Monday, May 21, 2007

Lacy Rib Swatch

Hi All,
Some of you already know me as a pretty new spinner. I decided, with some encouragement from Margene and Anne, to just jump in with both feet and give the exotic fibers a try. Here's my first attempt with the Rambouillet.

I spun up just a little bit, maybe a quarter ounce, aiming for the 13wpi 2-ply noted in the pattern, gave it a bath and swatched the Lacy Rib. Here's my result.
Rambouillet Swatch-1
Rambo first swatch

I neglected to note my yardage after plying, and sure wish I'd taken a photo, but I did end up with a very puffy soft 13wpi, knit it up, and am getting a nice fabric at the 5spi gauge.

The last two fibers I've spun were BFL and Corriedale, so the difference in fiber texture and shorter staple length were quite noticeable to me. At first I found it challenging to get going without breaking the single, but finally settled into a shorter draw that worked better. Anne's notes were absolutely correct it's easier to spin it thinner than thicker if you want to avoid lumps and bumps.

Spun and plied with a moderate twist, the yarn was a little uneven in the skein, though a lot of that could be my newbie spinning [vbg]. I finally understand the description I've read about fiber being chalky, and would describe the plied yarn as soft though not smooth. Knit up the fabric is bouncy and squooshy, and again soft but not smooth, with slightly blurred stitch definition.

So, my question for the experienced spinners is, can the rambouillet be spun smoother, or is it in the nature of the fiber to keep its peach-fuzz feel?


Anne said...

Thanks for this great overview, Margaret! I'm glad you found the hints/tips sheet helpful. I think, particularly compared to something like a BFL, you will find rambouillet is never going to be as smooth. It will always have some springiness and puffiness to it, due to the nature of the beast, although, as with any breed, there are always variations between individual sheep. One of the nicest cross-breeds I've spun is a merino and romney cross - it has the best of both worlds, so if you like a little more smoothness/longwool character to your fiber, you might look for a cross to try at some point too!

Sheepish Annie said...

This is my first time with this fiber as well. So I don't really know what I'm supposed to end up with. All I know is that what you have there is gorgeous!!!!! I hope that what I have on the wheel right now comes close to yours.

June said...

I haven't even had a chance to start spinning mine up yet, but I hope to get going this week! Arrgh! Not enough time in the day/week!