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 ?

Friday Finishes

I’m so excited to share two finishes today, both of which are finished handspun projects. I have really been enjoying spinning these last couple of weeks. The simple motion of passing fiber through my hands to the bobbin provides a peaceful time for contemplation and meditation. I try to spin for a least 15 minutes but often spin up to an hour or more, which helps me with consistency. I can relate to what Kate Larson says below. Much like knitting, spinning provides that quiet time needed to find peace and to keep me grounded.

Mindfulness is a word oft used in our modern day-to-day lives. To me, cultivating mindfulness is simply learning to be more present and aware. Many spinners take up a spindle or wheel as a source of quiet and peace in a busy life.

Kate Larson, Spin-Off Magazine, October 2017

I plied my March Breed Study the first of this week and was a bit disappointed to only achieve 75 yards of 3-ply light worsted but still pleased how it turned out. The Radnor fiber was new to me for spinning and while I enjoyed spinning it, it wasn’t as soft as other wools I’ve spun in the past but I will say that spinning it was a breeze. For this project I spun woolen (long draw) and finished up by chain plying. When I hung it up to dry, there was absolutely no twist in my finished handspun, which made me so very happy!

My other finish this week is something I started almost a year ago, which started with hand blending a beautiful blend from Into the Whirled in the colorway Bounty Hunter’s Picnic that I purchased from a Ravelry destash. As mentioned in a prior post, I spun two separate colors from my blending efforts and wasn’t sure if I would ply them separately or together. After much thought I decided to ply them together and I really love the end result.

For this completed handspun skein of yarn I achieved 355 yards of 2-ply fingering weight yarn. My goal was 375 yards and not to upset that I’m just 20 yards underneath my goal. I have a little bit of fiber left on one bobbin that I plan to chain ply and use for weaving or some small knitting project.

Now I’m off to prep The April Breed Study!

What finishes did you have this week?

Throwback Thursday

This photo was taken in September of 2020

It’s been a while since I’ve taken my wheel outside to spin, and when I do Cody always likes to join me and keep watch. Seeing this photo has made me realize I need to start spinning outdoors again, especially since the mornings are not quite as chilly and the early afternoons are just perfect. Hummingbirds and Cactus Wrens often visit me when I spin outdoors, especially if I’m spinning bright colors, they seem very curious and just want to see what I’m doing then off they go.

It’s suppose to be 85° today so I might take my wheel outside today on my lunch hour and enjoy a bit of spinning on the patio.

“I know that spinning sets me in a trance; it soothes me and charges my batteries at the same time. When times are tough I sit down to spin during the news-broadcasts, with therapeutic results.”

Elizabeth Zimmerman

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 ?