Raw Fleece to Finished Object: “Olwen” (Icelandic/Balwen Welsh Mtn) Scarf

“Olwen” Icelandic/ Balwen Welsh Mtn (Ballyhoo Farms, KY; photo courtesy of Madeline Rosenberg)

I sampled one of Olwen’s fleeces back several months ago (I have two shearings from her) and knitted a small cowl/neck warmer with it, but I wanted to weave some of her yarn, which required me to process more of her fleece. (When I initially sample a fleece, I only process and spin enough for a small skein of yarn).

When I pulled some of her fleece from the bag, I noticed how clean it was and how little lanolin was in it, so I decided I would try to process this sample “in the grease” –no wash, scour, etc. I’m glad I tried it, because it saved me a lot of time in the long run. I didn’t have to scour and wait for the fleece to dry– I simple put the sample on my hand carders, combs, and then, drum carder. My wrists were starting to ache from combing, so I ended up using about 50 grams on my drum carder for the spun sample. The finished yarn was then scoured before I started weaving with it.

The yarn sample was a 2-ply, Sport weight–about 46 grams and 124 yards. I used a little less than the full skein for the woven scarf. In order to have enough yarn for this project, I chose to use a spaced warp/weft technique for an open weave scarf.

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