, which I love and plan to use to store a drop spindle in, along with a small bump of fiber. I also joined the Club Spin 15 Shetland Edition as I love spinning Shetland wool and want to try spinning for DK weight for a colorwork project.

This months breed study is the Whiteface Woodland, which I studied and spun back in 2018. Sherrill introduced this breed study as a quarterly challenge and I only shared the Gotland that I spun, which I absolutely loved, but I did not share the Whiteface Woodland. I do remember that I enjoyed spinning it and I used it for a small handwoven tapestry piece. I’m looking forward to spinning it again and love the colors that Sherrill hand dyed it in – pink, green, blue, light purple and she name it ”Flowers for Mum”. The fiber is very soft to the touch and I can wait to start spinning it!

About the Whiteface Woodland sheep:

The breed is very hardy and able to thrive on poor quality grazing and harsh terrain.  Ewes can produce lambs into their teens and are prolific for a hill breed. Lambing percentages vary depending on location – up to 150% on the hill and can reach 200% in a lowland situation, although this is exceptional. Lambs are small and active.  The breed has a narrow face and is usually very easy lambing. The ewes are milky and make excellent mothers. Wool should have an approximate staple length- 15cm. Fleece weight- 2-3kg. Quality 44s-50s. The wool is used primarily for hand knitting yarns and blankets, with the coarser grades used for carpets.

RBST (Rare Breeds Survival Trust, UK) – if you want to know more click on the link for RBST

I think I will start spinning the Whiteface Woodland on my Schacht Sidekick that I keep in my home office/craft room. This will be the perfect project to work on throughout the work week.

Do you keep a project or two next too you in your home office (for just in case) ?

April Breed Study: Eider

I can’t believe it’s already time for another wool to try ! This months breed study is Eider, which I have spun before but it was several years ago and honestly I can’t remember a thing about spinning it. This months color is “What’s up, Buttercup” and I really love the rich yellowy gold. The color really reminds me of sunflowers.

Courtesy of Northwest Yarns – Know Your Fiber

The wool from German Whiteheaded Mutton is called Eider wool.  Eider was originally the name of a sea duck known for its expensive and soft down that can be found in the famously warm and toasty eiderdown blankets.  Why it has been applied to wool is something of a mystery, although it would not be surprising to find that naming German Whiteheaded Mutton wool Eider was the brainchild of a shepherd with marketing genius.  Certainly, it is easier to say and quite descriptive of the loftiness of Eider wool. Saying “German Whiteheaded Mutton Wool” is quite a mouthful, while “Eider Wool” is short, sweet, and conjures visions of mounds and mounds of light, fluffy wool. In fact, Eider wool is a lovely fluffy wool, although at 37-41 microns it is quite coarse compared to many other wools used for spinning.  What makes this wool special is its crimp – while most wools with this micron range can be difficult to spin due to poor crimp, Eider wool has an excellent crimp that holds quite well when spinning.  If you are looking for a wonderfully durable wool for outerwear, blankets, or handwoven rugs, Eider wool is the wool for you.” — Northwest Yarns, Know Your Fiber

I’m looking forward to spinning this wool and hoping that I achieve at least 100 yards of chain plied yarn when finished.

For those of you who spin, have you ever spun Eider before ?

A Friday Finish and A Round Up

After almost a month, I finally finished up my February Breed Study and skeined my lovely finished 3-ply Shetland! I ended up with 82 yards of light worsted weight yarn and absolutely love the color… such a rich red.

Oh this red … I love it !

I haven’t really been doing too much in the crafting realm these days, but I am working on the mate to my sock, which I hope to have finished soon. I also started my little sheep embroidery, which I am absolutely loving and having fun with making it my own. I have no idea how this will turn out, but once finished I plan to keep it in the hoop and hang it up on my wall.

Our garden is beginning to grow and we have the first signs of tomatoes!! This particular plant is a Husky Red Cherry tomato, which forms a long cluster. I can’t wait to see what they taste like. I have also been drying lots of rosemary, dill, oregano and mint, and our house has smelled wonderful. My husband said our kitchen smelled like an Italian kitchen when I was drying the oregano, and it really did.

I have also been busy drying calendula flowers for creating salves. This weekend I will be making my first official calendula salve with beeswax, I’m excited!

As you all know I haven’t truly blogged in about two weeks and my apologies but with a change in my work schedule and just plain life itself, I haven’t had much extra time to devote to being online. Now that I have more of a routine in place, I will be more consistent with blogging and thank you all for being patient with me.

What have you been up too this week ?

March Breed Study: Radnor Wool

I am so late in posting my March Breed study but today seemed like a good day to post – after all it is St. Patrick’s Day and the color of this month’s study is called Lucky Charms,No Not the Cereal.

I love the green tones in this month’s study!

This month’s study is Radnor, which is a brand new breed to me and I’m excited about spinning it. This breed is a conversation breed, and has been recognized in Central Wales for many centuries (source: Fleece and Fiber Book, p. 209). Even though I know this particular 2 oz has been hand dyed, the characteristics of the wool remains. At first touch, it’s a bit rough but I’m thinking as I spin it will start to soften up.

Staple length is 2-6 inches with a micron count of 27-33 and a lock characteristic of mostly rectangular short pointed tips with an overall medium crimp. This wool is classified as an all-purpose wool and is good for next to the skin garments, such as hats, gloves and sweaters.

My work life has changed and I’m getting acclimated to my new position, which means I haven’t had much time this month to do all the things I love. Once I get my schedule under control I will get back to doing ”all the things”. Meantime I do hope to skein up my February Breed Study soon, which I should have done a few weeks ago as it was finished the last part of February. I also need to ply my finished bobbins of Into the Whirl – Bounty Hunters Picnic.

Are you spinning this month ?