Q is for Spin that Quiviut!
The Quiviut I'm spinning for her; the spin has begun!
Ala Turtlegirl, one of my favorite bloggers, I'm trying something new....Flickr! So, these little pics below...click on them and you get the big pic for even more detail! I've had it with the unpredictability of the blogger photo hosting.
Quiviut is the down of the Arctic Musk Ox. Said to be one of the finest, softest, and warmest fibers in the world; it is definitely the lightest. It's also not cheap, and this stuff is per oz, the most pricey stuff I've spun to date!
Of course, when Laura asked if I'd spin it, I said yes. It might be the only time I ever spin quiviut, and I love trying new fibers. Wild Fibers magazine has a really nice article on quiviut if you're interested in learning more about the musk ox.
So, thus far what have I learned about spinning the quiviut? (Can you tell I love the word quiviut? Quiviut, quiviut, quiviut! I love saying it...)
1) When you buy raw quiviut fiber it takes a lot of work to get it to the spinable stage. This involves no combing or carding, but lots of dehairing (pulling out the guard hair and medium-coarse hairs) and pulling out bits of vegetable matter and chaff that are stuck in the fiber.
2) Once it's cleaned and dehaired, it's already fluffed nicely and you can spin it right away.
3) The fiber staple length of the down is short. About an inch to and inch and a half. It is also VERY fine (as to be expected). This means, it needs A LOT of twist to hold it together.
4) It is best spun slowly so you can concentrate, but on a high ratio. Short draw. You definitely need to be drafting only an inch or so at a time. And slowly and carefully.
5) The goal for me with this is fine yarn with as much yardage as possible. SO, I'm spinning slow, but with a high twist ratio, and a fairly slow take up on the bobbin. This way I can draft carefully and then hold the yarn for an extra second or so before letting it wind onto the bobbin thereby getting more twist into the single.
6) It IS soft! Even on the bobbin, I can feel the softness. Ah.