DECEMBER 12, 2016
Okay I have to admit, I am really overwhelmed with the decision of what breed of sheep I want to get (when we get to that point). I can’t even decide if I want a fine wool or medium wool breed. On the one side I love the idea of squishy soft, but then again a courser medium wool for a more rustic feeling handspun yarn is also appealing. I’ve been toying with the idea of targhee sheep for a little while, so I knew the first step to deciding if this breed was for me would be spinning up some targhee fiber!
The hubs got me some targhee natural cream colored combed top from The Woolery for my birthday (as well as an awesome pair of Schacht hand carders that I still need to try out, woops!). Feeling it straight out of the bag, it was lush as heck, I just wanted to rub it all over my face. I imagined it as some lofty chunky single ply yarn. At first I thought I would spin it woolen, but I quickly realized I don’t really understand how to do a long draw? Like I guess I understand the concept, but not the execution even after watching several videos on it. I have a hard time getting thicker yarn to be drawn up quickly onto the bobbin; really any yarn in general. I thought it might have to do with my wheel just being kind of sticky, but I’ve tried oiling it and haven’t seen much of a difference. I think I really need a better understanding of how to adjust the brake band and drive band depending on the yarn I’m trying to spin. If anyone has any articles, guides, tips please help a girl out! I’ve also read pretty much everywhere that you need roving to spin woolen; top is spun worsted. Why is that? Is it because the aligned fibers in combed top slide past each other too easily to do a long draw? Anyways, I just settled for spinning worsted. It’s definitely not consistent but I still liked the way it turned out. So floofy! I finished it by soaking it in hot water for 10-20 minutes, then I snapped it a few times, squished it in a towel to get out excess water, and hung it up to dry in my bathroom on a towel bar for a day or two. Then when I really looked at it it felt kind of different, like it was almost felted, but only slightly so. I need to try out other finishing techniques.
Overall I’d say I’m a big fan of the targhee, so this breed is definitely still a top contender for our fiber farm. Only a few hundred other breeds to try out though, no biggie.