In my quest to spin up a variety of Shetland wools for a future natural colorwork sweater, I came across Fiber Curio and Sundries.
Fiber Curio and Sundries is owned by Wanda, an Iowa State Patrol dispatcher, and Ellen, a solo family doctor. They source from small farms and are interested in a variety of fibers. They enjoy using Shetland, Romney, Rambouillet, Wensleydale, CVM (California Variegated Mutant), Finn, BFL, Gotland, and other longwools in their fiber products, along with llama, alpaca, mohair, angora, bamboo, silk, and Tencel.
I ordered up some Shetland Emsket and deep Moorit locks from them. Neatly tucked around the edges of the box were some surprise samples, and a note describing them. I was thrilled to find these delightful goodies and I set my current spinning projects aside and dove into them.
All my samples were spindle spun on my new Spanish Peacock top whorl spindle, weighing 25 grams.
Don’t know what can be said about this spindle other than it spins long, fast and evenly. It is so perfectly balanced that I never found it rocking. To top it off, it is a piece of great workmanship. It is smooth and pretty. I just love looking at it!
Every sample was 2-plied, though I don’t think that would necessarily be the best choice for every one of these samples. Since I had but a little taste I thought for this purpose 2-ply would be best. My default spinning technique on a spindle is semi-worsted. I am not as adept with the spindle as I am my wheel, but I really wanted to test drive my new spindle.
First up was a roving of California Variegated Mutant Corriedale lamb cross.
This was a soft, grey wool which spun easily. It wasn’t particularly smooth though that was more a characteristic of the wool rather than a problem with the preparation. Vegetable matter was negligible to nonexistent
The resulting yarn is extremely soft. It isn’t slick like a smooth merino, rather it is very springy and elastic. I really liked the resulting yarn very much. Washing it did create a lovely bloom and the plies nestled in comfortably together. You can see the particulars of the yarn on Nimblestix here. You can click on the Spin Project link and the link to the fiber stash is here.
I suspect that if I were to spin a quantity, I would 3 ply it. Not sure if a three ply would give sufficient stitch definition for complex cables. I would definitely test it, but I am pretty sure that this wool would work well for a sweater which needs to hold its shape.
Next up is the Blond Alpaca. This is a mix of several fibers which you can see here. This was very interesting and fun to spin.
The fiber felt very soft and airy. It was the color though, that made it so unique. When I stashed it on Nimblestix, I called it fawn. In actuality, it is almost a peach or a pale pink, yet it’s un-dyed! In different light it seemed to alter its shade. This was breathtaking to me.
Spinning this was a blast. It spun smooth and extremely fine. I think that a 2 ply a great option for this yarn. Given the natural drape of alpaca, I envision this yarn would really shine as delicate lace. Can I tell you that I fell in love?
I then spun a deeply dyed merino/targhee cross blended with tencel. This fiber also spun fairly fine and very smooth. I think that this would drape nicely for a lace shawl. Not sure how this would be a little more tightly plied or at 3 plies or greater. My thought is that it would hold enough body to use in a sweater or accessories, but I would recommend testing.
The fuchsia dye job is deep and eye-searingly intense. Being a ginger, the deep rich pink is not a color I would wear, but I do love the intensity. There are some people would look awesome in this color!
This did cause some trouble. I didn’t realize that my fingers were turning pink until I started handling other things in the room and finding my fingerprints in various places. Whoops! When I washed the sample it did have a significant run-off of color. Once washed and dried, the sample was still quite intense, but I no longer had to put on my sun glasses. You can see the fiber stats , spinning project and yarn record on Nimblestix of course.
Spinning the Churro was a brand new experience for me. I flicked the locks open and it was ready to spin. It took little effort to prepare this. I was hesitant when I started. I assumed that the hair-like fibers would slip out of my hand, particularly since I was using my spindle and not my wheel. What I found however, surprised me and it was easier to spin than I anticipated.
The locks were squeaky clean, and no vegetable matter at all. It was much easier to spin than I anticipated. The color of the locks and resulting yarn is a real black, with no brown at all. We don’t see true black wool so often.
There are many more characteristics in a wool than just softness, which is a good thing for churro. It felt nearly like wire just after spinning, though I was really surprised how much it softened with washing. Still not suitable for next to skin, but the Navajo Churro can have other great uses.
I was grateful for the opportunity to spin these samples and I am looking forward to getting the Shetland on my wheel. Ironic since that was my original goal! Thank you Fiber Curio and Sundries!
Three of these yarns are available in the Nimblestix Marketplace!