Sunday, January 15, 2012

Wool type matters

Well,  I caught a tummy bug that took the life right outta me for 3 days.  I'm only now, 5 days later, feeling like I can do much of anything.  It was ugly.  But no details because, well,  eww.

The really sad part was it set me back quite far back in my homework.  Do you know how much washing I could get done in those 5 days?  4 breeds.  I could have pretty much had my breeds all washed and ready to go.  Oh well, I suppose this is the point of the 'Of Mice and Men' quote.
Anyway, before I got sick I managed to get a worsted merino, woolen merino, and a woolen teeswater skien spun.  And the knit swatches of the merinos.  I only managed to get a picture of the woolen teeswater and woolen merino side by side.  It's what I find to be most interesting anyway.  Check this out:

Left: Merino; Right: TeeswaterLeft: Merino; Right: Teeswater - with the merino stretched

Now, let me explain.  Both skeins were originally wraped around the same part on my niddy noddy, both were finished by fulling, and both were hung without weight.  Look at the first picture.  LOOK!  Isn't it cool?!  That crimp, the energy in the merino, makes the merino look that much shorter, but look how much it stretches! (in the second photo)  So cool, I say.
Now, some may wonder 'why does this matter?'  The finished fabric made with these wool types is going to be infinitly different.  Take a pair of socks for example.  Make a pair of merino socks, they will be stretchy and snug.   Make a pair of teeswater socks, and those babies are going to sloutch, and not stay up very well.  They'll be silky and nice but it you don't like slippery socks, then don't be spining them teeswater.
On the other hand, make a big flowy shawl for something like a christening or wedding.  You're going to want the teeswater, as this breed will give you the drape you are after.   Merino will be bouncy and would work too, but the teeswater would just look nicer, given it's lustor.
I suppose this is why we do the breed study.  To see these amazingly interesting differences in breeds.  It brings out the Sustanabilityist in me. It makes me wonder why we need extruded fibers, chemical fibers, fibers that cause polution.  Why do we need those things, when we were given wool, from many different breeds of sheep, that suit so many different purpose.  And lets not forget other natural fibers, like silk, cotton, and linen.  Heck you can spin nettle too, if you know how to get at the fibers in it's stalks.
... Mother Nature is amazing, isn't she?



  1. I just started the MSP level 1, nice to meet you! :)


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