Processing Wool

A pair of lambs at Beech Grove Fiberworks. Photo by Kate Larson

Farm Fresh Fleece

There are two ways to grow wool: standardized and in great quantity, which is perfect for commercial use, or fleece by fleece, in what’s called a “handspinner’s flock.” Commercial doesn’t have to mean bad or lifeless–there is great wool to be found in repeatable lots, and those sheep can produce a lot of wool to…

The contest looms were pre-warped, but all of the weft yarn was prepared and spun during the event. Photo: Cheryl Nachtrieb.

Sheep to Shawl with a Paco-Vicuña Twist

Do you like to spin wool and mohair? Have you ever tried lusciously soft Paco-Vicuña? The Recycled Lamb, a popular fiber shop in Golden, Colorado, helped to organize a unique spinning contest earlier this month at the National Western Stock Show. Much like a sheep to shawl contest, teams started with fiber and a warped…

A dish of punis looks like candy—pretty enough to eat!

Spinning Exotic Fiber Blends

When my kids were little, I read Dr. Seuss’s One Fish, Two Fish to them about a million times.  The page that has stuck in my mind all these years is something like  “Brush brush brush brush, comb comb comb comb . . . if you like to brush and comb you should have a…

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Spinning Stripes

Ahhh, the colors of fall. The leaves are changing, the skies are cloudy and mysterious, and here in the Pacific Northwest the return of the rainy season means moss is springing back to life everywhere. I find that autumnal colors are the most inspirational for my spinning. I love the burnt oranges, bright reds, stormy…

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Wool from the Ground Up

    Kate's passion for all things sheep-related is deeply rooted in farming. Photos by Kate Larson. We love wool. I’m hard pressed to find a spinner who isn’t a fan of fluffy, crimpy, wool locks. But beyond the romance of sweet lamby faces and fleece huffing is a very real science, industry, and agriculture.…

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A Q&A with Fiber Prep Instructor Courtney Mussatt

    Courtney Mussatt If you visit every local fiber festival and exclaim over a sheep’s crimp, or look at bags of raw fleece in frustration, or vow “Never again!” after a fiber prep experience gone wrong, we’ve got the perfect webinar for you. Join us on August 24 for the live version, or download…

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Handspun Fiber Friends

    Michelle Green's Wensley and Dale puppets are sure to make you smile. I love animals and animal-themed objects, so perhaps it's natural that I was allowed a preview of the new Handspun Fiber Friends to Knit and Crochet eBook. Often animal projects get lumped into the world of children's whimsy, but this need…

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Are You Carding Your Wool the Wrong Way?

  Probably not. Because there isn’t a single right way. Spinners all over the world from time before time have devised their own ways of aligning their fibers to make spinning a smooth, consistent yarn easier. This video shows five different approaches from five different spinners. They all work. There’s nothing better than learning from…

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How Wool Works: Understanding the Birth of Fleece

So different, yet each of these types of fleece comes from a sheep's productive little follicles. Photo by Jill Brooke. Too much information? Not really. But I learned things in Judith Mackenzie’s new video that made me squirm. The whole thing is fascinating, but the part that was truly a revelation for me was her…

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Five Tips for Prepping Your Own Fiber

    Merino drumcarded from raw fleece, then spun and handpainted with food coloring in 2012. Deborah Gerish Group Content Manager spinningdaily.com When I bought my first wheel in 1996, it felt as though the spinning world had become my oyster: now any yarn was possible. Like many new spinners, I wanted total control over…