Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Charollais Wool

Thanks to all who left kind sympathies on my last posting. They are treasured.

A Key was waiting in the P.O. box on Monday. A key = a package too big to fit in the regular box. It was a box filled with 300g of Charollais (also Charolais) roving neatly coiled and tucked in a plastic bag all the way from The SpindlingScot who happens to live in France. Charollais sheep were bred in Southern Burgundy in the 1800s.

Just look at this Charolais wool with nubs of silk processed throughout the wool. Judy had it wonderfully processed professionally.

I had to stop everything , grab a spindle and see what it felt like to spin. Unlike anything I've spun (not that I've spun many varieties of fiber: Corriedale, BFL, Romboulette, Merino/Tencel and silk is all I've played with so far) this wool/silk blend has a dry feel to it, not bad mind you, but different -- almost papery. The silk noils tended to create draw-blocks of yarn which slowed me down until I got a feel for drafting and drawing while controlling how much wool was globbed onto the silk. Then my speed picked up a bit. I only spun then plyed and set the twist on 6 yards. As I made the small twist of yarn Ed stopped to look at it and declared that it'd make a nice lightweight sweater. I agree. Maybe the next sweater I knit will be for him. :-) Can't decide whether to leave it natural or dye it a manly color. Traditionally Charollais was used for knitting almost all the socks in the 19th century. It does feel as though it'd withstand alot of abuse.

This was spun on a 2.6oz Turkish Spindle at 16wpi plyed.

Can you believe I actually walked today! The first thing when I woke up this morning was pull on my walking clothes and grab a spindle and BFL wool. Even before coffee. I knew if I poured that first cup walking would be put on the back burner for the day. We're having our third day of sunny weather though the road up Grandview was icey and slick under foot. I dropped the spindle once and decided it wasn't the right day for a spinning walk.

This is the view after Grandview immerges from the trees and levels out for a bit:
The camera didn't capture the peach colored horizon as the sun was fighting a thin layer of clouds to climb above the Cascades. You can barely make out the sunglow at the top right hand side.

And now I need to dash seven packages to the post office.

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Blogger Marianne said...

I love the information on that particular breed of sheep, and that fibre, I first looked at it, reminded me of cotton quilt batting type stuff, but then you explained the silk in it, it really is beautiful. I think it's beyond cool that Ed gave you that feedback...and how wonderful it would be to make a sweater for your husband, you'd need to ask Ed about colour though,eh?
The walk was beautiful, indeed, I just nearly willed my brain to see the peach tones in the sky :)
Take care, stay warm, Happy Spindling and Knitting!

4:28 PM  
Blogger anne said...

tat is really interesting and a wool i hadn't heard about yet; thank you for sharing!

9:17 PM  
Blogger The Spindling Scot said...

Nice walkies :-) we are snowed in at the moment. I'm going to get the snowshoes out later and take Alys for a wander in the woods.

If you find the wool too dry, try a quick squirt of olive oil on your hands, and rub it in. It will lightly grease the wool making it slightly easier to work with. That's the problem with professional processing!

I find it spins best on a drop spindle, but that's just me. If you need anymore to finish / use for the sweater email, I still have another 1.3kg ;-)

If you dye it, the silk stands out more.


1:39 AM  
Blogger Jo said...

I absolutely love that fibre, it looks fabulous!

4:44 AM  
Blogger KC said...

What lovely fiber! and a quick history lesson too!
I greatly enjoy your walking photos as well, thank you.

6:46 AM  
Anonymous marjorie said...

That is beautiful wool. I would like to see a picture of Charolais sheep. Each time I read of someone spinning their own yarn, I get more interested in learning how to do it (and all the spinning vocabulary.) Everyone but me seems to know all about it! Near my cottage, there is a spinner's and weaver's guild. Maybe I could take some lessons. Then I'd want my own wheel. My dh already knows this is coming.

7:27 PM  
Blogger Marianne said...

Wanda, I was just at Celtic Jo's and when I saw that little cottage in the middle of that photo, I immediately thought of you....(would it fit in your back yard?) for your very own crafting room, and then I read your comment!
I want one too.

4:49 AM  

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