About this blog space

This blog space is a place for me to primarily put all my wool gatherings, adventures, experiments. I am now a mum of two astounding daughters, and I used to be a DIY musician and co-ran a tiny independent label (Slampt), so this punk can-do attitude plus feminist analysis and Art school experience somehow informs my wool work! I am also deeply moved by GREEN, trees, weather, colour combinations in nature, and texture. I aim to source wool from round the corner or at the very least UK grown and processed, and to create no toxic waste. This means I get to see sheep as often as I can, sometimes at wool fests.
I am on Ravelry and Etsy as FatHenWildWool and Facebook as Rachel Holborow.

Sunday, 24 July 2011

TDF Finis: Coils!

The week started great with me spinning plenty of dyed by me high twist singles in a pleasing pinky, golden colourway. But then it came to actually plying the coiled yarn, which was excruciating. Hard to work out which way you hold the yarns... Hard to find the right yarn to ply onto... Hard to not get completely twisted up into knots...Hard to work out the right way to ply it...Well, this was my Tour de Fleece Challenge...
In the end what worked best for me after much fiddling about was: using an old singles, spun in the same direction as the high twist singles I was going to coil with and wound onto a spindle, which I could dangle between my knees. This spun around merrily as I coiled away, with the high twist singles on a lazy kate a little to my side so as to not tangle with the spindling singles. The spinning spindle took off some of the excess twist ( sometimes too much, making yarn fall apart!), so the resulting coiled yarn will not be too kinky once it's rested FOREVER on the bobbin.

I still feel there's something I'm not getting about coiling, and it's really intense work too, with limited application of the finished yarn! Great for viewing and fondling but no use for soft fluffy or flowy items. Could it be used for rugs? or bags? I may try it as an initial panel for a bag, or maybe a knitted felted pot Dragonarse style....

I also had a couple of days this week where I was SEPARATED FROM MY SPINNING WHEEL! As a result I took my spindle about with me to 2 parks, and on a train journey too. Plenty of Spinning in public oportunities... I was sampling some yak down that I picked up from Willo Alpacas at Woolfest which is gorgeously fluffy and very short stapled...Not really worth rolaging or any other prep unless you wanted to mix it with another fibre. The lady on the stall actually recommended mixing it with another fibre slightly, which I tried initially with Moorit shetland, but I preferred it without. I think if I carry on spindling it, it will be fine, but it may not stand up to the faster pace of the spinning wheel so easily...
The last photos are of me spinning on the last day of the TDF in my yarden and the final complete TDF stash.

 I loved doing the Shetland Wander last week, but also had the chance to sample fibres and methods I might not usually try, with the other yarns.
My husband curiously didn't seem to notice I was taking part in the TDF.. I said to him," You'll be pleased to know that the Tour de Fleece finishes today." He said "Why? you spin every day anyway...."


  1. It looks like you had a fantastic 'Tour' you look so happy at your wheel. Thanks for stopping by my blog and being the only person to comment on my fat slubby yarn! I was beginning to think I was the only person that liked it. I am delighted to have found your blog :)

  2. I do love spinning blogs, I always learn something new, and spinning Fat is hard! Respect due