Na Na Na Na Na Na - Teasing Falkland is Fun and Fruitful!

Remember those 8 ounces of Falkland I dyed last week? I spun 2 of those ounces yesterday:

Falkland Wool in a yet-to-be-named colorway
Hand-dyed from commercially prepared combed top February 20, 2010.
Spun worsted draw and 2-plied February 27, 2010.
91 yards
8 wpi average (Aran weight)

I'm quite pleased with how it turned out. Which means I can make a confession:

I didn't think this fiber was going to spin well at all.

The reason? It wouldn't be too harsh to say I was pretty hard on it during rinsing. When I first hung it to dry, it looked like a seriously gnarled and ill-kempt dreadlock. I teased it apart a bit during the drying process, and although I could tell it wasn't fully felted, it seemed like I was having to work a little too hard to get movement... Certain I would spin it regardless, I couldn't necessarily foresee an enjoyable experience in my future.

So I hyper-teased it out before spinning:

At right is how it looked after drying -- and remember that this is already picked apart a lot. It's a very dense roll.

In the middle is my... well... middle stage of teasing. I had expected this to be enough, but realized that there were still dense patches that would get in the way of a smooth spin. These patches were mostly at what, in the process of teasing it apart, became edges of sorts.

Below (with my hand for scale) and at left in the picture above, is the finished fiber:

I worked out all the dense patches, and the shape is much more clearly dimensional. It's really poofy! As I teased it, I pulled the fibers apart "sideways" rather than elongating them like I would in a normal pre-drafting process. It came out more like a very large, very light, and very long batt than combed top.

It made sense to me that the perfectly aligned fibers of the combed top would revert to their more natural, crimpy state during dyeing, so the shift from combed top to batt seemed reasonable. Hope bloomed as the fiber did!

Here's the middle stage for scale:

And here's what I started with (after drying):

Tremendous difference, no?!

When all was said and done, I'm glad I took the extra time to fully tease it out. It spun like a dream -- a completely enjoyable experience. It has about a 5-inch staple, and it's among the softest fibers I've worked with. Definitely bound for a special next-to-the-skin something.
As for the color?
It's not the colors I had expected to be sending my sister, but I really like the subtle shifts.

As you can see from the pictures, the color really pops in the light...

And it seems to change based on perspective...
And on the other colors around it...

From a distance, the overall color tends toward the olive green -- which I clearly had a hard time capturing in the images today. Light does an amazing dance with this yarn!
So my sister will get 4 ounces of the fiber to spin (and tease!... it doesn't take that long and it's fun) for herself. I'll spin up the other 2 and will either give the yarn to J so he can make something for himself or I will make something for him.
Ideas for a great men's pattern for approximately 180 yards of Aran weight yarn? Please send them my way!

1 comment:

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