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):
And the 2-ply:
And just to prove my point about the similarity to my cats… they love to cuddle up to the very softest thing around:
I understand, Butterfly. I want to bury my nose in it too… and have several times. 🙂
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. 😉
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!