Tuesday, March 11, 2008


After all my pretty colors, I got a hankering for some naturally colored fibers. I pulled out the latest offering from WoolyWonka Fiber's Exotic Fiber Club, bison!

Staple Length? We don't need no steenkin' staple length!

I have never spun any down-type fibers before so this was a learning experience. I will share my top three tips for spinning bison/buffalo fiber with you:
  • remove all small children from the vicinity so that you can meet the next two requirements:
  • curse like a sailor throughout the whole process
  • start spinning and do not stop until the bobbin is done
I managed to eke out 120yds of 2ply from the 2 ounces I had.

It wasn't that bad to spin once I found a groove - just barely enough tension to begin to pull away, high ratio and long draw. My biggest problem was that I lost the groove every time I had to stop/start again. The finished skein runs the gamut from bulky weight to almost laceweight thanks to my lack of consistency. I did get more stable results towards the end and I always love having an excuse to blurt out obscenities in a long and constant stream, so overall I am pleased.

Next on the wheel is some merino from Pigeon Roof Studio colorway "Drift". The plan is to make softly spun singles for some future lace project.



Blogger Carole Knits said...

I love the color of the bison! And I'm sure you learned a lot in the process of spinning the fiber.

10:12 AM  
Anonymous --Deb said...

I laughed when I read #2 . . . it seems to have worked for you, though!

4:57 PM  
Blogger punkin said...

Your handspun bison fiber looks great.

7:09 PM  
Blogger Chrisknits said...

I love the fiber in waiting. Soft, yet lovely colors.

7:15 PM  
Blogger Laurie said...

You? Strings of obscenities? I can't wait to see this in person, actually. THe bison looks good in the picture. I understand your frustration.

I've been hearing softly spun for lace, but keep wondering if that is too fragile for lace. Or wondering why it isn't too fragile for lace. Manise told me that about Frelsi icelandic/alpaca.

6:30 AM  
Blogger Anne said...

Glad you stuck with it - it definitely has a learning curve tho, doesn't it?

10:32 AM  
Anonymous Kim said...

Bison is like cashmere....inch by inch, isn't it? It is so worth it in the end though.

I love the new colors you have ready to go. You have been so productive with your spinning lately!

5:33 PM  
Blogger anne said...

wow, that merino is going to be really pretty spun up; can't wait to see what you'll knit with it!

1:48 PM  
Anonymous Juliann said...

I did some bison fluff for a commission. It came packed in Wal-Mart bags, and the guy said he didn't know how much was there. I poured it out onto a big sheet on the floor. It kept growing! Then I sorted out the yuck, the hair, and whatever else was not wanted. I spun it up, but it was tough. I only did four skeins, and called it quits. What was amazing is the way it bloomed when washed and blocked. It wasn't that pretty until I took it off the blocker. It was suddenly this lovely, soft, fluffy, pouffy, yarn that was went SPRONG when you squeezed it. Like magic! It is a learning experience!

1:32 PM  

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