An Estonian girl who has found a home in Sweden.

Monday, March 7

New Wool, and Wool Combing

March 07, 2016 Posted by Vaire , ,

It occurred to me yesterday that I've completely neglected my knitting. Spinning is just so much more interesting right now. The green project on the miniSpinner is progressing nicely — I am almost done with the first 50 grams of fibre. I am also spinning yet another embroidery thread on the glass bead spindle.

Cornflower Blue

A project, which I not only forgot to blog about, but I also forgot to enter into Ravelry when I started it. Total comfort spinning, this is.

Being in the spinning mood, my fibre stash has grown. A lot. I've been spinning these merino embroidery threads since last July and my fingers yearn for a change.

First, I bought a sampler of wool from 30 different sheep breeds for a breed study project. I haven't even opened that box yet, because I need an uninterrupted long weekend to catalogue it all on Ravelry. Second, I bought dyed Lincoln and Leicester Longwool locks to add to the breed study.

I also bought wool mini combs to process said locks. I've been wanting those combs for years, this was not an impulse buy like the locks were. And then when I tried out the combs on the Lincoln Longwool locks, I found that the tines are too finely spaced to handle the locks. So much lovely fibre got stuck there. Sadness.

As tempted as I am, I am not going to buy another pair of combs just for these locks, I'll find another way to process them without so much waste. The combs work perfectly for combing merino, which is a fine wool that they are meant for, unlike my precious locks. Merino and other fine wools are also the ones I would be processing most, so the combs are definitely not wasted.

Before using the combs, I watched the instruction video made by the manufacturer several times. I noticed that she kept one comb always in her left hand, and transferred the wool back to it as if the comb was clamped. Like this medieval method of combing wool in Germany.

From the links on the side bar I found this German video. It is a way of combing wool with two moving combs and I gave it a try. From my brief experimentation, I find that I like this way a lot more for using the mini combs, than the medieval production way.

I think that if I ever bought full size combs for some large volume wool processing, I'd want to clamp one comb and use two hands on another to avoid fatigue. i.e. do it the medieval production way.

And third, I bought three braids (330 grams) of handdyed wool from a local Swedish destash. Also from breeds that I hadn't tried before. After this, I decided that fibre buying was getting out of hand. I am going to institute a moratorium on new fibre purchases until I have spun up at least one or two batts, two tops, a set of rolags, and at least 3 breed samples.