Spinning Tuesdays: Southdown, a Break for Color and a Giveaway

Today’s Must Spin is a double. Southdown is on both Deb Robson’s list of animal fibers to spin and on her rare and endangered wools list.

Southdown dirty and clean fiber, yarn and knited swatchSouthdown was another springy down fiber. This fleece was dirty, but I learned my lesson from my last down type fiber and didn’t over wash. I was in a hurry to spin this one [soft! springy! must spin!] and I learned a different lesson this week. When prepping elastic fibers, they don’t like to be rushed.

Look at those nepps!

I carded the fiber on my drumcarder and I did it quickly. The result was a whole lot of nepps in my batt. I wish I had flicked instead of carding, or had more patience carding.

Soft and elastic yarn

Because of the nepps it spun lumpier than I thought it would. I spun it long draw without using a support hand and it needed a little more twist than I initially thought. It was a wonderfully compliant fiber, willing to hang out while I made  adjustments to my treadling with out falling apart or getting wiry.

This is the softest of the down and down types that I’ve spun yet. If I could get all of the vm out I would absolutely wear this yarn next my skin.

Two fun facts about Southdown from The Fleece and Fiber Sourcebook:

  1. There are records dating back to medieval time of sheep believed to be Southdown
  2. There is a Miniature Southdown that is less than 24 inches tall.


Give Me Color!

I took a break from spinning raw and natural colored fibers and spun 8oz of gorgeous Abstract Fibers in a weekend. I combined two colors and two types of fiber.

Abstract Fiber Mossy Rock BFL

Abstract Fiber Laurelhurst Merino/Tencel

Lots of beautiful yarn

Look at the matte and shiny together

I spun both fibers with a sliding long draw, a little thinner than I usually do. I came out with 408 yards of 12 WPI yarn. I chose the fibers because I love the contrast of shiny and matte. I chose the colors quickly, with little to no color agony. I made sure that there was one color similar in each bundle, grabbed the fiber and started spinning. I really like how it came out and boy did I need an infusion of color; it felt like scratching an itch.

Giveaway Time

I have a fantastic giveaway for you spinners out there! A prize package to keep your spinning brain and spinning hands busy!


Fabulous fiber book!

A  copy of Deb Robson’s new book, The Fleece and Fiber Sourcebook, retail $35. It will arrive on your doorstep in June. Thank you to Storey Publishing for the donation.

38 rare and endangered sheep

A copy of Deb Robson’s DVD set, Handspinning Rare Wools, retail $34.95. Thank you to Interweave Press for the donation.

Spinning Loft fiber sampler

And a raw fiber, Fleece and Fiber Soucebook sampler from The Spinning Loft, similar to the one I’m spinning over these 10 weeks. Big thanks to Beth for providing the sampler.

Retail $85

The usual rules apply. Leave a comment before midnight on Friday May 13,2011. A comment will be chosen at random to answer a skill testing question. If he or she answers correctly they will our prize package.

Hooray! Happy Spring Spinning!






*Spread the joy!*

(454 Posts)

391 thoughts on “Spinning Tuesdays: Southdown, a Break for Color and a Giveaway

  1. Jen

    Wow! I am drooling over these items. It’s wonderful to see rare breeds promoted. There is always something interesting on Knitty .

  2. Carrie Armbrecht

    Thank you so much for sharing your spinning journey with us. I am just getting into drop spinning, and your descriptions are making me want to try every fiber out there (especially the Clun Forest and Tunis)!

  3. Carolyn

    I really love the spinning bits – such inspiration and great tips. Keep it coming! (and please pick me!)

  4. Karen e

    I got to try my hand at spinning for the first time at a fiber festival last year. It’s something that’s always fascinated me. How awesome it would be to completely handmake an item, start to finish!

  5. Pandorasslave

    1) Absolutely great prize package! I have been eagerly awaiting Deb’s new book since I first heard about it in January…

    2) Do you keep a notebook about all your experiences with the raw fleeces? Or do you simply blog about it? I’ve been trying to do both, but it’s a little hard to remember it all when spinning.

  6. Deborah

    Mmm, I love the matt and shiny combo. I assume you read the thread in the KBOW group on Ravelry when Southdown was the Woolalong fiber?

  7. Nancy

    Oooh! I’d love to win this one; I started as a spinner because I wanted to learn more about different sheep breeds.

  8. Daisy

    I’m glad I caught up reading – much longer and I would have been too late to enter!

  9. Liz

    This spinning column has inspired my spinning and helped me bring it back to life. Thanks!

  10. Linda

    I got my autographed copy of the Fleece and fiber sourcebook at the MDSW last weekend. I think it will be referred to very frequently, and it has beautiful photographs besides. ; )

  11. Lela

    I crave that yarn. More, I crave the ability to make that yarn. So pretty…
    I do love reading about your spinning odyssey!

  12. Rachel

    I love the Spinning Tuesdays posts!

    I just came home from Colonial Williamsburg with some Leichester Longwool to spin. It’s amazing stuff, even as a beginner I can tell! I love seeing the rarer wools!

  13. Nancy P

    Can’t resist the chance for these prizes.
    Your spinning exploration has been great reading – and great inspiration.

  14. linda a roller

    This is one Give A Way so generous.I have wanted to spin & weave most of my life.I have found a great maker of spindles.A spinner know told me to try this first before I buy a spinning wheel.I need the books first!

  15. Laurel

    Oooh, just made the cut-off! This is an amazing giveaway. Although, now you’ve made me want a Miniature Southdown for my backyard!

  16. G. K. Green

    Here’s my comment (and it’s 11:26 pm here in Arizona, so I hope that counts)! What a great giveaway … Thanks!

Comments are closed.