Today I’m going to cover Chapter 2 and tell you a little bit about what I’ve learned.
The chapter begins with getting wool fleece off the back of the sheep and I found out that there are many steps in the journey. Big ah-ha moment – using a skilled shearer makes all the difference. They need to get the whole fleece off at one swoop to avoid getting “twice-cut” fibers that are shorter than the first cut fibers. A real no-no. Who knew how much was involved?
Before the fleece can be processed it goes through a washing process called scouring. Depending on the processing some or all of the lanolin is removed. Sometimes less processed yarns from smaller mills leave some of the lanolin in the fleece.
Clara gives a good explanation of the difference between the woolen (oldest and easiest way to make yarn) and worsted (produces smoother, stronger yarn).
She then goes into the various ways that yarns are dyed – as fleece, as fibers, as skeins.
Spoiler alert – Chapter 3 covers breeds and their differences. It’s 40 pages long so it will take me a while to read.
Meanwhile, I’m off to Vogue Knitting this weekend. Maybe I’ll even get to rub shoulders with Clara Parkes or at least say hi to her! Lots of knitting and yarn – yes, yes, yes!