First finished handspun of 2014! My new wheel is a total dream to spin on, and so much faster than my previous wheel. I typically took a month (a month! 30 days!) to spin 4 ounces of fiber on my old wheel, and I finished this in about 2 weeks.
Tools and Spinning Notes: Lendrum DT wheel; spun worsted with a short backwards draw; 2-plied on my wheel and the teeny leftover amount of singles was chain-plied
Yardage: 460 yards of the 2-ply; 30 yards of the chain-ply
Falkland is an interesting wool designation: it’s not actually a breed, but describes the location where the sheep were raised. The Falkland Islands are about 300 miles east of the Argentinian coast, and 95% of their economy is still agricultural, either fishing or sheep farming and wool processing. There are 167 sheep for every human on the islands! Interestingly, to me at least, the islands have been the center of a long-standing dispute between Argentina and the UK, and currently are under UK control. Argentina has still been calling for control of the Islands in recent years, but in a referendum held in March of 2013, 99.8% of the Falkland Island population voted to remain part of the UK. (CIA World Fact Book). Huh.
Anyway! Political science lesson aside, what does this have to do with wool? Falkland sheep can be a variety of base breeds, including Merino, Polwarth, and Corriedale, among several others bred within those flocks to introduce various wool or meat characteristics to the sheep. Falkland wool is considered a very “green” wool because there is little need for chemicals or sheep dipping, since the islands are mostly free from the diseases and pests found in less remote and isolated places. From my experience, the Falkland wool I’ve used feels and spins very much like Polwarth. It has a similar level of softness, and has that same lovely puffiness and squishiness you get after you soak and dry the yarn.
I love learning about the various sheep breeds as I spin with their wool. It reminds me of the whole process of shepherding and wool production, and gives me a more mindful appreciation of all the work it took to get this lovely fiber in my greedy little paws. : )
Happy Groundhog Day to those in the US, and happy Super Bowl Sunday if you care about American football! I’m mainly pumped for all the junk food it gives me an excuse to eat. Have a great week!