Liralen Li (liralen) wrote,
Liralen Li

Magic Box

I just got a huge box, last night, from the Sheep Studio's mill ends sales area. They sell roving, spinning bells, and grab bags of wool for 7.50 to 5.50 a pound. Which is pretty amazing even for medium weight wool. But I realized why the bells were so cheap when I grabbed a bunch and started putting it through my drum carder.

I *think*, but I'm not absolutely positive, that the bells are made up of all the wool bits that are vacuumed up from the spinning area while the machine spinners work*. So there's a *lot* of wool dust in those things, and there was a flurry whenever I pulled apart parts of the bells. *sigh* So I put on a breather mask and went to work with the carding and a little hand vac, which worked great on everything I could figure out.

Still, the wool that came out of the carder was gorgeous, on the most part the staple was well long enough to spin, and the particular bell I started with had a very lustrous dark gray wool that was silky soft enough to wonder if it was alpaca. There were brown streaks and white streaks in it, too. So the resulting yarn was a very nice tweed. I did a bulky single (first time I've done THAT in a while, but I want to make a felted bag or mittens out of it) and it was kind of hard to spin as the staple wasn't nearly even. And when I washed the single, a lot of the dust came off it, which is good in that I probably won't have to wear a breathing mask while knitting with it, but...

I'd advise folks that buy the stuff to buy a pound to start and see if you really like using it. I was really pulled in by the fact that the *other* bells I got were 80% wool and 20% mohair, which is nigh on impossible to get at $5.50 a *pound*. I'll have to go through some of that to see how it spins and wears to really give a final judgment on the stuff. But I'm not at all liking the wool dust aspect. When I woke up this morning I really thought I had a cold, as I was coughing and sneezing up all this yuck. But I think it really was just my lungs cleaning themselves out. Not a bad thing. Maybe I should just be running the HEPA filter when I work with it next.

The roving is just regular roving that gets fed into the machine. Next time I'm more likely to stick with that, if I buy from them again. The price are pretty incredible. The Yellow Oops, superwash for $10 a pound is as ugly as its pictures. I'm really looking forward to over dyeing it severely. But the black and white roving I got was just wonderful, medium weight wool, and at $7.50, no place I know can beat it. So I'm very happy with that along with the four ounces of white they just threw in as a Thank You bonus.

It is pretty much as advertised on the site. The bells are actually significantly more work than the rovings, and I'll have to keep that in mind for next time.

Edited later: * Turns out, with some questioning on my part of the lady that sells these, that the bells are actually just the end of a roving bump (or multiple bumps if there's a blend being made, and I think that mine was predominantly grey with small rovings of white and brown sucked in with it) that all got sucked into the spinning machine via it's vacuum intake for fibers. A the end of a bump, the suction is enough to pull the whole thing up into the machine and it plugs the intake with all the wools that are being used for that yarn. So it's not the floor sweepings. I guess that mine just had more short staples in it than I usually like in wool.
Tags: review, spinning

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