Friday, July 27, 2012

Spinning a cloud of camel down

[Photo:Spinning camel down
in Egmont]
The opportunity: to see the Sunshine Coast. 
The assignment: to spin camel--camel down, camel down/silk blends and camel hair and compare them. 
The resources: Spin-Off Fall 2007; hand carded punis of camel down, some with silk.
I usually mix up the two types of camel: Bactrian (2 humps from China and Mongolia) and Dromedary (1 hump from the Middle East), but I finally figured out a way to keep them straight in my mind. 'B' turned on it's side gives you 2 humps, just like the Bactrian camel.'D' turned on it's side gives you one hump, just like the Dromedary camel. Alice, the camel only had one hump, just like the Dromedary camel. There's 'a town called Alice' in Australia (also the title of a very good book by Neville Shute) where domesticated Dromedary camels have gone walkabout. Given the environmental differences between the deserts of Middle East/Australia (hot hot hot) and Mongolia (cold cold cold), which beast probably has a soft warm undercoat?  Yup, the B's, those 2 humped Bactrians.
I was given some of that Bactrian camel down, a soft carded light tan roving or top with 2" fibres. True luxurious fibres. Almost to good to spin on samples. To supplement that I bought what I can only describe as a cloud of camel down with shorter (about 3/4 to 1") length, but still very fine fibres.  I hand carded the cloud and rolled it into punis.
After spinning a few yards of the 100% down I found my spinning groove by using a point-of-contact (ie let the twist enter the drafting zone) short (around 1") backward draw.  The singles looked tight but I planned on plying them enough to open the yarn up and then have the yarn 'bloom' with a good finishing wash.
I'll include the final yarn in a post with the other samples.

1 comment:

  1. I've knit with camel and know how lovely it is that way -- can only imagine what it's like to have a gorgeous roving/cloud of it in your hand. . .