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Spinning can be fun and relaxing while having that feeling of accomplishment after you have made that first skein of yarn all yourself.  As someone that may own an angora rabbit or two and have wool from shearing – you may be wondering how you can go about making something with this fiber when you don’t own any equipment.

angora fiber

angora fiber

As fun as spinning can be, I know from having raised my own family, their are other usually other things that take priority first. To go out and purchase a spinning wheel and drum carder can be quite costly.  Spinning your first yarns can be more budget friendly if you start with a simple spindle, a pair of dog slicker brushes, and some wool to add in with your angora fiber.

simple hand spindle

simple hand spindle

When first starting to spin with angora I always advise to add angora fiber to wool, as you gain confidence the ratio of angora to wool can increase. A simple spindle can be one you make yourself from a dowel rod and old CD, or their are many sellers of quality spindles on the internet or even a fiber store in your area. You don’t need to spend a lot to do the job, after they didn’t have fancy spindles back in the old days – they used what they had or made it themselves.

spinning angora fiber

spinning angora fiber

To card your angora and wool fibers for blending  a pair of dog slickers will be your hand carders. They won’t hold as much fiber as wool or cotton hand carders, but it works and gives you the opportunity to try it out. The thing to keep in mind when spinning your angora yarn, is twist. If your yarn keep coming apart – it needs more twist to hold it together. With these 2 simple basic items  you can now start carding and spinning with your sheared angora fiber and create your hand crafted yarns.

Different Types Of Wool For Knitting

On April 26, 2011, in Spinning, by tina

 

Wool usually comes from sheep, but it can also come from rabbits, goats and llamas. There are many different types of wool, but they all share certain characteristics. The most important characteristic is that it easily absorbs moisture. It can absorb up to 30 percent of its weight without feeling wet, plus the moisture content in the wool helps to prevent a build-up of static electricity. Wool will keep you warmer than other fibres. Wool is also very elastic and can easily be stretched when wet; yet it is still able to return to its normal shape once it is dry. All of these factors make it very comfortable to wear. The following is an explanation of the different types of wool that can be used for knitting. Angora wool is a light, natural fibre that is grown only by angora rabbits. The wool can be gathered in two ways. The first way is to comb the rabbit at least once a week. While time consuming, this method produces superior quality fleece, as guard hair is not gathered. The second way is to shear the rabbit, much like a sheep. This method is less time consuming and yields a larger quantity of fleece. It has been found that angora wool is up to three times warmer than sheep wool. Cashmere wool is extremely soft. It comes from Cashmere goats, which can be combed or sheared. If the goat is sheared, the coarse guard hair must be removed. Since both methods are time consuming, cashmere is very expensive. Llama wool is one of the finest wools that you can find. It comes from the llama’s undercoat, which is very fine, unlike the llama’s coarse outer guard hair. Like angora goats and rabbits, llamas can be sheared or brushed in order to gather this fine undercoat. Llama wool is not commonly used and can be hard to find. Merino wool comes from Merino sheep. It is the finest and softest of all wool that comes from sheep. It is easy to dye and comes in a wide range of colours, from pastels to bright shades to multi-colour strands. Most Merino wool comes from Australia and New Zealand, with Australia producing about 43 percent of the world’s supply. Mohair wool is grown on Angora goats. The mohair is shorn from the goat twice a year, once in spring and once in fall. Mohair is noted for its high lustre and sheen, as well as being very durable. Like angora wool, mohair is very warm and absorbs moisture. Tip: When washing clothing made from wool, use net bags. Place the clothing item in the net bag, then place it in the washer in the delicate cycle. When the wash is done, hang or lay flat to dry. This works even for clothes that say to hand wash only.

Please visit http://www.beautifulcreations.ca./Needlework/Needlework.htm to see the latest trends in wool. While you are there, check out our free newsletter and project ideas!

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