Working on Something New

For the past couple of weeks, I’ve been working on something that I’ve never tried before. Spinning embroidery yarn.

I have 2 half fleeces from the same Churro ewe. I’ve had them for an embarrassingly long time. Well, okay, not as long as some fleeces…but still. Over three years. The color is beautiful; a variegated light gray, light and dark like an ombre all through the fleece. Incredible. It’s not quite a luster type of longwool, but it does have a special sort of look about it. I think it should dye up well. It’s the same one that I used for my mullein experiment; I think I’ll have better luck with commercial wool dyes for this try.

I carded the wool and rolled it horizontally after taking it off the cards. Instead of a long, thin rolag rolled vertically (like usual) it comes off in a wider roll. The fibers are allegedly worsted-style, so I spun with a short draw. This particular batch was a little…matted after my experiment. There were a few nepps (per rolag), but I wound up picking them off while plying. Unlike my attempts to make more balanced yarn, this was deliberately overplied.

It seems to hold up so far. I tried it out last night on a kit piece that I’ve been working on for a while now. A fairly tight-woven cotton fabric, but it held up well with not much abrasion. I’ll try another couple of stitch types before I wind the rest of the bobbin off and divide it up for skeins.

Most traditional crewel embroidery is flowers and paisley motifs. I’d like to dye at least some of the skeins “black flower” colors.