I have seen a few posts from some of you that have mentioned you are also spinners. I am just beginning in that venture and am looking for a good source for raw wool. I have been to ebay and theres lots of wool but not sure what to get. I am looking for something to mix with my dog hair to spin. I have been taking classes and the dog hair spins better with the raw wool. If anyone can point me in the right direction I'd appreciate it. Plus would like a site where theres info and ect for newbies in spinning and fibers and weaving.
Where are you, Sheri? For the UK, try:
With wool, what you're looking for as a beginning spinner is something that is neither too short or too long (the locks of wool are called 'staples' and the clue there is 'staple length'. A staple length of around 4" would be ideal, for you. Longwool is harder to spin and needs a different technique - that can be anything upto 16" - eg: Leicester, Cotswold, Wensleydale.... anything above around 4" is going to be harder to work with. Ditto, anything with a short staple length - so some of the shortwools are best avoided. Shorter breeds include Merino, Dorset Down, Southdown.
The other thing you need to know about is [/b]count[b]. Count tells you the thickness of the individual fibres. A fine, brilliant quality wool like Merino will have counts from 65-100. That's fantastic quality wool but again, tricky to learn on. Poorer wools have counts in the 30s- 40s. 30s and low 40s are also harder to learn on (coarser). Jacob's has a count of 44-56. Cheviot 50-56 - anything round about that is easier to learn on!
Hope I haven't confused you. Basically all you need is a wool with an average staple length and an average count.
I'd learn with wool then start adding in the dog hair when you have the process. A nice wool to start with is anything of a medium grade - something fine like Merino can be harder to learn with. Something like Jacob's, or Corriedale is nice. My first ever wool was Cheviot. Dog hair is slippery so harder to spin. Maybe you could try blending it in when you've got used to the whole spinning process.
Fibrecrafts and Wingham sell wool that has been washed, and is usually combed into slivers, so you don't need to do any preparation at all, just tear into strips about the width of a pencil - and spin!