My Big Gotland Spin 1

November 16, 2017

Before I got sick, before I started my thesis, I bought a big Gotland fleece from the Granite Haven Open Day. These Open Days are wonderful events, the shearing shed is stacked full of beautiful fleeces, the smell of lanolin is intoxicating, the eucalypts shimmer and the place is packed with excited spinners, knitters and felters.

The fleece I got was lovely, dark grey, lustrous and curly. It sat for a few years while I got busy and then, very not busy.

But when we moved to Ballarat, it was the first thing I got out to spin. I spent days and days, flicking locks and spinning. It was a glorious meditation.

My intention was to spin up enough yarn to make the Abrams’s Bridge Cardigan by Mer Stevens from Pom Pom Quarterly Autumn 2015 which I have had my eye on well, since Autumn 2015! Stevens used Heirloom Romney by Fancy Tiger Crafts for this design.

The yarn is worsted weight yarn with a woolly loft made from long wool Romney sheep known for their lustre. The Gotland seemed a good choice for producing a yarn that would have similar qualities to that used by the designer.

I sampled some different approaches and worked out what I wanted. To get the loft, I flick carded the Gotland locks and spun them from the fold with a short forwards draw letting some twist into the drafting zone. I plied these a little firmer than I usually would as I want this to be a durable cardigan. For geeky details, the singles were spun on an 8:1 whorl and 2 singles plied on the 11.5:1 whorl at a rate of 2 inches per treadle and I have ended up with a yarn around 6 WPI and 6 TPI.

My intention is to dye these skeins to a dark green using natural dyes. So stay tuned.

Granite Haven Open Day is this weekend, just near Euroa. Check out their facebook for details. Go and get some lovely Gotland!