The fifth shipment of the Sheepspot Fiber Club was Perendale, a breed I hadn’t even heard of until now. When you look it up in The Fleece & Fiber Sourcebook, it’s listed in the “other sheep breeds” section toward the back. It’s a newer breed, developed in the 1950s in New Zealand for both meat and fiber. Perendale is notable because it’s a longwool, but not the sleek lustrous kind that the English longwool sheep grow… Perendale is springy and bouncy. We received roving, a carded prep.
This colorway (called “Bird’s Nest”) is smack in the middle of my happy place. I love blue and green together, especially this bright, spring, apple green with a bit of acidity to it. This braid adds both gray and brown, making it match almost anything I could wear it with.
I figured I would want to spin this woolen because of the carded prep. Sasha tried several approaches and combed some of her fiber… but I don’t own combs so I spun it straight from the braid. Because of Sasha’s spinning notes, I decided to try to spin more loosely than I usually do – I didn’t want this yarn to end up wiry. So I worked on my 10.5:1 pulley (Judith, did you hear me use the correct word? “whorl” no more!) and tried to draft the same way I usually do for woolen spinning.
I started by dividing the braid into two sections and noticed the colors were really long, so I decided to try a fractal spinning approach. I spun the first half of the braid as it came. But for the second half, I divided the fiber into four sections – and then split each section lengthwise into three sections. Like this:
And I carefully spun them in order. The result was that the color changes were much shorter on my second singles bobbin and much longer on my first bobbin. I hoped to even everything out in the plying.
And here’s my finished yarn – about 234 yards and 107 grams. It is NOT wiry! It’s kind of soft and poofy, but not in a bad way. It will totally hold together (I plied it on the 12.5:1 pulley – I always ply one pulley smaller when spinning woolen). The colors look pretty mixed in the skein, but we’ll really tell when it is knit.
I finished this skein a few days before MDSW and I took it with me to show Sasha and Kat. It TOTALLY got the reaction every spinner/knitter wants to get – a loud, audible gasp that turned heads. Thank you, Sasha!
And now the eternal question… what will it become? I agree with Sasha – I think its future is a hat of some sort. But we will see. Suggestions always welcome.
And if you’re intrigued, she still has Perendale in the shop!