Fiber goodness: Sheep to Shawl!

Two weeks ago I participated in a Sheep to Shawl demo.

The idea behind these events is that you have a fleece, washed in our case, which is carded, spun, and woven. The loom was already warped.

We used both hand carders…
hand carding wool.

And drum carders…
drum carding wool.

A close-up of carding.

Then came the spinning.
Several women spinning on wheels and drop spindles.

Note: My wife’s and my wheels are in the background of this shot – hers is on the left, a Kromski Polonaise, and mine is the Ashford Traditional.

There were also a few with electric spinners (a.k.a. e-spinners)

After the first few bobbins of singles (what is made directly from the carded wool) were done it a division of spinning labor began to happen with certain people focusing on plying. The goal was to get it streamlined so that we could get it to the weaver. As they say, “it takes six knitters to keep a spinner busy, but six spinners to keep a weaver busy.”

Here I believe she has just thrown the shuttle right to left (heading away from the camera.) In the background one an e-spinner is being used to ply two singles together into yarn (and singles from two different spinners; looks like an Ashford and a Kromski bobbin are on lazy kate.) The pokadot paper in the lower right is a helper that is wound onto the warp beam with the warp threads, separating successive ranks. It helps more even winding.

And then, there was a shawl:

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