Acquisitions and Discoveries is a special segment on Sarah Hunt’s Fibertrek, a podcast about wool and place. I love the name as it shifts the focus away from the consumption of new products to something that invites more curiousity, something that an entomologist or an ethnologist might report on. It suggestions a process of investigation and exploration.
In that light then, I have two Acquisitions and Discoveries to report on.
The first is a beautiful new fibre from Granite Haven, sent to me to sample. It is a pure, undyed Gotland top processed by Cashmere Connections and it is wonderous to behold, handle, spin and knit.
The colour is classic Gotland gray, a stunning dark silver. Often during processing, the lustre of Gotland is lost, but Cashmere Connections have managed to retain the shine and luminescence of the fleece. Part of this light must come from the blending of many different shades of grey into the fibre. The handle is silky soft and can be worn next to the skin.
I spun it straight from the top which is wide and generous, almost like a batt. I spun it with a modified worsted draw, letting some twist come into the drafting zone pulling the top back slowly and smoothing with my fingers. In my experience Gotland, seems to need a little woollen loft in the spin.
The yarn was heavenly to knit and bloomed significantly after washing. It would make a sturdy yet luxurious garment. I see it as a long line cardigan with enough ease that you could wrap it around you a bit…with deep pockets perhaps.
This fibre is grown, scoured and processed entirely in Victoria and is available on the Granite Haven website for $28 AUD per 200 g.
The second fibre I want to share is undyed flax top from FeltFine. I got this because I’ve fallen in love with Tegna (like so many other folks) and thought it would be fun to spin for. This fibre preparation is quite different from the traditional flax line and tow preparations. It has been processed more like wool. There aren’t super long fibres in this, nor super short so it doesn’t tangle or ball in the spinning and it is quite fine in comparison to other flax I’ve spun. The top form is ideal for blending with other fibres and I still spun it with wet fingers.
To sample, I blended the flax with some fine wool on hand carders, spun a two ply fingering weight and it knitted up with just the right amount of drape and elasticity for my purposes and will soften with wear. This is definitely flax made easy.
The product is from Europe via UK and imported into Australia but that’s all I know of its origins. It is available from FeltFine for $7.00 per 100 g. They have bleached and blended preparations too.
Disclaimer: No one has asked me to write about these fibres and I receive no income from doing so. If I didn’t like the product, I simply wouldn’t write about it.