Monday, May 21, 2007

Rambouillet - Lacy Rib Swatch

Even as a very new spinner, with some encouragement from Margene and Anne, I decided to jump in with both feet and try the Wooly Wonka Exotic Fibers Club. Our first fiber is Rambouillet wool which is a fine wool somewhat similar to merino. Each fiber comes with information on the breed and fiber characeristics and a knitting pattern. Here's my first attempt spinning the Rambouillet and swatching the Lacy Rib from the pattern.

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 (between sport and DK), 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 experienced spinners is, can the rambouillet be spun smoother, or is it in the nature of the fiber to keep its peach-fuzz feel?