Over the past few weeks I have been hand-spinning with fibers collected during the Washington County Fiber Tour, and fibers in my stash. In total I spun 449 yards of yarn.
My goal is to create enough hand-spun yarns for a New York Fiberscape Dress. The Dress is meant to draw attention to the variety of natural colors and fiber animals in New York’s landscape of fiber farms. The yarn design was determined by the fiber colors I collected, and the play of thick and thin during hand-spinning.
For each 2-ply yarn, a white worsted single was used with a consistent diameter. The white roving is from several farms and fiber types: Ensign Brook Farm (cormo wool), Alpacas of Breezy Hill (huacaya alpaca), Laughing Goat Fiber Farm (angora mohair), and Orchard View (lincoln long wool). The second ply is a slub variated with a combination of alpaca and merino wool to obtain further variation in color and texture in the final yarn. Below are more details about the fiber sources.
Alpaca fibers: The cream fiber that is in all of the yarn batches is from the Quarry Ridge Farm in Salem New York. Faith, the fiber farmer, explains that the batt I purchased had fibers from the alpacas Buttercup and Chipchiy.
Merino wool: The brown merino wool is from Ensign Brook Farm in Greenwich New York. The merino sheep are covered throughout the year to keep their fleeces from becoming lighter. This was my first time working with merino wool. I was excited about the springy, soft features during hand-spinning.
Lincoln Longwool: To create the white singles, I used roving from several farms. Below are photographs of my process of turning roving from the Orchard View Lincoln Longwool Farm into yarns. I met with Emmaline, the fiber farmer, this past week and was happy to learn that the fibers came from a sheep named Josie. It was my first time hand-spinning with lincoln longwools. The staple is long and reminded me of my hair. Another reminder of the shared commonalities between people and animals!
Now that I have the yarns for my New York Fiberscape Dress, a sketch and knit swatches are next in my process!