I didn’t have much time to blog lately. … Okay, maybe I did, but I couldn’t bring myself to write anything. My excuse – I had a lot of stuff going on 🙂
Anyway, with much delay, I introduce to you my first bouclé project:
The yarn consists of three singles. One is the core, another one was used to spiral around the core to create the loops and the third one is the binder. I used non-commercial Jacob wool, which required quite a bit of cleaning.
This is how the yarn looked before it was bound with the third thread:
The loops open up when you ply it with the binder. During that process you can also correct their position. This was a bit difficult for me and I can’t say I’m all that satisfied with the result yarn. But it was my first go with this technique, so it should be better next time. All in all, this takes quite a bit of time! Especially if your wool is dirty and you have to card it even though it was washed and brushed with a drumroll and this big spiky thing that I still don’t know the name off (it kinda looks like a medieval torture device though :D).
The cleaning of the wool has actually became a giant time-consuming part of my yarn spinning adventures. When I began spinning, I was using commercial tops which made it SO much easier. But the fact is, the commercially processed wool is a dead material. I didn’t really get that at first, even though my mom was saying the same thing. I read few books about spinning now and I think a lot of handspinners would agree that processed wool is just not “it”. You can’t feel the grease anymore, it’s very neatly combed / carded and it just feels so much different when you touch it. From what I’ve read, the commercially processed wool looses a lot of it’s natural capabilities and there’s many of those. I’m not going to go into details here, but you basically loose all the natural goodness when you use chemically treated commercial wool for spinning.
And that is how I became an advocate for natural wool 🙂
Of course, natural wool or wool straight from farmers is also very challening to work with and I completely understand that not everyone can afford to buy the necessary equipment to deal with it. It also takes a lot of time to work with it, the time that you could otherwise spend spinning your yarn. But I think sometimes it’s really worth it.
Here’s more of natural yarn that I was spinning recently:
The brown Zwartbles yarn required a lot of patience. The wool was very very dirty and there are different ways you can deal with that. That time I decided to spin straight from the carder:
I basically carded the wool a few times, than I spun from the overhanging longer hair and slightly pulled it from the carder. I had put aside the short leftovers. Since I was removing the shorter hair, this could be technically called combing, even though I was using the carders.
I like the brown yarn especially because it’s pretty thin for a two-plied. I’m probably gonna use this one for my amigurumi endevours.
So, what do you think? Do you also prefer natural unprocessed wool from farmers or do you rather enjoy the convenience of commercially processed wool? What are your experiences in this area? 🙂