A couple of weeks ago we visited a local fiber festival. The rain kept all of the animals away much to the disappointment of my husband. The kids got over it as soon as their little fingers touched fiber. Soon they were asking for pretty much everything. They did each get a little something (as far as souvenirs go they could do worse). My fiber collection was down to practical and somewhat dull fibers that will be spun and spun seemingly forever, which meant it was time for something to spice it up again. Practical is easier to handle if there is a shiny fun fiber to spin from time to time. I thought I’d get some nice blend of prettily dyed wool. Instead my pretties went almost entirely the other way. I bought a lot of white fiber. It happened like this. Some lovely mulberry silk-I haven’t spun silk before, it would make a nice shawl, this color is great, definitely not practical and boring-jumped into my bag. It was followed by some lovely dyed pearl fiber. I was going to pick up some of the practical, not spun before by me nylon, but didn’t see that it was pearl-well this is a new experience too, and when will I see it again? Into the bag it went. A little sample of purple bamboo jumped in after it. Then I stumbled upon a stall with sampler bags of so many fibers. A large bin of different types of wool was very tempting, but the bin of exotic fibers caught my eye first-mohair, angora, fox/wool, camel down, yak, cashmere, hemp, milk, rose. Jump, jump, jump. Just little 1/2 oz. samples for a few dollars each to teach my fingers new things. To go with them a tiny spindle to test them on and to travel with me everywhere.
First fiber test was camel down. Sheer pleasure to spin and oh so soft. I could have spun and spun this, but I thought I’d learned enough for now and would save some to share or to combine with something else. A small crochet sample and a bit of spun and plied yarn for a sample book. The second was yak, a request from my husband who likes to play at being a farmer and wants to raise fiber animals for those of us who are fiber addicts. Yak it seems needs a special type of wheel. It was set aside to go to guild for exploration by more experienced spinners. My spinning mojo is back and I’m back to the 5 lb. of mill ends, I had been working on.
Next up mohair, which told me almost immediately that it needed to be spun woolen rather than worsted in order to be a lovely airy mohair yarn. Spinning woolen is something I do on the wheel rather than the spindle so, that will wait too.