Yesterday was a play day. I spent most of the day with members of the Meridian Jacobs Spinzilla team, learning about production spinning from Stephenie Gaustad. I am so glad they let me crash the party as a rogue spinner. I learned many things, but what I want to share with you all today is my new-found love for the weirdo fiber that we started off with: Herdwick.

I’d been reading about these guys in this paper, which has the best opening lines of any academic paper ever: “It is a sheep. You can see the photo.” Plus, the Herdwick pictured in the Fleece & Fiber Sourcebook is the darn cutest sheep you’ve ever seen in your life. I mean, I don’t know anything about your life, but this is objectively the cutest sheep in it.

singles on the bobbin
singles on the bobbin
2-ply on the niddy
2-ply on the niddy

I spun my lil’ Herdwick sample in my usual semi-worsted draft, which really highlighted the crazy kempiness. I think I was also spinning from the wrong end of the sliver, so the kempy bits were basically sticking straight out of the main line of the yarn. The pictures definitely show how hairy it is, but don’t really convey how charming it is, too. The kempy bits are crimped in this way that makes the yarn look like some kind of novelty confetti yarn or something. I think next time I might ply it with something else to highlight the novelty effect.

So it’s obviously not next-to-skin wear. It shed a lot (a LOT) while I was spinning it, so I’m a little worried that it will continue to make a big mess wherever it goes, in whatever form it eventually takes. I’m thinking to weave a little mason jar cozy…

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