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I know that many of our KP Spin-A-Long members are venturing off to fiber fairs, festivals, farms in search of new things to spin.  And many of us shop for these items from the comfort of our own homes.  What new fleece acquisitions have you made lately? 

Me?  Well, since you asked, I just got and washed an 8 ounce bag of Teeswater Locks.  I really should have taken a pic before washing, but just dumped the whole bag directly into the water.  I set up my crock pot that I use for dyeing, and placed the locks into an old enamel collander that I use for steaming fibers when I dye.  Then I set the collander into the crock pot filled with plain hot tap water and allowed to soak for about an hour.  I lifted the collander out and pressed out the excess water.  Then I put fresh water into the crock pot with a dab of Dawn and repeated the process.  Then I did about 3 rinses in clear water until the water came out clear, and free of odor. 

My finished pile of locks, now drying in the sunlight...


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Oooo, Susan - It's lovely! 

Yesterday my "Partner in Crime" and I went to the Spinner's Flock guild meeting in Chelsea, Mi.  My friend told me it was the guild's annual 'garage sale' meeting.  I had not been there for a while, so was pretty excited to attend.  I had hoped to come across some combs, but alas none were to be found.  But while the two of us were walking around looking at all the fibery goodies being offered, we came upon 6 lbs of an award winning black Border Leicester fleece that was so gorgeous, it took our breath away.  Super soft, lovely lock and crimp formation, and relatively clean.  We ooooo'd and awwwww'd over it, played with a lock or two but decided we'd look around some more before making a commitment.  (The seller was not around at the time, so that made it easier to make that decision)  We looked at some very nice Corriedale at a great price, and I ever so happily enabled my "Partner in Crime" to purchase 2 lovely braids of a Merino/Tencel blend that reminded me of a pretty watermelon.  I can't wait to see what that looks like when spun.  We saw super soft angora - loads of it, a BFL/Dorset cross fleece, (shorter staple than I thought it would be, but it was from a lamb, so that may be why),  tons of Alpaca, cotton, corn silk, viscose, Tussah silk noils, some natural dyes [I forgot to keep those in mind - darn! ], several books that looked interesting, quite a few old spinning wheels that were really beautiful, and a huge bag of a "mystery" roving.  My friend ran into someone she knew so she stopped to talk with her, so I continued looking at all the goodies.  Suddenly someone was sitting by the BL fleece, so I made a mad dash over to inquire if we could buy a portion of the fleece.  She told me it wasn't hers, but directed me to the proper owner.  She was working in the 'learn to spin circle' so I sat down next to her and waited until she could talk to me.  She was more than happy to break the fleece up for us, but said she didn't have her scale with her.  She said if she could find someone with a scale she'd sell it to us right then.  Well, the woman with the 'mystery' roving had a scale, and we were planning on buying some that, so I told the BL owner where she could find a scale.  We made our way over to the 'mystery' roving and scale and then were told we could pick out what we wanted from her BL fleece.  My friend had me do the picking (not that I really know what I'm doing here - lol).  Four and one half pounds doesn't sound like a lot to me.  That is until you start filling a bag.  The 'mystery' roving vendor kept telling me - "more, more, more!"  several times.  We weighed it, and it still wasn't enough.  Oh I was getting excited!  Finally, the bag was filled and we paid the seller.  Then the 'mystery' roving vendor gave us our own bags, and told us to dig in to her bag and pick out what we wanted.  Does life get any better?  Her 'mystery' roving is a combination of many, many fibers and colors that were cleaned off of her drum carder over time.  It is silky soft, and had a fun look about it.  She said it tends to spin fine and easily.  This is going to be fun to play with!  Once again, she kept telling us, "more, more, more!"  I have to admit, I was a little giddy after picking out so much fiber to buy - LOL!   But I also ran out of money, so  the buying quickly came to an end - :o((( . But we were both very happy!  My "Partner in Crime" was told by a master spinner (who just so happens to be a great friend of my spinning guru) that we had made a good purchase, so I am pleased as punch right now! 

                                                                               Here is what we bought.                                                     Now this doesn't even begin to show just how black this is. 

                                                                         Maybe this picture will.                                                       And here is the 'mystery' roving.  Kind of funky, but fun! We're going to get together soon to wash the BL.  I cannot wait!  Nor can I wait to start spinning the 'mystery' roving.  But wait I must, because not only did I have a high while buying more fiber, I was taught to spin Long Draw!  Something I've wanted to learn for a while.  Must -  finish -  that  - fiber -  first!  I'm beginning to see why spinners have more than one wheel in their pocession, oh yes I am! 

Oh, my, Wendy... I knew others would be getting lovelies soon, but didn't know it would be YOU!  What a lovely pile of BFL fleece (probably should call them locks)... and the mystery fiber looks nice too.  I have a bag of something like that myself.  Sounds like you had a wonderful time!  Glad you learned the long will like it!

LOL, I didn't know it would be me either!  Oh, if only all your wishes could come true!!!  I'd have purchased so much more.  Greedy, I know.  But there are so many different fibers out there I am anxious to try. 

This guild is really great.  So many members raise their own sheep, and the breeds are so varied.  And then all the knowledge they possess and are so willing to share.  Going there is such an experience.  It's like getting a fiber fix for the month - lol! 

I am finding the long draw much more difficult than the short forward/backward draw, that's for sure.  But I am bound and determined to master it.  I think there is a lot more to think about while doing it.  Treadle, treadle, treadle,  let the twist collect, and collect, pull back, letting the twist travel, pull back, keep treadling, finally let it onto the bobbin and start all over again, all the while not letting your single break.  I definitely feel all thumbs doing this.  But what fun!  How I love spinning :o)

Once you get used to it, it isn't a step by step, but typically I allow the twist to collect gradually, and when the yarn is the thichness I want, move the yarn away from the fiber supply, and start over.  I also do not pull back nearly as far as some do... maybe about 2-3 feet from the wheel... this also makes the yarn (single) a bit more uniform.  Long draw definitely has thick/thin places. 

Just when I'd somewhat get the hang of it, my single would break - lol.  The woman who taught me, kept chuckling, but was very patient with me.  She suggested trying to keep the draw a bit shorter until I got the hang of it, which did seem to help.  And she told me long draw is much easier from carded fibers, not combed top - which is what I was using.  So maybe I will make some rolags out of it and see if that helps some.  I'm using the very first fiber I ever bought - the one I took about a million pictures of once it arrived - the fiber I bought before I had any means of even spinning it - lol.  It's merino and is super lovely. 

Once you get the hang of it, you can use anything! Trust me!

Ah, i'm so glad you said that about long draw and thick/thin places because mine definitely has those. i tried to draft out the thicker spots before collecting onto the bobbin just to get a more uniform yarn but hard at times when i'm pulled back 3 feet :) your washed locks look lovely. is teeswater soft? i was thinking of getting some . . .

wendy - so dang jealous!! oh what a score. oh, and my single break too during long draw. i think i treadle too fast?

i was looking at some raw cormo online but am not sure if i want to do all that work to wash it up. seeing you how guys are so successful i might try . . . :)

As you get better at long draw the variations between thick and thin will not be nearly as much, but this is a part of the reality of this particular type of spinning.  The more you practice, the better it gets.

The Teeswater is extremely soft... I can't wait to spin with it.

Before you get too enamored with the "process"... trust me, it is work.  This weekend I was digging through my fiber stash, and found 2 fleeces (mystery fiber) that someone gave me...they have been washed, but have partially felted...sigh. More than a pound of Southdown (Baby Doll) in much the same condition, with the addition of gobs of VM due to it being dried under a hayloft... plus a large bag of Polypay.

I have decided to send these to a processing company about 2 hours away.  At the cost of $13/lb. I think it will be worth it.

$13 a pound... wow, that seems like a lot, but then, I'm not used to paying for processing - I've been washing my own wool for years.  Is that a reasonable price?  How long before you get it back?

Part of the thrill of raw wool for me is the way I can walk past it as it dries and fluff it up, stick my fingers in it to check for dampness (yes, I do - but I'm really just enjoying the clean fluffy wool).

It is a sickness I'm sure, but I don't ever want to be cured.... ;)

I'm not really sure if that's a good price or not...but keep in mind that most of this fiber was FREE!

Wow... it's all good then!

I forgot to mention that I also found a bag marked "Kid Wool"... about a lb. bump I think, and an even larger bag (unmarked), but when I put my hand into it, it was so heavenly soft that it has to be kid mohair!  There are also two other bags of black and gray (mystery fiber) respectively... carded into batts, but have no idea of what they are.  See, and these are things that were given to me.  I also have a medium bag (somewhere) of Lincoln wool locks.  Anybody want some?  PM me.


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