Archive for March, 2019

Breed Experiments – Washing Machine

Wednesday, March 13th, 2019

Part of the reason for these spinning experiments is to discover which fibres are okay going through the washing machine.  I know everyone will shout “None of them!” at me, but I have faith in the “Wool Wash” setting and what’s the worst that happens?

So here are the 8 fibre squares after a gentle soak and lying flat.  Each square is started with worsted, then swap to woolen half way, to test both preparations.  In these photos the woolen is on the left, worsted on the right.

Top row: BFL, Shetland, Corriedale, Charollais. Bottom row: Finnish, Falkland, Gotland, Polwarth.

I put them in the washing machine with all my hand knit socks on the usual wool wash setting, though I turned down the temperature to 30 degrees, the coldest it will go.  Some detergent but no conditioner (as I read recently that was bad for wool).  The results are… boring!  Nothing happened… everything came out clean and looking much as it started!

At this point I realised I wasn’t going to have quite enough yarn from the 8 I had spun for the cardigan, so I purchased 3 more braids which you’ve already seen.  Here are the initial swatches from those: Eider, Ile de France and Merino/Bamboo

Time to try the washing machine again, this time on the standard “Wool Wash” which runs at 40 degrees and has been washing our hand knit socks for years.  This time with fabric softener too.  The results?  Much the same!

The squares still show no signs of felting.  The stitches are all visible, the squares all maintain their stretchiness.  So, hooray for the washing machine, but it did make for rather an unexciting post!  I think I will keep throwing these in with each sock wash and see if there’s any interesting results over multiple washes in case some fibres do stand up better than others over time :o)

Breed Experiments – Merino 70/30 Bamboo

Monday, March 11th, 2019

The final braid from Ewenique Fibres was chosen because I knew it would be super soft and be a good choice for the collar of the cardigan I’m making with all these :o)

The fibre was a little hard to pre-draft but also very soft.  The bamboo fibres are quite “fly away” and wanted to stick to me!

The colour variations across the braid matched up pretty well in the worsted spinning, so you can see the variation.  The bamboo stands our against the purple as a lovely shimmery white.

As there wasn’t all that much variation in the colours I opted to just make 4 larger rolags of mixed colours for the woolen spin.

This second spin definitely blended the colours and fibres together more.  The finished yarn here is a mostly consistent colour and the bamboo shimmer is more contained.

Both fibres are super soft still, but I do like the way the bamboo blended in once in the rolags.  It was easier to spin too as I wasn’t getting the bamboo stuck to my hands/skirt/everywhere! :o)

Breed Experiments – Ile de France

Monday, March 11th, 2019

The second braid from Ewenique Fibres is this Ile de France.  The peach colour is a little out of character with the rest of my yarns, but I think it will be okay :o)

The fibre was quite a challenge to pre-draft, but then it spun up very nicely and consistently :o)

I even managed to line up the colours pretty well across the two halves!

On the blending board with the second half I split the colours:

There was a little extra fibre left, I’m not sure how I missed it when I was making these, hence the 7th muddled one!  I only managed 6 rolags as the fibre was quite challenging to work with.

Somehow I completely failed to line up the colours even though it looked perfect on the bobbins!  Oh well :o)


Breed Experiments – Eider

Monday, March 4th, 2019

The next fibre is actually from a different seller on Etsy!  This Eider braid came from Ewenique Fibres.  This is not a breed I had heard of before so I was eager to try it!

The colours are beautiful! :o)  The braid is a lot denser than the other I’ve been working with recently.  Pre-drafting took a bit more effort than I expected thanks to the compacted fibres.

Once I’d done the prep work it was a very nice easy spin.  The fibre is reasonably soft too :o)

Working on the blending board with the more compact fibres was again a little challenging, but didn’t hinder my rolag making too much!

There’s not a great deal of variance in the colours to split them up across the board – I tried to get the lighter colours on one side and the bluer ones at the other side, which you can kind of see.

I didn’t manage to line up my colours so well with these, but the finished yarn is still pretty :o)  My consistency is getting better with the woolen techniques, slowly!