Monday, June 16, 2008

Shear Coincidence

Quick! Rewind back to TNNA...I was ensconced in my hotel room, channel surfing and winding down, trying to get myself ready for my first day of TNNA...flipping, flipping, flipping (drat! No Food Network!) and finally settled on the Science Channel (because I'm nerdy that way).

Imagine my surprise when the show I was watching (How It's Made) decided to demystify the process of how wool yarns are commercially spun! Sadly, I have hunted high and low to see if I can find a link to the clip to share with you all, but alas, it appears it may have been a previous season's episode.

Anyhow, I was surprised to learn that blending of wool in a commercial mill is done by air - imagine all these happy little locks/staples of wool and other fiber blown into a gigantic room and floating about like popcorn in gigantic air popper (speaking of popcorn, have you tried the Trader Joe's Kettle Corn? Delicious. and Addictive). The fluffy fiber is then carded by some gigantic huge machine into a web (not a batt!) - the web is actually rather thin - as the fiber is removed from the carding machine, it's divided into thin strips and rolled into rovings - but not rovings as I think of them (which, apparently are technically slivers) - but pencil rovings. The rovings are then spun into yarn and coned! If you want a whole whack more detail, I recommend reading this from the Fingerlakes Woolen Mill. I daresay, I envy them their skeiner!

One of these days I really need to get myself into a working yarn mill - just to actually see the process in person.

Knitting on the Koigu Saddle Shoulder Sweater is nearing the home stretches...stay tuned for photos and a progress report!


Nikki said...


J.Reilly said...

I LOVE How it's Made!