I thought I’d share the reveal from my own little “fiber club,” membership me, that was assembled for me by my mom for my birthday. I asked for different fiber experiences (as in, literally different fibers), and she shopped at the Maryland Sheep and Wool festival. I don’t know if there’s any one place in the world where you could have a larger selection of spinning fibers in one place.
May was first; June and July were wisely skipped since I was traveling. Before August is out, though, I get to open this.
What is it?
A cursory browse of Blue Mountain Yarns’ website told me that this is a mill run by a homeschooling family, and it grew out of their kids interests developed in 4-H. The site includes bios from the mom and three kids, and they just make me go squee with their family entrepreneur-ness. (Entrepreneurity? Enterprise?) They’re located the next county over from my brother and sister in law, near Harrisburg PA. They’re far away now, but this is seriously local to my roots.
I see from their site that they grow Angoras, and they offer a full service mill from washing through spinning. I don’t know whether they raised the Suri alpacas whose hair is in my roving; they may have bought it in. But otherwise this what I think is called “vertical processing”: the fiber doesn’t travel for each of the steps in between Fleece and spinning fiber.
This roving is intriguing from a technical aspect as well. Suri fibers are very soft and smooth, but the ends of alpaca fibers can be kind of pokey. Since this is processed as roving, all the fibers are jumbled up, and I don’t know whether the ends or fibers will dominate the feel, and decide if it’s smooth or scratchy.
Finally, the alpaca has lots of bits of Sari silk in it. Hence the “funfetti” look. This fascinates because of an issue I’ve been privately mulling. Speckle-dyeing is quite “in” right now in the yarn world. But speckle-dyeing fiber just turns into blended colors. Very nice, but not speckled. I theorize that the only way to get speckles into handspun is by adding small amounts of a foreign substance to the main wool, which would normally create texture (eg. silk noil). But these bits of silk might get the speckle in without the texture. Intriguing, no?
I’ll have to decide how to take advantage of this in how I spin it, and I’m not going to decide that now. I’ll wait till I am about to spin it, and who knows when that will be. My wee crafting attention is pretty focused on getting Zimmerzog through its critical steeking and fitting stages.
Thank you for the new little treasure, Mom! It’ll be waiting for the perfect moment.