While Sasha Torres was doing the SpinDoctor podcast she fell in love with sheep, all of the breeds. Not just, “Wow, there are so many breeds, I want to sample them all” but “I want to change my life and vocation to make sure that all of this amazing variety and beauty are preserved”.
So like Deb Robson, Beth Smith, Clara Parkes, Jill Draper, Sincere Sheep and Solstice Yarns and Spirit Trail Fiberworks, Sasha speaks for the sheep, one single breed at a time. Sheepspot is about single breeds locally raised, spun to Sasha’s specifications at small mills and dyed by Sasha. Locally being defined as mostly North America, there’s is a lot of goodness in our continent!
Sheepspot is mostly about yarn, but she does have some gorgeous Organic Polwarth top. Her Polwarth was raised on two certified organic family farms in the Falkland Islands and processed in the UK. The cost is $23 for 3.7 ounces . She sent me two colors to take for a spin.
Invert, left and Gummi Bears II, right.
The fiber was treated gently. There were no compacted spots, even the ends were open. I unbraided it and shook it hard in segments and it puffed right back up to it Polwarthian glory. Sasha doesn’t use vinegar to set her dye, the fiber has zero smell.
The dyes are bright and clear. Her style of style of dyeing is with a regular patterns, as you can see from the photos. The color saturates the the fiber in most spots,but there are places with overlap and places where undyed fiber peeks through, this give a nice visual texture to the fiber and depth to the spun yarn.
Invert, left and Gummi Bears, right
This is some of the most well behaved Polwarth that I have spun. Since it wasn’t compacted it was biddable to any way that I wanted to spin it – thick, thin with a high high or low twist. I ended up doing a chubby single, one reasonably consistent and one quick thick and thin. I did 3 2-ply yarns, one split in 2 and spun as it came, one with a bit of fractaling (1/4 plied to 1/16) and one with the two colors drafting together then plied. The processing of this fiber is excellent, it did not resist splitting, even down to 1/16. It drafted easily each way I spun it (short forward, short backward and sliding long draw) including drafting two strips together. The yarn when finished plumped up as expected with just a hot water soak and a snap.
2-ply Gummi Bears, left and Invert, right
Gummi Bears, left. Gummi Bears, combo draft, Invert, middle. Invert, right. All 2-ply
The finished yarn is lofty and light. All of my finished yarns are woolen spun on worsted preparation. The colors in the yarn stayed as clear as they were in the fiber and blended beautifully in the 2-ply yarns. I had zero extra dye leak when I set the yarn, even with the blue colors.
thick and thin Gummi Bears II
This fiber is very much worth the price, the fiber and preparation are exceptional and the dye work lovely and meticulous.
I hope Sasha treats us to other spinning fiber as her business grows! You can keep up with Sasha and Sheepspot through their newsletter.