Elizabeth Barrette (ysabetwordsmith) wrote,
Elizabeth Barrette

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Content notes for "Spinning Out of Nothingness"

These are the content notes for "Spinning Out of Nothingness."

"We come spinning out of nothingness, scattering stars like dust."
-- Rumi

Shiv bought two books for himself: Teach Yourself Visually Knitting Design: Working from a Master Pattern to Fashion Your Own Knits and Crochet Stitch Dictionary: 200 Essential Stitches with Step-by-Step Photos.

Read about how to spin barber pole yarn and watch a video. This type of yarn typically has contrasting colors.

See Shiv's sari yarn bolero and Luci's sari yarn bag.

Natural cotton candy comes in many flavors. Shiv gets Maple-Acorn and Luci gets Honey-Almond.

Read about how to use a drop spindle and see a video for beginners.

There are modular drop spindles so you can adjust the whorl weight and shaft length for your fiber. Shiv gets Trillium Whorls like this set of three and a set of shafts in different lengths.

Dye plants can make a complete rainbow. Some colors are just easier or more common or longer lasting than others.

Shiv buys two books for Aidan: A Dyer's Garden and Dyes from American Native Plants: A Practical Guide. For himself he gets Intertwined: The Art of Handspun Yarn, Modern Patterns, and Creative Spinning.

Colorway means the combination of colors used in a yarn or garment. The same basic yarn typically comes in multiple colorways.

Different types of wool come from the many breeds of sheep. Icelandic wool can be spun in the grease (with the lanolin still on it). This videos demonstrate spinning Icelandic wool in the grease, lockspinning, and tailspinning.

Skirting is the process of picking over a raw fleece to remove undesirable bits, and this article talks about how to sort wool including salvage of low-quality wool.

L-America typically sells fleeces as raw skirted or washed. T-America sells raw unskirted fleeces, which are for crafters who want the cheapest price and plan to use "everything but the baa." Manure tags, vegetable matter, and such go for compost; breech wool can be used for rugs or soil amendments; matted wool can be used for mulch, stuffing or model sheep; short cuts go for making neps, and so on.

Then the T-American classification breaks skirted fleeces into various categories based on the time spent to clean them. Lightly or speed skirted means about 5 minutes, no more than 10, usually done right on the shearing floor. Only the worst bits and biggest debris are quickly picked out and discarded before pricing the fleece; anyone can do this. Shepherds don't charge extra for this, they factor it into the cost of the fleece, and unskirted fleeces are discounted. Lightly skirted fleece costs less than average, but most crafters will wind up throwing away a fair bit unless they do diverse crafts. Standard means 20-30 minutes, removing readily visible debris and lower-quality wool. Most fleeces are standard skirted and average prices reflect this. $5/pound is a typical price. Heavily or fully skirted means 45-60 minutes of concerted effort, leaving only the best wool and its lanolin along with debris too small to grasp that has to be washed out. This is skilled labor because it requires attention to detail. Handspinners sometimes pay a premium for maximum skirting if they want to spin in the grease. $10/pound is typical, bearing in mind that average fleece prices run $10-20/pound. Skirting work may be priced per pound or per hour, but in any case, it winds up costing more to process a dirty fleece from a wild-pastured sheep than a tidy fleece from a coated sheep. Higher skill commands higher prices, sometimes $15-20/pound, so it's rarely worthwhile except on top-notch fleeces that will be spun in the grease. See some sample prices for wool processing services and a discussion on how to make money selling raw fleece.

Icelandic wool has a variety of lengths and textures in one fleece.

Shiv buys two 5-pound Icelandic fleeces in different colors at $100 each. He leaves the white one raw to be processed in more detail later. He takes the bicolored one to the autistic skirters and pays $15/pound (another $75) for maximum skirting. The result is a gorgeous pile of wool ready for lockspinning.
Icelandic ~ 19-22, 27-30 μ ~ 4-5 lbs. ~ $40-50 to $80-100

This is the raw, lightly skirted white fleece. It will be more thoroughly skirted and washed later, then probably separated, carded, and dyed before spinning.

This is the bicolor fleece after skirting, with locks intact. This type of fleece is ideal for lockspinning and tailspinning techniques where you want to keep the texture and color variations. It makes a splendid shaggy yarn for such purposes as tapestries or the outer layer of an all-weather cloak.

Sheep come in many breeds for purposes including meat, milk, and fiber.

Icelandic sheep come in all colors
: black, gray, white, and brown. Badger-faced sheep are prone to multicolored wool, but it occurs in others as well. This flock on Hagar Farm includes ivory, greige, fawn, coffee, and brown-black with some badger faces and variegated colors. they have a llama guard. Another farm has black, gray-black, gray, white, tan, fawn, and brown-black also with variations. They make lovely yarn in many colors. Naturally colored wool is great because it has no dye to wash out. You can also get interesting effects from overdyeing it with a different color. The multicolored sheep give a beautiful tweedy wool.

In Terramagne, sheep have among the highest prevalence of crayon colors, likely because they are so often raised on farms that use natural or artifical dyes to tint the wool. Small patches of exotic color appeared first, followed by solid colors (often with contrasting faces and legs), and in recent years multicolored sheep including a few rainbows have emerged.

This mixed flock of Saltwater Taffy Sheep includes Cheviot and Border Leicester (the bare-headed sheep) along with Merino and Romney (with more wool on head and legs). The wool colors include pink, orange, yellow, green, turquoise, and purple over white faces and sometimes legs. Preliminary observation suggests two branches of color genetics, the "warm" and "cool" families. Saltwater Farm is attempting to stabilize two breeds of solid-colored crayon sheep, one bare-headed and one wool-headed. These will likely be single-purpose breeds, as something about the colors tends to make the milk (and sometimes also the meat) taste rank or medicinal. It's not toxic, just unappetizing.
Fleece value varies by color, typically 2-4 times as much as an ordinary fleece of the same quality. The gingery orange is the least valuable as it is almost the same as ordinary fawn-colored sheep; it's worth 2x as much. The pumpkin orange is a little more valuable, 3x as much. Yellow, green, turquoise, purple, and pink are worth 4x as much.

Rainbow sheep like Iris are recessive, rarely produced by crossing warm and cool colors, but they can reproduce with each other and breed true -- unlike the solid crayon sheep whose genetics is less predictable.
The fleece from this sheep is not for sale, but on the market, the bidding would start at 10x the ordinary price, around $2,400.
Border Leicester ~ 30-38 μ ~ 8-12 lbs. ~ $80-160 to $120-240

Variation in wool production from select American breeds
Breed ~ Fiber diameter ~ Fleece weight ~ Fleece price raw
Border Leicester ~ 30-38 μ ~ 8-12 lbs. ~ $50-100 to $80-160
Cheviot ~ 27-33 μ ~ 5-8 lbs. ~ $50-100 to $80-160
Icelandic ~ 19-22, 27-30 μ ~ 4-5 lbs. ~ $40-50 to $80-100
Merino ~ 18-23 μ ~ 9-15 lbs. ~ $90-180 to $150-300
Romney ~ 32-39 μ ~ 10-18 lbs. ~ $1-200 to $180-$360
U.S. Average 7.2 lbs.

Saltwater Taffy Sheep

Border Leicester ~ 30-38 μ ~ 8-12 lbs. ~ $80-160 to $120-240
2x Ginger orange: $320-$480
3x Pumpkin orange: $480-$720
4x Other crayon colors: $640-$960

Cheviot ~ 27-33 μ ~ 5-8 lbs. ~ $50-100 to $80-160
2x Ginger orange: $200-$320
3x Pumpkin orange: $300-$480
4x Other crayon colors: $400-$640

Merino ~ 18-23 μ ~ 9-15 lbs. ~ $90-180 to $150-300
2x Ginger orange: $360-$600
3x Pumpkin orange: $540-$900
4x Other crayon colors: $720-$1,200

Romney ~ 32-39 μ ~ 10-18 lbs. ~ $1-200 to $180-$360
2x Ginger orange: $400-$720
3x Pumpkin orange: $600-$1,080
4x Other crayon colors: $800-$1,440

A shaft drive shearing machine is meant for heavy use, costing around $1,054.00 for a new kit including multiple blade sets. Clipper blades can run about $34.99 a set.

35 x4 = $140 per pair of clipper blades made super-sharp
2 pairs of blades would be $240
3 pairs of blades would be $420

Cheviot ~ 27-33 ~ μ 5-8 lbs. ~ $50-100 to $80-160
2x Ginger orange: $200-$320 (olive)
3x Pumpkin orange: $300-$480
4x Other crayon colors: $400-$640
Tags: crafts, cyberfunded creativity, family skills, fantasy, fishbowl, poetry, reading, weblit, writing

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