I’m still spinning from Deb Robson’s Must Spin list. I have learned so much about fibers I would never have spun and a whole lot about my spinning skills.
This week’s spins are Angora rabbit, Romeldale and CVM.
Angora was easy to prep because there isn’t any. But that’s where easy stops. Angora hair is very short and slippery. I spun from a cloud of angora with lots of twist. It was hard to keep it even, and boy,oh, boy it was fly away – there was angora hair flying all over. Of all of the fibers I’ve spun this was the one most interesting to my little boy and my dog. So I had extra help in the form of little fingers and a big wet nose while I tried to spin.
I don’t think I would use 100% angora for a big project, maybe a hat or a small accessory. It is hot. Even knitting my small swatch, kept my hands warm, almost sweaty. It would be wonderful blended in with other fibers for it’s silky softness and halo.
There are 5 different types of Angora rabbits that produce distinct fiber English, French, German, Giant and Satin.
Angora rabbit fiber is harvested usually every every three months.
My next spins were Romeldale and CVM
First I worked with some raw Romeldale from The Spinning Loft. I had problems with this Romeldale, but only due to my own mistakes and misjudgements. The fiber was lanolin rich and spingy. I guessed, wrong, that it would behave like a down breed and the lanolin would wash out quickly. I washed it once with Power Scour, and it really could have used another wash.
I decided to just flick and spin. I didn’t check the staple length and it was pretty short, that plus the stickiness of the leftover lanolin made for really lumpy yarn. Not a rustic type of lumpy, but a yucky amount of lump.
Next I tried my hand cards. Just a quick couple of passes and I was able to control it into a yarn that I really like. This fiber has loft. Before I washed my yarn it had a WPI of 9 afterÂ I was washed it it swelled to 6. Boing!
I spun some commercially prepped CVM , top from Spirit Trail Fiberworks. Even commercially prepped the CVM still had lanolin, just the right amount.
That combined with the even prep of top made this an even lofty spin. This yarn swelled when set, but not nearly as much as the raw Romeldale from 10 to 9.
I would wear both the Romeldale and CVM next to my skin. When I spin with these fibers again, and I know I will, I’ll do a lot more sampling. These are fibers that, for me, need to be sampled at every step – how many washes, the prep and for yarn WPI before and after the final wash.
A fascinating breed that really tripped me up. I want to spin more of this.
Jillian is the author of the best-selling spinning book Yarnitecture. She is the editor of Knittyspin and Developmental Editor for PLY and PLY Books. She kinda loves this spinning thing and wants everyone who spins to love it too, so she teaches and writes a lot. She knits, weaves, and stitches and tries to do as much of it as she can with handspun yarn. She's always cooking up all kinds of exciting and creative things combining fiber arts.
She likes her mysteries British, her walks woodsy, and to spend as much time as she can laughing.
Spy on her on her website jillianmoreno.com