After my trip to Olds, I met up with my family and we took a week long vacation through northern Washington, Montana and then down into Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons. While in Bozeman, we wandered through the local yarn store and I asked if they had any spinning fiber….. she told me they had some local fiber. They were low on inventory, but I found some beautiful brown Corridale, a small package of a bison/wool blend and some Border Leicester locks which were dyed turquoise.
Now, if you have read any of this blog, it may have come to your attention that I am not usually a fan of long wools. However, these locks were AMAZING. From the moment I bought them I was plotting. While I did have my spinning stuff with me, including a spindle in my backpack, I waited until I got home to play with them. Mostly because I decided almost on the spot that I was going to blend them with some silk.
Once I got home and we were mostly unpacked I decided that I needed to go spend some time with fiber. I started going through my stash and found that I had a little over an ounce of Bombyx. I also have this lovely cria alpaca fleece that feels like silk. I started doing math based on how much of the Border Leicester I had (4oz) and the 1 oz of silk I had. Pulling out my scale, and a calculator I decided to do a blend of 50% Border Leicester, 30% alpaca and 20% silk.
First I blended a sample on my handcards and picked up one of the top whorl spindles I teach with. It spun up beautifully! Having been inspired by my classmate to start blending on my drum carder more, I carded up 2, one oz bats of my blend and then I have been spinning them on my spindles. I did not achieve a homogeneous blend on the drum, but the slightly streaky/heathery yarn is just lovely.
Normally, It would not really occur to me to use a longwool to blend with both silk and Alpaca, however, in this application the alpaca and the silk are adding a softness of hand to this blend. Also, all 3 of the fibers have a natural luster which is pretty amazing. This is going to make a lovely scarf.