Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Giffordables - Phat Fiber Sample

Oh, look! More Phat Fiber! I'm going to have to come up with new and inventive ways of saying, "Gee, here's our next installment" because I still have 12 samples to go and that's going to get old really fast.

This lovely pink sample is a blend of milk fiber, Shetland wool, alpaca and "wool top" in unknown amounts coming from Giffordables and named "Princess" to fit in with our September box theme.

I have to mention that the lack of information included with each sample is becoming one of my bigger complaints with the Phat Fiber box. If you're going to send a sample, label it clearly. I want to know what I'm spinning, and in what percentages, or I can't really get a good feel for what properties I should try and exploit in the spinning. There are some samples in this box that don't say anything at all about the fiber! At least I have some idea of what's here.

Because of the Shetland and generic wool content, I decided to spin this carded batt with a long draw. This technique yields a softer yarn with more air in it and typically it will be much warmer because of that trapped air. I still spun pretty thin with the intention of being 2-ply yarn, but this sample came out much closer to fingering weight than the laceweight of earlier samples.

The long strip of fiber spun well and was nicely blended. Only the milk fiber wasn't distributed throughout but showed up more as shiny stripes much like a caramel ripple in ice cream. Everything drafted together nicely and I didn't end up with a handful of shorter-staple fibers at the end.

Giffordables - Phat Fiber Sample
One of the fibers must be brown or grey because the whole sample has a gentle heathery appearance. That adds a nice depth to what might otherwise be a monotone pink. In fact, I can't always decide if it's pink, or perhaps it's lavender. I really like that.

The finished skein is nicely squishy. The milk does show up it some places with a soft luster and no doubt the alpaca will make it very warm.

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