Monday, June 8, 2020

Shave 'Em 2 Save 'Em, Chapter 2: Clun Forest

When I decided to start the Shave 'Em 2 Save 'Em program, I was cruising around Etsy and found this collection of dyed Clun Forest Roving from Left Hand Wool Company.

Clun Forest Sheep have white fleeces and black faces. 

Their wool has a tight crimp, which leads to a pretty fluffy spun wool
Learning about the different crimps and curls in fleece has been pretty illuminating. I would have thought the long silky curls would make the softest yarn, but animals with finer crimp in their locks give much more loft and softness to the yarn. The natural crimp catches air and makes it easy to spin up a lofty yarn. This yarn did end up a little scratchy, but in the winter, who is that picky. 

Usually, in my fiber adventures, I'm a natural rainbow kind of gal. Wool fleeces come in such a beautiful array of creams, browns, tans and black, I'm usually happy enough to use them as is. 
However, for this project, I pushed myself outside of my comfort zone and chose this bold array of colors. 

I am still quite a novice spinner, and I'm always fascinated by the contrast between the roving and the spun yarn.

I started by working in large stripes of color to make a scarf/shawlette, but I actually hated it. I almost threw the project away (it would seem, with the pandemic, recession, home schooling, murder, systemic racism, and riots, that my fuse is a little shorter than usual) 
However, I took a breath, pulled it out and reknit the project using garter stitch stripes. 

I sure there's a ham-fisted metaphor here about how we all do better when we work together, or something. I will say, that I really like how it came out. 

I have actually done quite a bit of spinning and knitting with Clun Forest wool. My parents' dear friends raise Clun Forest sheep and have gifted me a few fleeces over the years.
My first handspun sweater was mostly made of their wool.
However, they're not on the approved list of vendors for Shave 'Em 2 Save 'Em, thus the visit to Etsy.

A few takeaways: 
It was good to get myself out of the subtle, subdued color palate I have been used to. I am inpsired to try more exciting color choices. 
Clun Forest is a lovely wool to work with, though this one ended up a little scratchy for the liking of anybody in the family. I think I will try to work a little less twist into my yarn for the next time I spin with Clun Forest, in the hopes of maximizing the loft.