Deb Robson said you have to make “Seriously Silly Swatches” and play with the yarn. Wash it, take notes and see how it reacts. We can’t just judge yarn by how it feels and looks in the skein. When we do, we ignore entire breeds, histories and traditions. How sad!
I’m inordinately excited about Deb Robson’s course at Fibre East in July. I’m looking forward to learning more about wool. It’s proper geeky. I am concerned I’m a quite a poseur when it comes to spinning however.
Breed specific wools: A challenge
This is Pure Dark Wensleydale from Blacker Yarns. It’s shiny and fluffy and just lovely.
I ordered this and some other yarns such as “Blacker Swan naturally coloured Falklands Merino DK” and “Pure Gotland mid grey DK knitting yarn”. I instantly liked the Merino. It was soft and lush. I didn’t like the Gotland at all. I wanted to return it instantly. And I did.
Sometime after I sent the package, I took Deb Robson’s free “Know Your Wool” course on Craftsy. It really opened my eyes. Deb Robson stresses that there are so many different textures out there, we shouldn’t be dismissive because something isn’t baby-skin soft. Those more challenging fibres have other lovely qualities like lustre and strength.
I felt bad for having returned the Gotland. You can’t judge the wool in the skein.
Dreaming of Shetland
Deb Robson’s blog has more details of her adventures. Some of her friends and wooly colleagues have started a kind of fund-raiser to help Deb do her research into Shetland wools. Dreaming of Shetland.
I’ve just ordered the Fleece and Fiber Sourcebook. Looking forward to it!