Thursday, April 8, 2010

Spinner's Study: Finn

I often fluctuate between trying to get finished objects documented on my blog...or finishing up objects so I can update my blog. It's a whole chicken and egg thing. :-)

But, here's a recent finished spinning project with Finn that I spun up on my Kiwi. I wanted to spin things a little thicker than I had been lately, so I experimented with about 2 oz of Finn top.

First, a bit about Finn:
Finn, Finnsheep, or Finnish Landrace Sheep, are among the Nordic breeds from which the Shetland, Icelandic, Romanov and Norwegian Spaelsau originate. All are believed to have descended from the wild mouflon sheep. Finn came from Finland to Canada in 1966 then into the US in 1968. In the U.S, their primary use has been in cross-breeding programs to increase lambing percentage of commercial flocks (as they mature early and breed often)

Finns come in a variety of natural colors with white or black being the most common, but they also come in gray, brown, or fawn. While the fleece is lightweight (5-6 lb.) it is highly praised by hand spinners as it blends easily with other fibers, has a long staple (3-6"), and a wool spinning count in the 50's (24 to 31 microns). Finnsheep fleeces are low-lanolin and high-yeilding fleeces -- averging 70% yield after cleaning.

The American Wool Council ranks Finn wool in the fine end of the medium-wool catagory with a micron range of 23.5 to 31and a staple length of 3 to 6 inches. The wool has a well-defined crimp, a very soft hand (feel) and beautiful luster. Finn wool is extremely popular with handspinnners and is one of the world's most requested wools for felting. It is the most lustrous in its class and is quite different than Shetland and Icelandic wool. Most wools of luster similar to Finn wool are from much coarser-coated breeds. (Finn Breeder's Association)

Now, onto my spinning:

I had about 2oz of white Finn top that I purchased from Spunky Eclectic (I had purchased a slew of 2oz of various fibers to try out).

Since I had just finished spinning merino before Finn, this wool felt a bit 'scratchier' (but then again, anything after merino is scratchy). But when I began spinning it, I found it to be quite enjoyable.

Currently, I'm spinning this on my Ashford Kiwi with my largest whorl at 5:5 ratio. As a result, I'm spinning a bit thicker than I have been spinning other wools thus far. I'm spinning it at about a DK-sport weight as a single.

The staple length is about 4-5" long, so I'm experimenting with a "backdraw" worsted drafting instead of a front-draw worseted drafting (since I'd like to learn how to do a long draw later and I want to get used to doing a backdraw). I'm pulling the fiber hand back, while my passive (hand closest to the orifice) slowly lets the twist go into the fiber (and I'm careful never to have twist in the drafting triangle).

I spun up two bobbins of 1 oz of Finn, and created a 2-ply.