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Cashmere Caresses

I was really trying to save this particular fiber experiment from my luxury sample pack for last, in order to give it the respect (experience) it deserves, but I just couldn’t wait any longer. I had to know if it was as wonderful to spin as it is to knit and wear. I was a bit daunted by the short staple length, and advice from others that this is not a good spinning fiber for beginners, but I’ve had enough successful skeins under my belt to bolster my courage… how difficult could it be? The answer: not as difficult as I thought. And SO WORTH the extra trouble. Working with it is like petting my cats; it doesn’t get much softer than this. And my cats have short hair, so that should tell you something about the staple length. I had to be EXTREMELY careful drafting it, only pulling the fibers apart a tiny bit, and also careful joining a new piece. If I wasn’t holding them together properly, I experienced the “drop” spindle. But other than that, it spun just as easily as the other fibers I’ve worked with. And SO extremely soft slipping through my fingers, far and above the other fibers I’ve worked with… and those have been completely dreamy themselves! Once again, I was experimenting with the thickness I liked best, so I got a wide variation in ply like I did with the baby suri alpaca, but overall I’m pretty proud of my first cashmere mini-skein. Here’s the single (complete with a fiber caress):

cashmere single on a drop spindle

And the 2-ply:

cashmere 2-ply on a drop spindle

And just to prove my point about the similarity to my cats… they love to cuddle up to the very softest thing around:

cashmere single on a drop spindle with a curious cat

I understand, Butterfly. I want to bury my nose in it too… and have several times. πŸ™‚

cashmere 2-ply on a drop spindle with a curious cat

Here it is washed and dried, and this one definitely needs to be “thwacked” to bring out it’s bloom. I couldn’t decide which of these photos I liked better, so I had to show them both. My ply looks a lot more even in one, but the other is a more interesting photo. See if you can tell which is which. πŸ˜‰

cashmere handspun 2-ply

cashmere handspun 2-ply

I could definitely get used to this. OK, I admit it… I’m head-over-heels in love! Of course it is pretty much the most expensive fiber on the planet, because of its richness and the fact that cashmere goats only produce about 4 oz (112 grams) a year. Barely enough for a hat or a pair of socks. Nowhere near enough for a sweater. But I still want a goat… or a few, (don’t freak out, Sweet Prince… probably not going to happen) even though it would be cheaper to simply buy the fiber once a year (probably going to be a little more often than that). But it’s still less expensive than buying cashmere yarn by at least half, so look how much money I’m going to save by learning to spin!

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7 thoughts on “Cashmere Caresses

  1. I can’t wait to try out some pure cashmere! This is really gorgeous, and I am so impressed by how even it is! Woolgatherings is seriously the best, I have two braids from them, one a stunning autumn-colored BFL/silk, and one that’s merino, silk, and yak down. So soft! I haven’t been able to bring myself to actually spun either of them, I just pet them continuously πŸ˜›

    • Thank you! I can’t wait for you to try it also. πŸ™‚ Post pictures when you do! It’s nice to meet another Woolgatherings fan. Those fibers you purchased sound amazing as well, and I’ve also been tempted by their colored braids… someday soon I will have to acquire one myself. I completely understand just wanting to pet them… and even having that be enough. πŸ˜‰

  2. That is awesome! I want to bury my nose in it too, haha. My dog has a really weird thing for alpaca fleece! He loves rolling in it and sniffing it. Your cashmere yarn looks amazing, I’ve got some cashmere fiber somewhere, I should dig it out and have a go! πŸ˜€

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