Fun with fiber
22 January 2012 - I am busy getting ready for a series of late winter/early spring fiber events and craft shows. Included are some shows that I was invited to attend that I have not attended before. I am flattered to have been invited and I do feel a need to ensure that all of the items that I bring to these shows are the best that I can produce.
One of the fun – and challenging – things about working with my own herd’s fleece is figuring out the best use for each fiber. Not only according to fineness – or micron count – but also by consistency and color.
I once wrote that I treasured Belle’s fleece over those of her darker cousins Briza and Bixa due to all the possibilities. I was thinking of dyeing possibilities. However, after working with Belle’s fiber, I would not think of dyeing it. Her fiber is so incredibly white with a great deal of brightness to it. This is a hat made from Belle’s fiber – knit from yarn that I handspun, then felted.
This is actually the second hat made from Belle’s fleece – the first one sold less than 24 hours after I finished it!
Briza and Bixa – the girls actually are cousins – have great fiber shared, along with Belle, in their common Portland Kidd ancestry. However, their darker colors do limit the possibilities for the use of their fiber.
Acer’s fiber is one that I am dyeing. He is classified as “beige” and the yarn from his fiber has an off-white look to it. It will be very pretty over-dyed in various colors.
These batts are from Acer’s raw fleece. I washed, dyed and carded the fiber in preparation for felting and/or spinning. His beige color gives a heathered look to the dyed fiber.
Alder’s fleece may also be headed for the dye pot. While I have had great success selling hats made from his medium fawn fleece, he is turning much lighter as he ages. I think that items made from this year’s shearing will not have that pretty blend of dark, medium and light fawn that characterized his earlier fleece. His overall color is now closer to Acer’s.
Regardless of the color, the fiber is always wonderful to work with and determining the best characteristics of each one is part of the fun.