Wednesday, August 19, 2009


I haven't forgot about Fibre Person. I have just moved from the "farm" to the "city" to follow my fibre dreams. I am now working at a wonderful new knitting shop in Toronto called Passionkint. I'm super excited and will be teaching lots of classes in the very near future.

I'll be back with a full post very soon... Just need a moving/switching jobs breather!!!

PS I think my favorite word is Habedashery. It's just a perfect sounding word, very soothing...

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Spinning Rocky!

Having an Angora Goat has been a real treat. Rocky was born in the spring of 2008. He was a real pest his whole "kid-hood" always running to the door of the barn when someone came in. Very curious little guy! His mom sadly died of a lung infection and he has always stuck close to his twin sister. He is a very friendly goat and still comes over to the gate whenever I go into the barn. He loves eating apples and hanging with his aunts and sisters who I have dubbed "the Rockettes".

When he was a kid, I called him Muffin but once he was a little older and had to be "fixed" I decided that a really butch name would be more suitable and so Rocky he became (or, as my dear friend Jenne calls him, Mr. Rocky P. Muffin). As an aside, a neutered male Angora Goat's coat stays very soft and silky and yields more than an adult female. He hangs with the females and his horns have stopped growing. They stick out and are thick like a buck's horns but aren't as spectacular or curly as an intact buck. He is a very gentle and funny soul...

He has been shorn twice, once in the fall of 2008 and once in the spring of 2009. I blended his kid shearing in a 80% mohair 20% wool blend using Blue Faced Leicester as the wool. The latest clipping I blended in a 60% mohair, 40% wool blend using Polwarth as the wool. I am spinning a bunch of singles that I will make into a lace weight two ply and a sport weight three ply. I have a few projects in mind but this last clip alone yielded 6 1/2 pounds of roving! I have a lot!

One would think that "angora" would be what the fibre from the Angora Goat is called but, in fact, the Angora goat gives us mohair. Angora is the region the goat originated (modern day Turkey). We get "mohair" from the Angora Goat. The word "mohair" means "choice" in Arabic (or, "top drawer", as I like to say). Mohair is a very soft silky hair fibre. It grows in ringlets and is smooth, soft and shiny. Mohair works best when blended with wool because it is so smooth and has very small scales along the shaft, while wool, has very defined scales that grip and have lots of shape memory. When blended, mohair brings the fabric a wonderful sheen and softness, it also creates a nice halo effect over time which can create some pretty neat effects when dyed.

Here are some pictures of Rocky (before and after his shearing), his roving, yarn I'm spinning and Mr. Rocky P. Muffin and his beautiful Rockettes enjoying the sun....