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Interview with Deb Robson & Carol Ekarius, authors of the Fleece & Fiber Sourcebook – and giveaway!

Questions for Deborah Robson

Stephannie:  I love the look of the book and how the fibers, yarn, and knitted and woven samples are displayed with the boards, wool and matts.  You have so much experience with publishing and designing – how much input did you get, working with the art director, photographer etc?

Deb:  One of the most enjoyable parts of this project involved working with the art director and the photographer. As someone who has worked in publishing and design, I know that it can be a really bad idea to let an author near the photo studio. Most writers don’t have a clue how a photo shoot works. The shoot needs to combine extreme efficiency with an attitude that permits creative problem-solving, so the resulting images are of the highest possible quality. Authors generally gum up the works.

I was present for all eleven days that it took to do the photography for the fiber samples, which means most of the time. I was adamant that I be there, because I’ve done so many photo shoots, especially of fiber, that I knew how complicated it was going to be and how easy it would be to mix up the samples. I’d set up a system of labels in advance that would make writing captions, which happens well after the photo shoot, relatively smooth, instead of the hair-pulling task it could have been (it was still like dancing on eggs to make sure everything was right).

My self-assigned primary job was to make sure the right fibers got into each frame (and then back into the correct folders and file boxes). My self-assigned secondary job was to stay out of the way of the art director and the photographer unless my input was requested, which it occasionally was.

Again because of my background, there were many times when the art director and I would make changes directly in the layout file as we proceeded, in order to make the book the best it could possibly be. We added pages as needed, and I both cut bits of text to make the layout work and wrote new copy to fill out awkward spots in the design, always looking for ways to perform those necessary tasks while enhancing the overall value of the book. It was an amazing and fantastic process that only worked because we all functioned as a team, alternately staying out of each other’s way and helping when asked.

Mary Velgos, the art director and photo stylist, and John Polak, the photographer, are both brilliant and working with them was an honor and a delight.

© Agripicture Images/Alamy

Sometimes I sit & start reading in order (up to Cotswold so far)….other times just look at the pictures (oh! that’s a cute sheep!)….or sometimes just flip the pages & read when something, for whatever reason, catches my eye.  I’ve not had it long enough to start adding post its (i.e. hunt down this yarn or fiber for this sort of project) but I’m sure that will happen.  What sort of use do you think most people will make of it, and what did you intend?

Oh, wow, this is hard to answer, because our intentions for the book changed several times between its first conception and its final form. We had a different plan for it, but it evolved in the way it needed to, encouraged by everyone at Storey as they saw what it might become and kept bumping out the fencelines to accommodate the bigger book.

At this point, I do envision people reading for fun. Both co-author Carol Ekarius (who had final say on matters relating to animals) and I (who had final say on matters relating to fibers) like to write things we think people will find intriguing just to read. We also envision people looking up information to answer specific questions; browsing around and looking at the pictures; and discovering new aspects of fibers they want to explore. We would like the book to act as a friend and ally in the fiber life.

I used the writing process as an opportunity to dig to the bottom of questions that had niggled at me for a long time, and I hope to save others time by having dug up answers that were as solid as I could obtain. A few examples include: What’s with all the different Dorsets? What is the story with cashgora? and, How do micron measurements, Bradford counts, and USDA grades relate to each other?

Carol and I both would like to see people using fibers selected to suit the end products that they have in mind–and also (this is a huge one) supporting the shepherds and farmers who are the only reason we have access to such a diverse array of options. We hope readers will take the time to seek out special fibers, and to develop relationships with the folks who keep the animals that grow this miraculous stuff.

Rabbit © Ken Chalmers at www.backacresangora.com; others © John Polak

By the way, Carol and I worked together amazingly well. To have a collaboration take four years and to have the co-authors still enjoy each other’s company and approaches to life is rather remarkable. We are both strong-minded, and we managed to evolve through all the permutations together–by keeping our eyes constantly on what would be best for the book and its readers. That’s worth acknowledging and appreciating publicly.

Any chance of a series of companion books with patterns highlighting the features of the particular breeds?  (I’m thinking similar to Lisa Lloyd’s A Fine Fleece, but with more breeds….)

I love designing and working with breed-specific wools, but I’d like to save this part of my fiber work for my own pleasure, and not push it to a place that doesn’t feel natural for me. I think other people have more of a passion for working with pattern design than I do, I know of some projects along this line by other folks that are already in the works, and I look forward to seeing what they come up with! That said, I wll almost certainly be writing articles now and then that highlight one breed or another.

I also have several ideas in mind for my own next research and writing. To “stick” as a next plan the topic or topics need to be something that I’m passionate about. Nothing less can carry a human through what needs to happen to make a book, or similar big effort, come into being. I am not sure yet which idea will be put on the front burner, and am open to suggestions about what other people would be interested in finding out that I might be able to help with . . . if the question “clicks.”

There will be an article in an issue of PieceWork later this year that highlights four rare breeds. I have written the text, and four designers are each being assigned a breed for which to create a project; I’ve provided preliminary guidance on the types of projects that would be appropriate for the breeds, so they can begin thinking before they get yarn in hand. I’m also working on an article for Spin-Off on a fifth breed, and I’ll design the project for that. I admit that while I generally find deadlines useful, I am not comfortable producing a project to a deadline, and I’m hoping I’ll be able to enjoy the creative process. I have too many ideas, and I don’t like to settle on one because I have to meet a deadline rather than because it’s the right idea.

What breeds would you have in your own handspinner’s flock of sheep?  (feel free to toss in an alpaca, goat, rabbit, etc!)

This is another hard one! I don’t have the ability to have a flock. If I did, I would need to research several animal-related concerns that this open-ended question doesn’t require me to consider, like the environment in which the animals would live, their size (although I’m taking that into account somewhat in the list that I’m about to imagine), and their temperaments.

When people are picking dogs, I suggest they read Stanley Coren’s Why We Love the Dogs We Do. My favorite dog breeds are Border collies and Australian shepherds (our household tends to rescue dogs of these types), Golden Retrievers, and old-style Springer Spaniels. If I needed to get a small dog, it would be a Corgi, a Papillon, or a dog from particular lines of Cavalier King Charles Spaniels. Probably a rescue, again.

There’s no similar guide for selecting sheep. From a spinning perspective, this is a very personal set of choices. Given no environmental constraints, among the sheep I’d have Santa Cruz (they need human advocates, and the wool can be astonishingly interesting, although much of what we can get now does not seem at all promising), Shetlands (in the rare colors), one of the longwools (probably Leicester Longwools). If I thought I was in a situation where I could care for them properly, I’d add Mohair goats and French Angora rabbits.

All of these breeds (except for some of the Leicester Longwools) are on the small end of the range of possibilities. Among the Leicesters, I’d be looking for smaller individuals. That’s because of my own age and strength, although I’d be tempted by this combination even if someone else was doing the physical work.

Do you sleep?  Seriously, I look at your blog and all the things you do (including the detailed blog posts themselves, which are a joy to read)… How do you balance work/life?

Balance? What’s that? I don’t think a “balanced” life can produce a piece of work like the one Carol and I just completed. It started as a small project that ballooned. It was supposed to be part of a balanced life (a nine-month project, not a four-year one), but it refused to be contained.

Top © Mike Lane/Alamy; bottom © Roberst Dowling

I did make conscious decisions (several times) that carrying it forward in the way it was dragging me was likely a good decision for how to invest a chunk of my life, even though those decisions threw other parts of my existence completely out of whack. (Think: finances, other than holding them together with band-aids, as well as maintaining some sort of household order beyond what was required for safe living and accommodation of the project.)

I do pay attention to some types of balance. That includes yoga, meditation, exercise (walking and training dogs), good food (including occasional infusions of dark chocolate), vitamins, and sleep (as much as I can manage, which is sometimes not as much as I really need). On sleep: I practice some discipline on getting enough, although I sometimes fail because I wake up with ideas that I need to write down. If I lose the ability to think straight later in the day, a short nap may be in order. . . .

Thanks for letting me know you enjoy the blog posts. I don’t write them unless I want to, when there’s something I want to explore in that format. (I don’t even get posts on all the topics I want to write about started, much less published. Ideas exceed available time.) So they’re always enjoyable for me to do, and it’s always great to know that others find them interesting.

One of the huge balance-producing activities for me in this project was spinning the samples. Each involved a voyage of playful discovery (although a small handful were less playful than the others). This process wasn’t something that I could rush, although obviously I had to stick with the sequence steadily (almost, but not quite, obsessively). I knew I could only hint at what each wool was capable of, so the sampling became a creative act, like making sketches. The finished painting, to extend the metaphor, is the book itself, which came into being through the efforts of everyone involved.

Questions for Carol (and thank you, Carol, for fielding some hard questions!)

I was interested in the (very logical) Slow Food tie in. To me, preserving rare breeds is similar to preserving heirloom varieties of vegetables and fruit — like SeedSavers for sheep (or any domesticated farm animal) — for many (if not all) of the same reasons. Do you think the current interest in these topics will continue? Will increase?

Carol Ekarius: I do believe the interest in protecting heritage animals and heirloom plants will continue and increase, because I see more and more people who are really beginning to understand that these animals (and plants) have traits that are worth protecting for a plethora of reasons.

For example, in The Fleece and Fiber Sourcebook we discuss that important Tay-Sachs disease research is now taking place on Jacobs sheep. Why? Because Jacobs throw occasional lambs that suffer from a rare genetic disorder that’s very similar to Tay-Sachs in humans.

Humans also depend on just a handful of breeds and plant varieties in today’s industrialized ag sector (Holstein cows are the top example, as they account for over 90% of our national dairy herd). This means that we are putting all our “eggs” in one proverbial basket, and if some disease comes down the line that affects the breed that provides the abundance of our food, we can’t as easily regroup if we have already let the other traditional breeds slip into oblivion.

These are a couple of selfish and practical reasons why we, as a society, should protect the genetic diversity of agricultural plants and animals, but on a more spiritual level, I think another reason is that we should honor the heritage that has passed down to us through hundreds and thousands of years. Our ancestors gave us a fascinating, valuable gift. It is worth preserving, cherishing and celebrating.

You bring up SeedSavers, and they are a great example of people working to protect plants. The American Livestock Breeds Conservancy is the nation’s premier group doing the same for animals. Now, a number of groups have joined together to form RAFT–or Renewing America’s Food Traditions. RAFT is a coalition of seven of the most prominent non-profit food, agriculture, conservation, and educational organizations dedicated to rescuing America’s diverse foods and food traditions including, American Livestock Breeds Conservancy, Center for Sustainable Environments at Northern Arizona University, Chefs Collaborative, Cultural Conservancy, Native Seed/SEARCH, Seed Savers Exchange, and Slow Food USA.

But their focus is food.

I want to see us protect the fiber, too! As Deb and I learned, there are sometimes surprising, subtle differences in the fibers of different breeds, even though the statistics would suggest their fiber would be almost the same. I think the Herdwick, Swaledale, and Rough Fell sheep of Britain provide a good example that we discussed in the book.

One criticism I’ve heard regarding the whole locavore/Slow Food movement is that it’s really only affordable to relatively wealthier individuals.  Not everyone can go to the farmers’ market and spend $7 or $8 on grassfed cattle hamburger.

I know this could devolve into a discussion regarding the fact that many conventional crops, farming, ranching etc is subsidized, so we’re not really paying the true monetary cost (let alone environmental or even spiritual cost) of our food.  And I don’t want to hop on to my soapbox of conscious spending, decreasing consumption, etc, etc, and my personal belief that it’s better to spend more money on fewer but higher quality items.

Regardless, do you think Slow Fiber has the same issues?  Do you think that enough people are both willing and able to support these small ranchers & shepherds?

The cost of a fiber CSA, for example, with one farm is $175 — and I think you end up needing a double share for a sweater.

I know that price is necessary to even start covering the cost of feed, medication, veterinary bills, farm maintenance, shearing, etc — shoot, I’m a vet, albeit small animal, but I know how much a farm call can cost.  But it’s still a lot of money.

This is a challenging conversation, and there are so many nuanced layers to the discussion. I understand that Slow-Food type food seems pricey on first blush, though I think it comes down to decisions on where you invest money vis-a-vis your personal values, and your personal health. And as you point out, first blush isn’t factoring in societal costs ranging from tax subsidies for industrial ag to environmental degradation and farm-worker/animal rights. I fall in the same category as you also, that I think it is far better to spend more on less, but get better quality. I often have someone tell me they can’t afford the kind of food I buy (or real wool yarn or clothing) but I look at their shopping habits and they buy a lot of highly processed junk food that costs more per pound and is worse for you.

Thank you so much to Carol & Deb — for patiently and thoroughly answering my questions, and especially for writing such an incredible resource.

Would you like to win your very own copy?  And some fabulous Unicorn Fibre Wash?  Comment on this post by midnight PST June 26th 2011, discussing one or more of the following topics:

  • Have you ever used breed-specific yarn or fiber (other than merino)?  If not, will you? And what have you tried or are interested in trying?
  • What do you think about “Slow Fiber”?
  • Have you ever thought about a ‘fantasy flock’ (like a fantasy football team, but fiber animals) and what would it be?
  • If you have a real flock, what breeds?

US shipping only, sorry (but if you’re not in the US, but have someone to whom it can be shipped, that’s an option!).

Please leave a way to reach you (email or Ravelry name).

One winner will receive a copy of the book, graciously supplied by Storey Publishing, and a gift set of Fibre Wash and Fibre Rinse from the fabulous folks at Unicorn Fibre.  Two more winners will receive gift sets as well.

I’ll contact the winners Monday, June 27th 2011.

Thanks!

28 comments… add one

  • nestra June 21, 2011, 6:47 am

    I have a decent collection of breed specific fiber that is marinating. I have lofty plans to do some sort of breed comparison one of these days. I also love breed specific yarn as they generally come from small producers which I like to support.

    If I could have a fantasy flock I think it would be shetlands. I love the fiber, the yarn and the size! Those little guys are really stinking cute!

    I would love to get my greedy little hands on a copy of this book, and thanks for such a great interview.

    nestra (on rav)

  • Heather June 21, 2011, 7:33 am

    I have spun breed specific yarn. I think it is an enjoyable process. Spinning fiber for a project and then knitting it and knowing it is just what you wanted for that project. You can spin for the weight, length, wear, softness needed, even color if wanted. I like the idea for slow fiber, losing diversity is never a good thing. That being said I couldn’t afford a share. Maybe I could buy a local share if they offered a share that you could help with the work for a reduced price. All in all I think the problem is one that requires more discussion.

    lotsofhermies on Ravelry

  • joyce June 21, 2011, 8:30 am

    I am a beginning spinner and have experimented with BFL and Icelandic. When I was a teenager, we had Suffolk Sheep as a 4-H project. I loved watching the new lambs in the spring as they bounded around the field behind our house. When they were sheared, the wool went to a cooperative and we were given credit for products (blankets) from the cooperative. I do remember crying as I stood by my lamb and it was auctioned off.

    This was a great review. I would love to read this book.

  • PBnJ June 21, 2011, 9:13 am

    I am a beginning spinner. I have spun wool from Cheviot sheep. I also have some Jacob fleece, but haven’t tried it yet. If I had a fiber flock, I’d love to have an ecclectic mix – sheep, goats, alpaca and or llama, and angora! :) Fiber is fun!

    PBnJsFiber @ Ravelry

  • Zabbers June 21, 2011, 9:39 am

    I have so many breed-specific yarns and fibers waiting for me to use, and I’m always looking to acquire more! (Unfortunately, I acquire faster than I can work with it.) Shetland, Corriedale, Columbia, BFL, Rambouillet, Wensleydale…I can’t wait to play with them and rarer breeds too as I can get them!

  • Karen June 21, 2011, 10:06 am

    Breed-specific yarns — I’ve been spindle-spinning for a couple of years and wheel spinning for a little over a year now. I’ve used merino and BFL, but I’ve also got a skein of lovely Cormo from wool that I picked up at a fiber show, and have a Shetland fleece and a Romney fleece that I plan to work on this summer. In addition to sheep breeds, I’ve also spun pygora and qiviut, and have some domestic cashmere and some alpaca from local farms in my stash — and in my house, cat hair, mostly inadvertent, but I’ve got combings from my long-haired ginger boy that I may try blending as “chatgora.” So much fiber, so little time!

    I’ve been thinking about and talking about the “slow fiber” concept for some time. Like “slow food,” the “slow fiber” idea, whether it applies to spinning, knitting, weaving, sewing, etc. is all about being thoughtful about one’s choices and considering the ecological and economic implications. It’s a far cry from, “Ooh, look, cheap whatsits on sale! Look how much money I’ll save if I buy lots!”

  • Stephani June 21, 2011, 11:02 am

    I am currently working on some very interesting Hog Island fleece. It is making a bouncy yarn and has challenged the way I normally spin. My favorite rare breed thus far has been Gulf Coast – it is so much fun to spin. But, when I look at the breeds that I have spun so far, I realize that i like each one for a different reason – sometimes it is because it is a challenge. Sometimes it is a “comfort spin,” in that it is easy and fun.

    Slow fiber is a fantastic idea. And, with fiber, for me at least, it isn’t about quantity, but about learning and experiencing each breed of sheep. I am a huge supporter of local farmers of any kind. Sometimes, the quality is not what most would like and other times I am astounded at how amazing the fiber is.

    My fantasy flock would be Shetlands. I rescue Shetland Sheepdogs and the sheep would just be perfect where I am!

  • Emily June 21, 2011, 12:57 pm

    I’m not very well versed in fiber, and I’ve never spun before, but I love the concept of Slow Fiber. I think it’s important to preserve the diversity of breeds. As for working with other breeds, this may not count, but I’m seriously considering commissioning some cat hair yarn! My boyfriend has a very furry cat, and when he brushes him, tons of hair comes out, and it ends up in a big gray fluffy ball that reminds me of fleece. I think it’d be really fun to make cat toys out of it!

  • Chia June 21, 2011, 2:42 pm

    I am a newbie spinner and I got to look at a friend’s book the other day. It is gorgeous! I have tried spinning with Merino and Corriedale but I would love to try Cormo, Lincoln and Columbia.

    monkalicious on Ravelry

  • Carol Ekarius June 21, 2011, 6:25 pm

    Steph, thanks for taking the time to interview us! I just want to mention that if people are thinking of small breeds (such as the Shetland) for a dream flock, also check out the Southdowns. They are small, cute critters, and that springy down wool is great for so many uses! I’m so glad to see people getting the concept of Slow Fiber, and that readers are recognizing the value of preserving breeds and the smallscale producers who raise them!
    Carol

  • Kara June 21, 2011, 7:14 pm

    I used to have a couple Angora goats, because my dad was allergic to wool and so mohair was our compromise. Now that I’m an adult I’m just discovering the joys and huge range of wool yarns available! Someday I’d love to have some Jacobs sheep, because I think they look very cool, but I don’t know how their fiber is for spinning. I guess I’ll have to read the Fleece and Fiber Sourcebook to see what they think!

  • Sara June 21, 2011, 8:04 pm

    This book looks absolutely fabulous. It would be a book that i would read from cover to cover…and then use as a reference later…

    I don’t spin – but, I have always been interested in knitting with different fibers

    nhsarab at yahoo dot com

  • :) Nicole June 22, 2011, 3:06 am

    I love spinning polwarth right now. The springiness and loft in the finished yarns is always great. I would love to have a few polwarth, corriedale,BFL, and alpaca in my fantasy flock.

  • Susan June 22, 2011, 5:56 am

    I don’t spin, and most often knit with merino, merino/silk, or MCN, but I have a fondness for Blue Faced Leicester wool. It has such an unusual character and gives a lot of body to the finished object.

    I have a Border Collie, too, but no sheep. She does herd our 6 cats though, or at least tries to—you know what they say about herding cats!

  • Angela June 22, 2011, 10:53 am

    I’ve never really used anything but merino. I have purchased yak, but am not sure what to do with it. I just thought it was neat to buy!

  • quinn June 22, 2011, 4:17 pm

    I have knit mostly with merino wool, but accidentally discovered cashmere a couple of years ago at Rhinebeck. The following April I attended a goat-raising workshop at a cashmere farm, and last June I brought home two does as foundation stock for my own small cashmere herd, (Starting with only two goats pretty much puts the “slow” in “slow fiber” – heh!) I combed out the first harvest of Airborne Cashmere this Spring, and right now there are two 3-week-old kids bouncing around in the goat paddock. The second doe is pregnant and due before the end of July. :)

    Thanks for the giveaway – this book looks wonderful! Fingers crossed, except whilst knitting.

  • Cheryl June 22, 2011, 6:27 pm

    I’ve spun Jakobs sheep wool and Columbia . I’m looking to get some Blue Faced Leicester next spring – crossing fingers now. I hope to win this book!

  • Knitmomma June 22, 2011, 8:19 pm

    -Have you ever used breed-specific yarn or fiber (other than merino)?  If not, will you?

    I love spinning named, specific fibers! Currently I’m spinning “Melvin”, a cormo, and “Gunsmoke”, a Romney.

    -And what have you tried or are interested in trying?

    I want to try just about any that I haven’t already! I’ve collected several I plan to try out during the tour de fleece.

    -What do you think about “Slow Fiber”?

    I love the idea!

    -Have you ever thought about a ‘fantasy flock’ (like a fantasy football team, but fiber animals) and what would it be?

    I’ve thought a bit. Right now I think it would be pygora goats, cormo and Romney sheep, alpaca, and angora bunnies.

    Knitmomma on Rav

  • Heidi June 23, 2011, 1:29 pm

    It is my DREAM to own a flock of Jacob, Southdown Babydolls, and Merino sheep. (I’d also LOVE to own a whole flock of Angora goats) One day, I WILL have my own little farm with all of those breeds, and I will sit on my front porch and spin up their fiber into my own yarn while I get to look out into my pasture at my flock.

    *sigh*

    Thanks for the opportunity, good luck everyone!

    oneofthehive at gmail dot com

  • Reta June 23, 2011, 4:17 pm

    I love reading about the slow fiber. I want to know more. I would love to win your book.

  • Jessica June 24, 2011, 2:46 pm

    Have you ever used breed-specific yarn or fiber (other than merino)? If not, will you? And what have you tried or are interested in trying?

    The only breed-specific yarn I have had the pleasure of trying was alpaca. I would love to try camel though :)

    -Blushed on rav

  • Penny June 24, 2011, 3:28 pm

    Would LOVE to win this book!!!
    Penny
    sch4gators on RAV

  • Nicole Parker June 24, 2011, 5:11 pm

    I’m a newer knitter, so I haven’t even used merino yet… but I’m going to soon! As for other breeds, there’s not a specific one I’d like to try, because I’d like to try whichever ones I can get my hands on! ;) Great giveaway, and very interesting interview!

  • LadyDanio June 24, 2011, 6:49 pm

    I recently purchased some GORGEOUS natural handspun yarn from some Olde English Babydoll Southdown sheep (the Etsy shop is called My Little Sheep) and it’s absolutely lovely! I think if I actually won this book I might fall over in a faint.

  • Paula June 26, 2011, 1:16 am

    Hi Stephannie
    What a great interview and discussion of this wonderful book to add to any fiber lover and learners library. Please note my answers to your follow-up questions…

    Have you ever used breed-specific yarn or fiber (other than merino)? If not, will you?
    Yes, I love trying out various breeds and trying to feel and understand how to best spin the fiber. I even will take the time to try fibers on both my spindle and wheel. I have a fondness for Romney, BFL, Polworth and Falkland. I am currently working on processing a Dorset Fleece. I have also enjoyed knitting with a bison blend yarn.
    And what have you tried or are interested in trying?
    Outside of what I mentioned about, I have spun Shetland, some Wensleydale and Border Leicester. I have some Grey Suffolk and Lincoln to spin and would like to put on my list some Babydoll Southdown and Santa Cruz. I really think I have a long list if I would would just follow the Rare Breeds Challenge from the Spin Doctors podcast and Spinners Study on Ravelry.
    What do you think about “Slow Fiber”?
    I really think that it would help keep and give rare and certain breeds a chance to thrive for generations to come. It could provide the means to have some to pause and realize what could be lost.
    Have you ever thought about a ‘fantasy flock’ (like a fantasy football team, but fiber animals) and what would it be?
    My knowlege is still to limited to have a fantasy or a real flock but I am thinking maybe some Columbia would be included due to the US historical referance and some Cormo because I like the fiber.
    If you have a real flock, what breeds?
    I think I would like some Corriedale and some Rambouilet for starters. Could be mid-level processing and a little like Merino.

    Again, thank you for opportunity to try to obtain this wonderful book.

  • vickie June 26, 2011, 1:52 am

    Have you ever used breed-specific yarn or fiber (other than merino)? If not, will you? And what have you tried or are interested in trying
    these are all the fiber i have spun
    Polwarth, alpaca, Bfl, cormo, Falkland, south African wool top, Wensleydale, mohair

    I have a pound of alpaca I have carded up but have not spun it yet. I am excited to try it.

    my rav name is @morgaine1

  • Eliana Bahri June 26, 2011, 7:03 am

    ■Have you ever used breed-specific yarn or fiber (other than merino)? If not, will you? And what have you tried or are interested in trying?

    I’ve knit with Alpaca, and merino, and I’ve spun BFL, and merino. I’d love to knit and spin all different types of breeds! Experimenting is the way to find out my likes and dislikes :)

    Thanks so much for the giveaway and the interview, I really enjoyed reading it :)

    Eliana B
    (IknitCupcakes on Ravelry)

  • lauria June 26, 2011, 5:13 pm

    I’m very new to spinning, but I’ve done some reading on different breeds, which I think is really interesting. I’m currently spinning some Romney and I’ve spun a cormo/romney cross.

    I’ve knit with a cormo/mohair blend from Juniper Moon Farms.

    I really like knowing what kind of sheep/animals my fiber is coming from. I love that as a spinner I get more information about what wool I’m using. It helps inform me what the best project for my yarn will be.

    Thanks for the giveaway!

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