I made the decision to be in only one fiber club this year, the Sheepspot Breed Club with the addition of the Breed School – it cost a little bit more, but what I am learning is invaluable.

The second installment was Montadale that Sasha got at MDSW. I saw the fiber there and it was lovely! I was thrilled to learn that I would have the opportunity to try this fiber. The fiber was dyed beautifully – I selected the Autumn Wedding colorway. The fiber was processed nicely, although there were a few bits that appeared to be second cuts. I am not sure, but they were easy to remove and I had less than a dozen of them in the first braid. However, these bits did not impede my spinning in anyway at all; I was able to maintain good consistency by removing them as I spun.

Prior to this, I did not know anything at all about Montadale sheep at all, but Breed School and the information Sasha sends with the fiber are incredibly helpful. After our Breed School chat, I decided that I would spin this fiber with sock knitting in mind; I wanted a round, 3-ply, tightly twisted yarn that would be long wearing.

I concentrated on consistency as I spun the yarn with even treadling and drafting. I also knew that I wanted my yarn a little tighter than the ply back, so I accounted for this when I plied. It is the first time that I have spent this much time on the mechanics of spinning, but the results were so worth it! The first braid resulted in just over 816 yards of singles (or 272 3-ply yards) so I know there will be more than enough for a pair of socks once I have finished spinning the second braid.

I finished the yarn in hot water with a good bit of agitation, and a good thwacking before leaving it to dry flat. The yarn bloomed nicely in the bath. It ended up being a heavy fingering weight and not quite as fine as I had hoped for, but I think it will make a nice sturdy pair of socks. I could not wait to knit up a swatch and, as you can see, it is beautiful, almost gradient and it really makes a cable pop!

 I contribute the improvement in my spinning to some online classes that I have taken this year, three of them can be found on the Craftsy platform and two of them are available from Interweave Press. If you want to improve your spinning, I would encourage you to take at least one of them, if not all! I think you will find them an amazing help in improving your skills! Seriously, take a class and then, perhaps, try some Montadale!

My “Year of Learning” has been full of new things, but the improvements to my spinning have been most significant.

Pin It on Pinterest