Friday, May 13, 2016


IMG_0147The 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:IMG_0237

Then I rearranged these little sections thusly:IMG_0238

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.IMG_0240

You can’t really tell how long the colors are in the singles above, but there they are for proof!20160502_205406

My plying bobbin was packed to the gills. I was starting to have trouble and probably should have started another. IMG_0244

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!IMG_2529

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!


  1. Spinning certainly has a language all its own and I don't understand a lot of it, but I do know beautiful yarn when I see it -- and this is it!

  2. I agree with Bonny. So cool to see you do the things you do with wool and spinning. That colorway is very "you," for sure!

  3. Seeing this yarn in person was really fun. It is beautiful yarn, Janelle! I love how you managed the colors!