Category Archives: Fiber Prep

Finished Project: Bandera

Since a lot of my knitting projects are long term, it’s nice have an instant-gratification project going at the same time to keep the knitting moving along. Bandera, a sweet little kerchief, is one of those projects. It reminds me of the patterns in a gansey (or guernsey) pullover, which is on my knitting to-do list.

pic of finished kerchief from pattern

Bandera by Emily Butzi for Tolt Yarn and Wool’s Camp Tolt collection

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Recent Spinning: Rambouillet-Columbia Cross

To be honest I almost passed on this fleece, but am glad I didn’t. I’ve recently taken to buying crosses as well as single breed fleece. Crosses are how we get new breeds and it’s interesting to find a cross and recognize the characteristics that belong to each of the breeds involved. It’s particularly nice when the cross combines your favorite characteristics from the breeds.

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Raw Wool to Dyed Yarn: Tunis

American Tunis is a solid medium wool. By that I mean that it is medium soft and has a decent staple length, crimp, and lock structure. It’s an excellent choice for making mittens, socks, or the sweater that one pairs with a favorite turtleneck or other undershirt. Tunis has some luster and takes dye very well. Yes, solid and good qualities.

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Current Spinning: Rambouillet & Alpaca

Rambouillet is a close relative of Merino with a staple length of 2–4 inches. A few years back, I bought my first raw Rambouillet fleece. That fleece was white and had a staple length that was generous enough to comfortably comb. It was so soft and springy.

The chocolate Rambouillet fleece I have now has plenty of bits that are just over 1 inch long. It’s just not suitable for combing. This wool has great crimp and bounce.

close up photo of Rambouillet lock

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Current Spinning: Shetland/Mohair

This latest spinning is a departure from my usual, hand-combed 100% wool. I’ve been experimenting with adding other natural fibers like mohair and alpaca to wool. Mohair can add sheen and strength to your yarn. Alpaca can add softness and warmth. Not to mention that these fibers come in wide variety of fantastic natural colors. Just think of the possibilities!

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Current Spinning Project: CVM

The California Variegated Mutant aka CVM is a color pattern variant of the Romeldale breed. Romeldales were developed in the United States by crossing Romney rams with Rambouillet ewes. The color pattern that distinguishes the CVM from the Romeldale is the badger-faced pattern: stripes from the muzzle to the eyes and/or dark legs and underbelly. Is the CVM a distinct breed from the Romeldale? Apparently this is up to debate. Whatever the case, the wool from all of these sheep share the same characteristics (crimp, lock structure, softness, etc.)

Did you know that the CVM/Romeldale is an endangered breed? This is distressing because the wool has such great qualities. Fantastic crimp, nice lock structure, good staple length, nice softness, and I could go on and on.

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