tisdag 1 mars 2011

Hog Island. My Fiber Studies 10

I take part in the SpinDoctor Rare Breed Wool Challenge on Ravelry. My blog posts are tagged SpinDoctor. The challenge ends June 30th 2011. You find SpinDocotr's podcasts in my Link List to the right.

The Sheep

This is a nice looking sheep, but I have no pictures to show. Look at the links below if you want to know what they look like. They used to live on Hog Island outside the coast of Virginia in the 17th century. When the island was destroyed by a hurricane many of the sheep were left to survive on their own and became feral. The status of the breed today is critical. There are only a few hundred left, mostly in heritage landscapes in the USA, but they are also kept by smallholders.

The Wool

The sheep are usually white, but about 10 % are black. Many lambs are born spotted, but the spots fade when they grow older. They shed their wool slowly over the year. Today they are mostly sheared. The wool is of medium weight.

My Experience


Spinning wheel: Louet Victoria
Ratio: 1:13 (a faster ratio would have been better)
Draw: semi-woolen
WPI in singles: have no idea, but very fine

My wool sample was carded almost to neps, but I have a belief that this wool is difficult to handle in commercial mills. It would be nice to work with from fleece. As things were, I had to try to spin what I had. The wool would be very easy to spin into really super fine yarn was it not for all the neps. It has great crimp and could be spun into a very bouncy yarn. My struggles with this wool sample produced one of the worst yarns I've spun since I learned how to spin, but you can't succeed every time, can you?

I spun a 2-ply sample:
It's a thin, uneven yarn. If I'd spin more of this, and if I had a loom, I'd spin super thin yarn for a skirt. I would put in a few red or blue stripes and sew one of those skirts used by elder women in the 19th century.

Read More

Hog Island Sheep Association
American Livestock Breeds Conservancy

Deborah Robson & Carol Ekarius, The Fleece & Fiber Resourcebook. Storey Publishing, to be released May 2011