Sunday, June 8, 2008


I wracked the recesses of my mental hard drive and could not come up with a single song reference for the Shropshire wool that I am currently spinning. I got close to 1.5 lbs in a trade for some ginned cotton (the silk hankies from a couple of days ago were also part of that trade) and after spinning very fine wools (the sock rovings, and the Cormo) and threadweight silk on the spindle, it was nice to tackle something a little sturdier.

Shropshire is a Down Breed, and they're raised for both meat and wool. Down breeds are fairly common here in South Dakota (Suffolk, Hampshire), though I don't think I know anyone raising Shropshire, which was once the most common meat sheep raised in the US. The wool is short stapled (1"-3") and very crimpy and bouncy. It's not soft like Merino or Cormo, but it's not incredibly scratchy either. It spins into a lofty, bouncy yarn that is very good for outerwear. An added bonus for Down Breed wool is that it is extremely hard to felt- nigh on impossible, which means that anything I knit with this yarn should be machine washable and dryable.

The pencil roving has been nicely prepared, with very little VM (veggie matter- hay and other bits), and the wool spins easily, though I need a pretty heavy draw to pull it in. I'm spinning this yarn thicker on purpose, for a more worsted-weight yarn (mittens, hats, etc). I love the oatmeal color- I think this yarn might look very good with a cabled design. I have enough roving to make about anything I like (outside of an adult sweater), so I'll just spin for awhile, until I get tired of it, or some other roving speaks to me (or my order from Twisted Fiber Arts arrives- with 2 new sock rovings).

This first skein is 2.2 ozs and 93 yds of 2-ply yarn. It should knit up fine on size 5-7 needles.

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