A quick review of the Acquisition
1-2 scenes from last week
I told you last post that I had re-bagged the two Canadian Arcott Rams. They looked quite well skirted but one seemed more careful with his personal hygiene than the other. I started with Ram #2 who seemed to enjoy his dust baths.
3 Ram #2 4 Ram #15 #2 unwashed sample
Getting on to the Washing
Glenn got one of the washing buckets out and I pulled out the strainer buckets and divided the fleece into 7 portions, 4 quite clean and 3 less clean.
6-8 test washing of some of the cleanest looking parts of ram #2
This year I tried elevating the washing bucket so it was easier to lift and lower the strainer bucket within it. This was easier until it was time to dump the water out of the bucket. I lifted the strainer buck out and left it hanging to drip on one of the blacksmith hooks. That went well but as I started to tilt the bucket to pour out the dirty water it started to splash on the asphalt driveway. It was determined to get me wet with all the splashing! Luckily, I had thought ahead and worn my rain boots! So my feet remained dry but the lower part of my jeans may now need a wash (but with cleaner water this time)
Glenn brought the RV hand washer and spin-dryer up from the laundry room (it just sat there over the winter)
11-12 Glenn Helps with the spin cycle.
After a quick spin, it was onto the drying rack.
13 Now a pause, while the wool dry’s
14 Glenn takes time to smell the roses.
And now back to work. The test washing of ram 2 is ready to take a look at.
15 now it’s time to eat ice cream with strawberry and think of the different fibre preparations I would like to try with this fleece. let me go find my hand carders and my mini combs! (but after I finish the ice cream)
Ice cream break!
(its a long post with lots of pictures!)
Testing to find out the properties of this fleece
Now that we have the Canadian Arcott (Ram #2) cleaned let’s make a few tests to find out what this fleece wants to become! not all fleeces are good for all purposes, so we should get curious and try a few options. this will tell us more about this breed I have not tried before.
Hand Carding the wool Test
Let’s see what happens when we try hand carding. I have a few hand cards, I chose the ones I like the best with the curved backs and have a nice carding cloth. I got them second-hand and have not tried to figure out the teeth count I should probably figure that out eventually.
16-17 rolags from the Hand Cards
Yes, that feels quite soft and lofty but there is definitely some lustre too. This could be interesting as knit socks. If only I Knit!!
Carded spun sample
I used the carders, created rolags and used the Electric Eel Wheel 6.0 (EEW6) to spin the singles.
I plied on the spindle since I didn’t want to switch bobbins for a small sample
18-19 2 ply sample
20 I hung the wool to dry in the window. Even without sunshine, it dried quite quickly.
21 washed 2 ply woollen prep.
There is a bit of elasticity in the woollen preparation but not as much stretch as other fleeces I have spun. I think it would make a good blanket or throw if woven and used as warp or weft.
Hand Combing the wool test
Let’s see what happens when we try the Roger Hawkins Combs.
22loading the comb
23 First Pass
24 Second Pass
25 Third Pass then Drafting off the comb and the comb waste
Combed spinning sample
I then took some of the combed fibre and spun it on the Electric Eel Wheel 6.0 (EEW6) as I did with the carded sample.
27 EEW6 with 2 ply sample
It was easy to spin. I plied on one of my drop spindles since I still didn’t want to change bobbins for the short sample I had created.
28 Washed locks, combed fibre and 2 ply yarn.
29 the unwashed 2 ply samples.
You can see the halo already. I will wash and dry the rest of the sample. I made a mini skein, washed it, swung it around the bathtub, whapped it on the side of the sink then hung it up in the window with a small weight.
30 Hanging in the window to dry. Unfortunately, this seems to have inspired darker skies and rain!
33 washed 2py combed top
When dry; the yarn feels coarser than I had anticipated. It is not as soft as a Merino, more like a Corriedale but with less elasticity. There is very little stretch in the yarn so I am now curious as to how it would work as a warp for weaving. This breed may be ideal for warps.
Comparing the Woolen (carded) vs the semi-worsted (Combed) yarns. The Woolen does have more loft, bloom and halo and slightly greater elasticity. Both would work as weft but I suspect the Combed will be a bit better weft since it has less bloom or halo to interfere in the heddles.
Next, we will check out the felting properties of this sample of Canadian Arcott. We will use the comb waste to check its ability to be needle felted and some of the Carding to check if it will wet felt. Ann is thinking it will not. Let’s see what happens next week!