SS: Finnish

Before I begin discussing the second breed of my spinner’s study, let me show you the first breed I spun and finished: Polwarth.

I decided I’m going to spin each 1 oz bunch of fiber separately, so at the end I will have 16 little mini skeins. This plan works better than spinning them in one long skein for logistical reasons and also because I’m impatient and like finishing my yarn. 🙂

You can see in the close-up view that 1) I’m still spinning thick-and-thin and 2) the twist is not evenly distributed. There are little kinky bits in there amongst the fluff. I haven’t spun a singles yarn before, so I think maybe with the next batch I will put a little less twist in. When you ply two or more singles together you want a lot of twist because during plying you lose some of that extra twist, but if you leave it as singles the extra twist becomes little kinks. Lesson learned! Onwards.

Image from the American Finnsheep Breeder’s Association

This is a Finnish sheep, a.k.a. Finnsheep or Finnish Landrace Sheep, with her four adorable lambs. In other breeds, ewes tend to have just one or two lambs, but the Finnsheep are quite prolific and can have up to eight babies! Maybe there should be a reality TV show in the works for those extra-prolific ewes.

The breed originates in Finland as one of several breeds grouped into the Northern European Short-Tailed Family in the Fleece and Fiber Sourcebook. Some of its cousins are breeds that have gone feral living on remote islands, which is pretty neat. It seems to be fairly well-established as a breed raised in North America. I found the book’s description of their wool as “often described as silky, is more sleek than fluffy” to be entirely accurate.

The fibers have a subtle crimp and come off the bunch in long, smooth strips. Staple length is supposed to be 3-6 inches, to my hands it feels like the top I have leans towards the longer side. The average micron count is 24-31 microns, which falls solidly into the ‘medium’ range wools. Though this stuff is not as soft and fluffy as Merino or Polwarth, it is certainly not rough and has a sleekness to it that I like.

I am getting a really nice consistent single with this fiber, I think because it is incredibly easy to draft. The silkyness helps the fibers slide past one another and they seem to automatically draft out evenly. It’s really a pleasure to work with and would probably be great for beginners, it reminds me a bit of the Coopworth wool that came with my spindle starter kit from Golding. All those little ends sticking out have the potential to up the prickly factor, but if loosely spun then it hopefully probably won’t be too bad.

So there’s our second breed! I’m really enjoying myself with this spinning study, I hope you are, too.

In other news, some jerkwad in the postal system stole the scarf I made for my mom out of the first really pretty yarn I spun. I sent it to her for Mother’s Day and the package arrived a week late, empty, and all taped up! Crazy, right? People really stink sometimes.

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2 thoughts on “SS: Finnish

  1. WOW. Sorry to here about the scarf. In other news, I love reading these posts, I learn so much. However, that yarn you spun is screaming “DYE ME!”…do you plan on doing so?

    Oh and in response to your question on my blog, the heel no longer slips now that I have been wearing them a bit, I think it just took me finding the right 'angle' to wear them at :/

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