About Me

My photo
I am a neo-Victorian Steampunk Goth. I am a professional seamstress working in Las Vegas at "Le Reve," and an avid knitter. My friend and I have recently launched a podcast about Las Vegas, Knitting, and our educational experiences with both. My Ravelry username is RedQueen. Come friend me!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Uh Oh...

So I've committed a terrible sin. I bought roving on ebay. Here it is, if you want to see it. It's a beautiful 4 oz of black and white "mystery" wool roving, which is a mill end from somewhere. Before you get all alarmed, just know that I am a BEGINNING spinner. In fact, here is a picture of my spindle:
That's right, it's a dowel, a cup hook, a rubber gasket, and two cds. I LOVE it. It spins a lot better than I would have expected. The only issue is that sometimes, the gaskets slide up when I'm being too aggressive about winding the yarn onto it. And just to complete the ghetto package, here is my first bobbin full of yarn:

Yes, that IS an empty toilet paper roll. (Many thanks to Dr. Gemma of CogKNITive for the brilliant suggestion!) I don't know if you can tell from the pic, but this is a VERY coarse wool. I spun using wool from Navajo Churro sheep. This is the wool that the Native Americans in New Mexico use to weave rugs and saddle blankets. Below is a picture of a "Two Grey Hills" Rug, woven by Lucy Begay. These rugs usually sell for well over $1,000. They wear forever, and don't really get dirty. Of course, most people don't put them on their floors. In fact, I think I've only seen one not on a wall, ever.

The reason they wear so well is that this wool is tough as heck. It's rough and scratchy. There are two lengths of staple -- the long hair, and the undercoat, which is softer and fuzzier. The two are spun together to give the yarn it's strength and fullness. Why on earth did I decide to use this wool? Two reasons: One, it's native to our region. (Well, sort of. Don Juan Onate brought the Churro sheep to New Mexico from Spain a couple of hundred years ago, and they did really well, so now they're regional.) I thought it would be really neat to start spinning with local fiber. The second reason is even more local: Pat Clauser, who owns Clauser Farms in Corrales, NM, sold me this wool. I grew up in Corrales, which is a village just to the northwest of Albuquerque proper. In fact, Clauser Farms was between my house and my high school. Pat Clauser was really nice when I called her all in a panic and asked if my mom could come buy some wool that weekend. (Mom was coming to visit me in Las Vegas, NV three days later.) She was very helpful, walking me through my first wool purchase, and giving me a lot of direction for how to clean, skirt, card and spin it. I decided to buy "in-the-grease" fleece, meaning that it was dirty, with lanolin and bits of vegetation (although not very much, she keeps her sheep clean). I wanted the WHOLE experience -- in fact, if she'd been local, I'd have asked to shear them, too. She sold me 3 lbs. of wool for VERY cheap, three different sheep so that I could compare them. I have decided after this that, while I don't mind the cleaning part, I HATE carding. It's not that it's boring or anything, it just annoys me that I can't make a perfect batt by hand, and perfection is kind of what I'm after. And I'm not going to buy a drum carder for several hundred dollars, so it's pre-done roving for me. So now you know why I'm super excited to get my mill-end roving from ebay. :)

(^--- a super cute Navajo Churro sheep. Wooly wooly wooly!!)

No comments:

Post a Comment