With Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival looming on the horizon, it seemed a good idea to make some headway spinning up a fleece I bought at last year’s event. It is a lovely moorit Finnsheep fleece that went through only the most basic of preps. I gave it a hot water rinse that took off what little surface grime there was but left most of the lanolin.
Rather than send it out to be roved, I am using my favorite method: dog combs.
These are possibly the cheapest pieces of fiber equipment you will ever come across. I have a set of large Indigo Hound combs and a set of Viking mini combs and, frankly, they scare me to use them because they are so sharp. I’m always afraid that the cats will abruptly jump up when I’m using them and impale themselves. But the dog combs have blunt tines and you can use either the wide-set teeth or the close-set. For my purposes, they work great. I hold a lock by the cut end, flick open the tip, then turn it around and flick the cut end. Works great.
The only adjustment I had to make in spinning this was to make the final strand a 3-ply. There was far more variation in the fleece color than first met the eye. The first skeins were 2-ply and, when knitted into gloves and caps, had too much of a color change from place to place. The remedy was to make a 3-ply strand that distributed the colorations better throughout.
These skeins are about 250 yards each, and there is still plenty of fleece in the basket! I will try to make headway on it, spin it down, and justify another one at this year’s MSWF.