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Notas de Viagem – Finlândia 

August 22, 2016

Acabei de ir a um supermercado que tinha fio de lã, de produção nacional, para fazer meias. E agulhas. Entre o papel higiénico e os congelados.

Experiências/ Breed Study: CVM, Michigan

August 19, 2016

Lã portuguesa para fiar não me falta. Mas às vezes apetece-me experimentar fibras novas, ver como se comportam. A novidade é agradável mas é também útil porque dá flexibilidade às mãos (e à cabeça !). São uma espécie de ‘breed studies’, de estudos, experiências em pequena escala.

Raça: Ovelhas CVM, California Variegated Mutant, uma variedade de Romeldale conhecida pela sua cor

Origem: Sul do Michigan, criada e processada em pequena escala

Fiada a partir de: mecha cardada

Fiada com: fuso de suspensão, feito à mão no Canadá

Técnicas utilizadas: estilo ‘woolen’, dois fios singelos torcidos

Toque: muito suave e leve, quase sedoso depois de fiado

Notas : fácil de fiar, a fibra agarra-se bem e não escorrega. A fibra é bastante longa e aguenta-se bem com pouca torção.

Balanço: Uma lã fácil de controlar e fiar, que fica ainda melhor na meada do que na mecha no que toca à cor e ao brilho. Consegui controlar a mecha de tal forma que o fio ficou mais consistente do que eu esperava (inspiração: Peter Teal).

The truth is that I have no shortage of Portuguese wool to spin. But sometimes I feel like trying something new, to see how different breeds behave. I like the novelty, but I also find it a useful exercise. It helps my hands, and my head, be more flexible when it comes to spinning. These are my, very rudimentary, ‘breed studies’.

Breed:  CVM, California Variegated Mutant, a differently coloured variety of Romeldale

Origin Southern Michigan, locally raised and processed

Spun from: carded roving

Tools used: drop spindle, handmade in Canada

Techniques used: woolen long draw spinning, 2 ply

Hand: very soft and light, almost silky after it is spun

Notes: easy to spin, the fiber has a lot of grip and doesn’t slip from your fingers. The staple lenght is quite long and it holds together without a lot of twist.

Overall: An easy fiber to control and spin. The colour and shine look even better on the skein than on the roving. I managed to be so precise in my spinning that the finished product is even more consistent than expected.(inspiration:  Peter Teal).

Lavar Lã – Wool Washing: Bordaleira

August 10, 2016

Foi com 40ºC, moscas, moscardos e três velos bem sujos que começámos a lavagem este ano. Foi a primeira vez que lavei esta Bordaleira aqui de Coimbra – uma lã fofa e bonita, depois de um bom banho! As cores são lindas, com o tradicional branco, castanho e um velo ‘cor de café-com-leite’. Para quem a quiser experimentar, já há amostras na loja.

We started this year’s wool washing season with 40ºC, flies and bugs everywhere and three very dirty fleeces. This was the first time I tackled some Bordaleira (Portuguese breed) fleeces from a local flock. The wool has a nice soft touch, after a good soak and wash! The colours are beautiful: traditional white, brown and a ‘coffee coloured’ fleece. I have placed a sample pack in the online shop for any spinners interested in trying these out.

 

São Brás das Lãs – Saint Blaise

August 6, 2016

Foi no “Hand Woolcombing and Spinning” do Peter Teal que fiquei a saber a história do santo das lãs e dos pentes. Depois de trabalhar com os pentes de lã dá logo para perceber que têm muito potencial destructivo (sobretudo quando me descuido e os pentes me vão parar ao braço …). Agora, o martírio pelos pentes é que ainda não me tinha ocurrido. Entretanto o tal São Brás (Saint Blaise em Inglês) ficou patrono das lãs e é representado frequentemente com pentes – que muitas vezes mais parecem cardas ou até ancinhos.

I first learned about Saint Blaise in Peter reading Peter Teal’s “Hand Woolcombing and Spinning”. The truth is, though, that, after working with my combs for some months, I was well aware of their destructive potential (especially when I make a false move and the teeth brush my arm….). But really, martyrdom inflicted by wool combs was not exactly something I had imagined. Saint Blaise became saint patron of wool working and is frequently represented with wool combs – that often look more like cards or even a rake.

 

 

Found at the Thrift Store – Um achado

July 14, 2016

Quando entro numa loja em segunda mão, vale sempre a pena revirar o cesto dos novelos e fios. Por entre muito acrílico e afins encontram-se umas pérolas, de vez em quando. (Sempre a preços inferiores a 1$, ou seja, é dado). Tenho andado com sorte este ano. Esta semana encontrei esta meada da Finlândia, uma lã nada ’amerinada’, mais ’seca’ e brilhante. Depois de re-lavada por mim, ficou pronta a trabalhar.

The yarn basket at the thrift shop – it’s always worth a peek! In the middle of the fuzzy acrylics, there are some real treasures . (And always under 1$, which is crazy). This year I’ve been particularly lucky. This week I found this skein all the way from Finland, made from a lovely ‘dry’ (not merino-like) shiny wool. Now that I’ve given it a good soak and wash, it is ready for the needles.

Peter Teal, the Perfectionist

July 7, 2016

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I usually really dislike ‘perfectionist’ spinning books. (Having some irregularities in your yarn is not the end of the world…it’s all a matter of raw materials and of the yarn use…) But this one, by Peter Teal, is a special case. Maybe I have finally  found my ‘kind’ of perfectionism.

Normalmente não gosto nada de livros sobre fiação ‘perfecionistas’. (Um fio com algumas irregularidades não é o fim do mundo… tudo depende dos materiais, do uso que se quer dar ao fio…) Mas este do Peter Teal é a excepção. Se calha este é o meu ‘perfecionismo’.

Every would-be spinner should suspend from her distaff a length of machine-spun thread, the  perfection of which should be the goal at which to aim.

So often the cry is, ‘But it is the very perfection, the very uniformity of machine-spun thread from which we strive to get away’; but is it? Is it not more truthful to say that the yarns produced, instantly recognized as ‘home spun’, are that way because the spinners cannot do any better?

‘But we want yarns of character’, they cry! Of course we do, all of us, but let it be a good character we give them. Let us first produce a plain yarn perfectly, and then doctor it in some way to produce the ‘character’, if you must. But you know, I am almost willing to have a bet with you that, by the time you can produce a really perfect plain spun yarn, you will be so proud of it for the beautiful thing it is, you will be extremely loth to adulterate it in any way!

in Hand Woolcombing and Spinning – A Guide to Worsted from the Spinning-Wheel

by Peter Teal, 1976

Peter Teal, the Tradesman

July 4, 2016

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 To understand how present methods of hand/spinning evolved I think we must revert to the days when the trade was flourishing, some time prior to 1770, when the spinning-jennies were already ousting the spinning-wheel.

(…)In one generation, hand-spinning died as a trade. In another generation, most of those actively engaged in the trade also died, and since no-one able to write about the trade ever did so, they took their knowledge with them to the grave.

By the time people again became interested in hand-spinning, they had largely to start from scratch, and it has to be said that they did not make a very good job of it.

It is perhaps unfortunate that the new corps of hand-spinners, being educated people and quite definitely not ‘working-class’, elevated hand-spinning from a trade to a craft, away from the people with the practical heritage who might have helped. It has remained ever since as something clever to do, something different to talk about, practised by people who have been so lacking in perception that few have ever bothered to understand their machines or to relate to their product to the commercially available yarns they affect to scorn, but which they can never emulate.

 in Hand Woolcombing and Spinning – A Guide to Worsted from the Spinning-Wheel

by Peter Teal, 1976

 

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